Rand’s Motorcycle Gear shop opened for business in the fall of 2013 in Oregon Ohio.

We operated a retail storefront offering Personal Protection Equipment for on-road and off-road powersports enthusiasts. Opening day represented a year and half of hard work in researching, business plan writing, working with my mentor from SCORE, and of course, finding a landlord that was willing to let me put a motorcycle shop in his building.

In the end, my landlord summed it up the best. “You have faced a unique set of obstacles in operating your business.” We dealt with snowstorms and getting unintentionally plowed in by the neighbor’s plowing guy who didn’t realize we moved in and left a five foot snow line across our parking lot. There was the time the pipes froze in the ground, and we were without water for almost a month, transportation issues with personal vehicle gremlins, getting permanently barred from selling on eBay, health issues and right on down the line.

I made the painful decision to close my store in the spring of 2016.
I was struggling to keep the business open, and life had other plans for me. Closing my shop was the right decision. To close the shop, to hand over the keys to the landlord and take my sign off the building was hard for me. I was not really prepared to fail. I had no real exit strategy in place.

It took me several months to process the failure of my shop.
I was depressed. I was angry at and disappointed in myself. After a while, I came to the realization that the creditors and myself were the only ones that truly cared that I had closed my doors. My opinion of the situation shifted and I now look back on that time as a learning experience.

We gave it our best work.
We did not fail for a lack of trying. For one guy, and his wife who was working full-time, we did really well for our first time out as entrepreneurs. We came damn close to making it work, and the next time out, we’ll be even better prepared for success.

The Future

I’ve put a lot of thought into what’s next for Randsgear.
I’d like to open another shop somewhere down the line. While my mission and goals for Randsgear remain largely the same, my interests within powersports have shifted.

My focus moving forward is on Overland Adventure Riding and Motorcycle Camping.
I’ve thought for a long time that I would like to take a big ride. As I do research for my trip, I’m discovering that there are a lot of people out there riding their own two-wheel adventures.

Mission and Objectives

To Promote Safe, Responsible operation of Motorcycles and Powersports Vehicles.
Each of us is a ambassador for the industry when we ride. You choose to be respectful of other on the road, and operate your motorcycle in a safe and responsible manner, or you choose to be the “some asshole” in some asshole’s tale of your risky behaviors. You owe it to every other rider to set a good example while you are out on public roads. Want to go fast? Check out a track day. Want to stunt it up? Go to Sears.

To Educate Riders about the use of Personal Protection Equipment so that they can make informed decisions about their safety and the risks they accept as motorcyclists.

Create a more positive perception of motorcyclists by drivers.
It’s unfortunate that many have negative perceptions of motorcyclists. Whether it’s on two, three, four, six, or even eighteen wheels, we all are privileged to have the opportunity to share the road with all the other travelers. At the end of the day, motorcyclists are just people, that find their happiness on the winding state routes and byways.

Work with existing campaigns and organizations to promote safe driving initiatives.
I don’t need to reinvent the wheel, there are plenty of good programs out there that I can be part of.

To promote the positive impact that motorcyclists have in their communities.

To encourage all riders to take advantage of classes offered by the MSF.

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