Our original store, The Clean Machine, opened in Carrboro in 1972. The current owners, Doug Venema and Scott Smith, both started working for the Clean Machine in the mid 80’s as bike builders, mechanics and salesmen. With the opening of the Chapel Hill store in 1992, they moved into management positions with Scott taking the reins at the Clean Machine and Doug managing the newly opened Franklin Street Cycles. This was also the year our general manager, John Koester, began working for the company as a salesperson at Franklin Street Cycles. He later moved to Durham in 1997 to manage the newly opened Cycle Center. In 1999, Doug and Scott purchased the company from the previous owner. This was followed by the addition of the Raleigh location, originally called The Bike Rack, in 2000; and finally the Apex location in 2007. 2007 was also the year we rebranded all of our stores, except The Clean Machine, as The Bicycle Chain.
A Little About the Owners:
Before moving to Chapel Hill in 1984 to attend UNC, Doug lived in Raleigh and attended Millbrook High School. He’s an avid mountain biker and unicycle rider, and enjoys repairing and restoring cars, as well as the occasional lawn mower. He also participates in the local dart league. His wife works in the local school system as an ESL instructor.
Scott also lived in Raleigh before moving to Chapel Hill in 1984 to attend UNC, and attended Millbrook High School as well. He moved to Carrboro in 2001. He’s an avid road cyclist, and is known for his annual “New Year’s Toast Card”, as well as an interesting collection of yard art. He and his wife enjoy traveling and have ridden their bikes through a variety of foreign countries.