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Young entrepreneurs open up shop

Posted by on July 31st, 2006 at 10:50 am

I.A.I Bike Shop

[Isaac and Isaac, owners
of I.A.I. Bike Repair]

Meet Isaac Martinotti (age 12) and Isaac Bailey (age 13), two friends who share not only a first name, but also a love of working on bikes.

These neighborhood pals realized none of their friends could fix bikes, so they converted Isaac B’s garage and driveway into their very own bike shop. They’ve named it I.A.I. Bike Repair (as in Isaac and Isaac) and they’re eager for business.

Located on one of my regular Northeast bike routes (on Holman Ave.), I first heard about them through a tipster a few months ago. When I rode by over the weekend the shop was buzzing with activity so I decided to stop and check it out.

I.A.I Bike Shop
I.A.I Bike Shop

Isaac Bailey (age 13) was hunched over a BMX bike, swapping out the rear wheel for a smaller one while Isaac Martinotti (age 12) was busy cleaning up the shop, organizing parts, dusting cobwebs, and trying to figure out how their cash register worked.

The Isaacs are serious about their shop.

They’ve even secured a source for parts. According to Isaac M., each Thrusday they fill up their cargo trailer with old parts from the nearby Community Cycling Center. “It’s just $5 for as much as you can carry,” he said with a glimmer in his eye that any dumpster-diving bike nut would appreciate.

As for tools, they invested their allowance in a new set, and they even know how to use them. Isaac B. is a graduate of the CCC’s afterschool bike club and Isaac M. took a welding class at his school. They also often seek out sage advice and help from the master builders at the Alberta Clownhouse bike shop.

The boys even found an old electronic cash register left in front of a nearby house for free. “It even works” said Isaac M. as he tinkered with it atop the checkout counter.

The boys were busy the whole time I was there. Several of their friends have dropped off bikes—one needs a flat tire fixed, the other a new wheel—and they’re working on some other bikes that they hope to trade for some business cards and flyers.

I asked what they consider their specialities. Isaac B. says he’s got a knack for spray painting parts and Isaac M. says he’s especially good at brake adjustment.

I ran into Isaac B.’s mom at the store the other day. She was buying some invoice slips (I told you they were serious) and said she was happy they were so involved with this, instead of just hanging out on the streets, “They’re really having fun with it…Isaac even asked me if they could do some commercials!”

You’ve got to love a city where kids aspire to have their own bike shop. Good luck Isaac and Isaac, I’ll see you around the neighborhood.

[Thanks to Ayleen Crotty for the tip!]

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Dabby July 31, 2006 at 11:54 am


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  • Carl July 31, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    I an’ I! It’s tough to explain how happy this story makes me. Thanks, Jonathan. Way to go, Issacs. I’ll keep an eye out for the shop!

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  • Ayleen July 31, 2006 at 2:30 pm

    Woodlawn represent! Now we just need a coffee shop.

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  • Kronda July 31, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Cutest. Thing. EVAH!

    Thanks for sharing! Those boys are going to do well in life.

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  • Anonymous July 31, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    next time i’m in the area, i’ll give it a look

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  • Donna July 31, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks for finding this story, Jonathan. It was sorely needed.

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  • Anonymous July 31, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    Do you have an address and the business hours?
    I’ve been thinking about getting my coaster brakes looked at…

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  • Tree July 31, 2006 at 10:20 pm

    Awesome! This is just so cool! Good on ya boys!

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  • Gut Rubber » August 1, 2006 at 7:22 am

    […] Maybe it’s a little overly sentimental, but it warmed my heart to read about these two kids in Portland. One of my favorite things to do when i was a kid was tear apart and put back together my bikes. Between my brother and me and our neighbors, we usually had about a bike and a half per kid, and we rarely rode the same configuration of bike parts for more than a week or two. I wonder whatever happened to all that ingenuity we had. We were told we had to stop tinkering with the bikes so much after an ill-fated brake job on my part. Details are a little boring, but my brother ended up taking a high, hard one in the chin from the side of a utility truck. My bad, Adam. […]

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  • patrick August 1, 2006 at 10:07 pm


    Drop me a line I;ve got a few odds and ends and some decent old parts I was going to sell but maybe I’ll drop off to these guys.

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  • Tina Hurley August 2, 2006 at 7:49 pm


    Isaac B!

    You probably don’t remember us but Phil and I had Christmas dinner with you and your family at Noelle’s. Just want to tell you how proud of you we are……way to GO!!! Congrats to you and your partner in business. The sky is the limit for you both!!!

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  • Ben and Grandma August 6, 2006 at 10:46 am

    It was heartwarming to read this story. You boys keep it up. My thing when I was your age was shinning shoes.But looks like you boys are going BIG time.Recently saw a show on TV about a kid that would collect rocks,paint them and then sell them door to door.He was 6 at the time.He was a millionaire at 14!!!! So no telling where this could go.But maybe I could manage your first franchise in Texas.You go guys!!Proud grandparents Ben and Marsha B.

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  • Alphonse Tan January 11, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Truly inspiring… keep it up boys!

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