Motorcyle business still strong after five decades

Jul 22 2012 - 10:57pm

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ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner
Owners and founders Joyce and Paul Carey at Carey’s Cycles in Riverdale on Thursday. The shop celebrates 55 years this year.
ERIN HOOLEY/Standard-Examiner
Owners and founders Joyce and Paul Carey at Carey’s Cycles in Riverdale on Thursday. The shop celebrates 55 years this year.

RIVERDALE -- In 1957, Paul Carey asked his wife if she would be interested in opening a motorcycle business with him.

Her first reaction was, "Oh my word. I don't know."

But Joyce Carey knew how much her husband loved motorcycles, so she agreed. The couple borrowed $500 from Joyce's uncle and Carey's Cycle Center was born.

Five children and 55 years later, the business is still going strong.

"I think God had a plan for us, and he's managed for us to stay in business through thick and thin," Joyce said. "There were times we really had to scrimp. One year, I wanted my girls to have Easter dresses but we couldn't afford them, so I took my wedding dress and an old maternity dress and made Easter dresses out of them."

The couple were adamant about providing top-notch service to their customers. They soon noticed their customer service paid off. Many people became repeat buyers and often recommended the business to their friends and family members.

"We've sold to fathers, sons, grandsons," she said. "We try to service and take care of every one of our customers and any of their needs. I think that's one reason we've been so successful."

The business, at 4450 S. 700 West, sells and services all brands of motorcycles, including Yamaha, Triumph, BSA, Norton and Harley-Davidson.

"We have a lot of families who come in and buy from us. It's a great hobby for families, just like it is for our family," she said. "In fact, two of our daughters, Caron Boswell and Patsy Winchester, are very avid motorcyclists."

Although the Careys, now both 81 years old, are retired, they still manage to work in the store twice a week. The store is now run by their daughter and son-in-law, Caron and Brad Boswell.

Winchester said her parents are also the founding members of the Ogden Cycle Association, the group that runs the motorcycle race track by Smith and Edwards.

"I don't think you know how unique it is to have a motorcycle race track in your community. This track has been around since the '60s," Winchester said. "My family spent many a weekend out at the racetrack. Back in the old days we called it Hot Springs. People from surrounding states will come here for the weekend races. They bring their motor homes and trailers and make a family getaway out of it."

Winchester said when her father raced on the track in the 1960s, it was just an oval track. Today the track has multiple jumps and washboards. However, she said, it was just as exciting to watch back then as it is today.

Winchester said she has enjoyed being part of a motorcycle family and remembers racing with her father when she was a young girl.

"My father raced," she said. "A few of us girls tried it when we were younger, but currently there are two grandsons still racing and three great-grandsons racing. The youngest great-grandson is just 5 years old."

The Careys, who were born just 90 miles from each other in Nebraska and Iowa, met at a church party in Ogden. Paul invited Joyce to a movie after the party and their relationship began to grow. They recently celebrated 61 years of marriage. Both are happy with the decision they made to open up the business 55 years ago.

"If you stick together and communicate, even if you're not always agreeing, but you're able to talk about it, it helps to run a family business or raise a family," Joyce said. "When we first started the business, it was a busy time. I was home, primarily raising the family and taking care of the home, and Paul was at the store. But he always came home and took the kids for a ride and spent time with them."

Getting on a motorcycle is a great stress reliever, Joyce said.

"I think it's the freedom you feel when you get out there on the bike," she said. "Paul has told me whenever he gets frustrated or has had a long day, just getting out on his bike really helps to clear his mind. We've had a lot of people tell us the same thing."

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