Clare’s Cycle & Sports in Fenwick has been a hub for motorcycle enthusiasm in the Niagara region for over 60 years and this past weekends’ Annual Spring Open House not only brought hundreds out to enjoy the festivities, but gave us a chance to catch up with founder John Clare himself who reminisced about the business that he started back in 1955 at the original Welland location and then moved to Fenwick in 1958.
It’s easy to see why the man, who refused to shake my hand in favour of a big bear hug, has not only operated an extremely successful business through the years, but won the hearts of the community. “Hugs not drugs!” Clare chuckles as he chats about his involvement in the motorcycle biz.
Clare says his passion for motorcycles started in 1949, at age 15, when he received a 1930 Harley-Davidson motorcycle as payment for a plumbing repair. The rest as they say is history and Clare quickly moved to open up his own shop at the tender age of 22 with the help of his family. By 1965 he was the largest Yamaha dealer in Canada.
Below, Clare talks a little bit about how it all began…
Over the years, Clare has participated in nearly every branch of motorcycle sport, and in 2011 was even was inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
His retail pursuits also soared with an expansion of the family business that added another location: Clare’s Harley Davidson of Niagara in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2008.
This past week’s packed open house at the original Clare’s location on Hwy 20 had a little of something for everyone as highlighted in the pictures below…
Checking out the bikes for the season…
Snacks and Giant FM on the scene to get everyone in the spring bike mood!
And of course…some door prizes. Happy winners! Racing champ, 11 year old Maguire Scott was on hand with a couple of his bikes… Below, Geoff and Lisa from Clare’s Cycle & Sports are all smiles at the open house… John Clare and his wife Donna strike a pose … Below, folks line up for deals on parts and accessories… The Welland County Motorcycle Club members were on hand … Below, John Clare giving us the grand tour. Clare’s has added 23 additions to the original building since its inception and if you don’t know where you’re going…you can get lost! Other highlights of the day included the unveiling of the the new 2018 Honda Goldwing. Overall, an awesome day at Clare’s Cycle & Sports and a great story of a man and his passion that brought the story to life!
BIKING SEASON BEGINS SO CHECK YOUR HELMET!
A reminder to all that as biking season officially begins, April is National Check Your Helmet Month. Don’t forget that the average life span for a helmet is three to five years, so make sure yours is in top form for maximum safety.
CLARE’S THUNDER RUN TO DOVER APRIL 13TH: ABOUT CLARE’S CYCLE & SPORTS
Products and Services Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, KTM Motorcycles, ATVs, Power Equipment, Sales, Parts, Service, Storage, Financing
Location: 799 Hwy. # 20 W., Fenwick ON L0S 1C0
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