The open road, open to all
By TAD SOOTER
North Kitsap Herald North End Reporter
March 19, 2010 · Updated 11:36 AM
POULSBO — Don’t let the tattoos, brawny arms or parrot fool you; Paul Marshall isn’t that kind of biker.
He doesn’t swagger in grubby denim jackets or cuss around kids. He doesn’t belong to clubs; they’re not his style.
Though he’s owned more than 30 motorcycles since age 14, Marshall doesn’t look down on the Baby Boomers buying hogs in fits of nostalgia.
As far as he’s concerned, the open road should be open to all.
The same is true for his brightly lit motorcycle accessory shop on Totten Road.
“We’re family friendly,” Marshall said of his Road Rider Supply store. “You can come in here with your 8-year-old and not have to worry about him seeing something he’s not supposed to see.”
Brands and styles mix in Marshall’s shop, which the longtime Poulsbo resident started a year ago next to his old business, DSC Industrial Supply, and runs with the help of his wife Sue.
Things were slow in the first year but business is starting to pick up with spring on the way. Marshall has built his base of customers through magazine ads and a lot of word-of-mouth. His shop, tucked out of town, doesn’t grab many walk-in customers.
“We’re in a terrible location,” Marshall said good naturedly, “but the rent is right. If the rent doubled, so would our prices.”
Instead, Marshall hopes to stand out by not discriminating within the motorcycle world. While many shops stick with a certain brand of road bike — Harley-Davidson, V Star, Goldwing — Marshall lets them mingle.
Road Rider stocks a sprawling inventory of bike gear, which Marshall breaks into a few rough categories. There’s stuff to make bikes beautiful, stuff to wear and stuff to make bikes comfortable for men and women.
Racks hold gleaming chrome accents, bags, electronics and leather gear of all sorts.
Helping clients customize their bikes is what Marshall enjoys most. He uses his own bikes in the display room to show them combinations of chrome or saddle bag options.
Marshall sells a few motorcycles on commission, too, but he won’t take just any bike.
“It’s got to be something special,” he said, “something spectacular.”
Road Rider Supply
Road Rider Supply is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. at 3203 NE Totten Road, Suite D. Find the shop online at www.roadridersupply.com or reach them at (360) 598-9963.Contact North Kitsap Herald North End Reporter Tad Sooter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-779-4464.