Founder of Team Active
22 Michigan Ave W
Battle Creek, MI 49017
Mike Wood, of Team Active located on Michigan Avenue in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan, first fell in love with bikes growing up in Jackson, Michigan. Even with the many increasingly sophisticated bicycles available to him today, the Schwinn Typhoon Mike got in 1969 still holds a special place in his heart. “It gave me the freedom to go places…to venture outside of my yard, outside of my block. I didn’t need a driver’s license to do it, and I could go places that my parents didn’t even know I went.” That feeling of freedom led him to pursue the dream of doing something he loves for a living.
When he purchased what was essentially a mom and pop bike shop in 1986, Mike had a vision to grow the business, building on his own experience in the athletic industry. In the intervening years, personal service, technology, quality and growing public enthusiasm for bicycling all were aspects of Team Active’s success.
What you’ll find when visiting TeamActive is much more than the modest storefront presents. The main floor showcases a wide range of clothing and accoutrements related to bicycling. The upstairs show room is filled with bikes of all shapes, colors and sizes. The basement of the store is used for tune-ups and repairs. Even a cursory glance will tell you that the management and staff really care about their customers and the sport.
For a business that in the early days saw a fax machine as “high technology,” Team Active is riding the wave of an increasingly complex sport. In addition to ever more complicated bikes themselves (some with computerized components), the store offers services like Guru Fit System, a digital analyzer that fits riders by type and size of bike, depending on personal preference of riding position, style and brand.
It also doesn’t hurt that Team Active has built a culture of comfortable camaraderie that reinforces the ongoing relationship between the bike shop and its customers. For example, the original concept of Free Beer Friday developed after a serendipitous keg of leftover beer was shared with customers. The tradition has evolved into an opportunity to have people slow down, linger and talk to each other and the staff. All of which means that Team Active’s customers are essentially doing Mike’s job: comparing notes, sharing enthusiasm, talking about the next ride. Other popular store events include the annual “end of winter” party, which attracts dozens of customers and guests to the shop—all in the name of building enthusiasm and the business.
New partner Alan Parr—a longtime customer who approached Mike in 2015 to purchase and expand the business—is thrilled to continue to have Mike involved in the store. He says the most important thing for their team to remember is that every customer should have an experience at Team Active that they can’t get anywhere else. For Parr, that, and expanding the business to different markets, has become a shared passion with Team Active’s founder.
TeamActive wants “to get more butts on bikes.” While the size and scope of the business has changed dramatically in the past 30 years, the passion that Mike and Alan share for encouraging an active lifestyle remains stronger than ever.
“Our name is Team Active. We want people to be active!” says Wood.