Village Cycle Center celebrates 38 years

Owners of Village Cycle Center Carl and Paula Ivey stand together in their store. The couple will celebrate their store's 38th anniversary with birthday cake while they host the annual Dinner Ride for the Rally in Sturgis. (Photo by Sarah Raines, SDN)
By: 
SARAH RAINES
Staff Writer

Village Cycle Center will celebrate its 38th anniversary with hundreds of guests on Friday while it hosts its annual Dinner Ride with the Rally in Sturgis.

Village Cycle Center has been the main provider of motorcycles and ATVs in the Starkville area since it opened, and current owners Carl and Paula Ivey are celebrating their opening of the store in August of 1979.

Before moving to Starkville, Carl Ivey had been working with AT&T in Birmingham. When the company announced a move to New Jersey, the Iveys decided to make a move of their own.

"Finding this shop was a God thing," Paula Ivey said. "We had looked at three other dealerships before we found this one."

Ivey said her husband's sister was graduating from Mississippi State University. Shortly before coming to Starkville for her graduation, Kawasaki told the Iveys a local dealership might soon be up for sale. While the Iveys visited Starkville and attended graduation at MSU, they visited the local dealership. Later the same year, they bought it.

BUSINESS THROUGH THE YEARS

Village Cycle Center is located on Highway 182 in Clayton Village, just outside the Starkville limits. The Iveys have added to it over the years, adding showroom space, growing the shop and improving the property.

"We've had lots of competition over the years," Paula Ivey said. "There was a Honda shop and a Kawasaki dealership in Columbus. There has been a Yamaha dealership in Starkville. In West Point there was a dealership that has Polaris, so we take competition coming in and out."

Ivey said Village Cycle Center has stayed strong, despite competition. The shop has kept up with mechanics and parts, and keeps a steady amount of inventory. Customers go to Village Cycle Center for parts from as far as Jackson, and the center services many people from Louisville, Eupora, West Point and almost to Tupelo.

Village Cycle Center has expanded its customer base through events, as well. The dealership provides motorcycles, ATVs and other equipment to MSU, its agricultural community and the Naval Air Station. The center also promotes the Rally in Sturgis, Honda's Ride for Kids and several MX races at the Oktibbeha County Horse Park.

THE DINNER RIDE

Village Cycle Center has had a part in the Dinner Ride at the Rally in Sturgis since it started.

"The Christian Motorcycle Association came to us saying they wanted to put on a rally in Sturgis, to get bikers out to ride and play off the name," Paula Ivey said. "They asked if we could do something with them and we decided a dinner ride on Friday afternoon would be good."

The Little Dooey caters barbecue, Kroger gives the Village Cycle Center cases of potato chips and Clark Beverage Company provides drinks for the event. Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau also provided the Dinner Ride with a grant of $1,000 to help cover the costs of food for the Rally.

This year, Village Cycle Center will celebrate its anniversary with riders by providing cake.

The Dinner Ride begins at 4 p.m., when registered attendees of the Rally line Sturgis Main Street and make their way through Starkville to Village Cycle Center.

DONATIONS

One of Village Cycle Center's best customers Matt Hutchinson will be at the Dinner Ride, and attendees can make donations in Hutchinson's name to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Hutchinson was diagnosed at 3 years old with a brain tumor and has had multiple surgeries over the years. Now, at 18 years old, Ivey said Hutchinson loves to visit Village Cycle Center. He comes to the Dinner Ride every year, and is preparing to begin his first job after graduating from Starkville High School this year.

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