Aytan Luck got his driver's license on his 16th birthday and, for two months, he religiously drove a car. When Luck got into a car accident, he vowed to ride a bike instead.
Earlier this month, after years of riding his bike for transportation and recreation, Luck opened Truly Spoken Cycles, 833 E. Center St., in the space that formerly housed the kids’ shop Mia Putia.
Luck is the sole owner of Truly Spoken Cycles, and he provides basic bike maintenance and repair. Also, he has a small selection of used bikes for sale. Currently, the stock includes cruisers, road bikes and a few kids’ bikes. Luck bought the bikes from Corey the Bike Fixer, Craig’s List and from a friend who moved to Arizona.
In the future, Luck may sell new bikes, but for now he’s focusing on selling used cycles.
"I could make more money selling new bikes, but for now, I’m content with the way things are," says Luck.
Luck learned the skill and art of bicycle repair while working at Ben’s Cycle, 1018 W. Lincoln Ave., and while volunteering at the Milwaukee Bike Collective and Plan B in New Orleans. Luck spent three months in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, helping to fix and distribute donated bikes to transportation-less residents.
Luck says he learned a lot about bikes and bike repair during long bike trips, too.
Since high school, Luck has gone on many bike adventures, and is sometimes on the road for one or two months. His first ride was from Milwaukee to Madison, and he later rode from Louisville, Ky. to West Virginia. Also, he toured many of the southern states.
During a bike trip in Florida, Luck and his fellow rider received help from a small bike shop called Truly Spoken. Luck remembered the name -- and the helpful owner -- when he opened his own shop and named it after the Florida-based business.
As a kid, Luck, now 25, grew up in Shorewood -- he graduated from Shorewood High School -- and he says living next to the Oak Leaf bike trail ignited his love for cycling.
"My family would take bike rides together in the summer," says Luck. "My mom rides her bike to work during the summer months."
Luck says he thought about opening a bike shop when he was in high school, and finally became convinced it was the right thing for him to do this year. He leased his current space in September, and opened the shop six weeks later, on Nov. 3.
Luck admits competition is stiff with six bike shops in the East Side / Shorewood / Whitefish Bay area. However, he says being the only bike shop in Riverwest is one thing he has going for his business.
"There are a lot of people in Riverwest who ride a bike as their primary form of transportation. A lot of people who just ride a bike and take the bus," he says.
The local response, so far, has been pretty good. Luck says he has not advertised yet, but gets a trickle of customers every day.
"I’ve already sold a few bikes," he says.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.