When Lance Hummell cruised into the Florida Keys 21 years ago, he slung cocktails behind every bar in town.
Never the party-all-night kind of guy, things certainly changed for him August 2, 2009 when he survived a horrific motorcycle accident in Key Largo when his bike collided into a boat trailer at 50 miles per hour.
“I nearly lost it,” he pointed to the large, fleshy pink scar on his shin. His gait still has the hint of a limp, but instead of slowing him down, Hummell has only recently increased his responsibilities and workload – he is the new owner of Keys Cycles (the former Sickles motorcycle shop) in at Mile Marker 48, Gulfside, in Old Town Marathon.
“I’m not a mechanic,” he laughed. “I only know how to fix minor things on my own bike…I’ve been riding all my life.”
That’s why he’s retained Minnesota native Jessi Fossum, a biker with 20 years of mechanic experience under his leathers, to serve as the General Manager of Keys Cycles.
“This is definitely the largest bike shop in the Keys,” Fossum said casually adding that Keys Cycles has the ability and skill to customized your hog in any shape or function under the warm Florida sun.
The hallmarks of running a good bike shop, he added, are the same as those of running any small business: friendly customer service.
Besides tending bar for extra cash, Hummell started out in the tropical fish collection business as well as launching a couple of area dive shops. When the opportunity to take over Sickles’ operation dropped into high gear, he jumped on the seat.
“This was a great business opportunity to have the whole shop already set up,” he commended.
Keys Cycles will specialize in Harley Davidson rentals, parts, and service. They also will continue efforts to host a monthly bike night with an official grand opening celebration slated for November.
For next weekend’s Bike Week festivities, Hummell said Keys Cycles is planning a bike wash event. He’s also considering hosting live music all weekend to encourage riders to make a pit stop before crossing the 7 Mile Bridge.
“Throughout the year, we’ll be offering cheap oil changes every Saturday morning with plenty of discounts for local riders,” he added.
Hummell has plans for coordinating with local motels like the Anchor Inn to offer weekend package deals to bikers with stellar rental rides for cruising one of the country’s most scenic highways.
As any local business does, Keys Cycles offers diversified service and rents U-Haul trailers for transporting your ride and your gear. Emergency towing is also available 24 hours a day.
Keys Cycles is located at 2040 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 48 Gulf side in Marathon. (305) 743-0445
Keys Cycles owner Lance Hummell (right) and general manager Jessi Fossum are now heading up the Keys’ largest bike shop. Swing in next weekend before crossing the 7 Mile Bridge on the way to Key West for parts, repairs and service needs.