Originally Falmouth was divided into 16 pieces. The Conant Estate was one of the first (if not the first) pieces given away to the King in what is now know of Westbrook.
Part of our building was the Conant’s farm stand, one of the first businesses in Westbrook. The town of Westbrook took the building and some land by eminent domain and turned it into an open air trolley barn. Rumor has it (from Ellie Saunders – Conant) that this is when they removed some of the headstones and built part of our building over the cemetery. The oldest cemetery in Westbrook.
The town instead of returning the property to the Conants, sold it. The property at this point is on RT25 on a high traffic street. It was two different restaurants, two different gas stations, Maxim’s Small Engines, and in 1972 became Ernie’s Cycle Shop. In 1974 our section of Conant St. was by-passed, and that is why it looks like we are in beautiful neighborhood and not on a major thoroughfare.
The oldest continuous bike shop in Miane. Ernie Weidman went to a Rotory Club meeting. During the meeting a local hardware store owner was discussing how on Saturday morning’s he just wanted to sell lawn mowers but instead everyone would bring their bicycles in for repairs. So he asked half heartedly if anyone wanted to buy a bike shop.
Well after a few moments consideration Ernie piped up and said indeed he did want to buy a bike shop. They hashed it out and a deal was made.
In 1952 Ernie’s Cycle Shop opened on the corner of Rochester St and Forest St. It started out in a shed, and then into a one car garage, and the into the big shop – a 3 car garage, all on the same property.
Around 1971 the Westbrook Arterial was built and that turned Rochester St into a dead-end street. In 1972 Ernie’s was moved onto Main St. (Rt 25) and life was good again. In 1974 Rt 25 was redesigned and Ernie’s was by-passed again but having just moved we could not afford to move again.
As luck would have it, that worked out just fine. People know where we are, they tell their friends and everyone comes to see us for their biking needs. People can test drive bicycles and not have to worry about cars speeding by. Also Ellie Saunders (Conant) donated 5 1/2 acres of land behind the bike shop to Portland Trails. We now have access to the river through a beautiful park with biking trails.
“Life’s a cycle, we hope you’re enjoying the ride!” That is our mission! help you to “enjoy the ride”. To do that, we must offer top notch customer service to get you on the right bike for your needs. Deliver the information you need to help guide you to “the ride of your life”. We want you to LOVE riding is much as we do. We are sincerely vested in this mission.