Reality show a possibility for Bicycle Heaven in North Side
The North Side's two-wheeled staple, Bicycle Heaven, is being eyed as the subject of an “American Pickers”-style reality show, says owner and founder Craig Morrow.
Morrow, 57, opened the sprawling museum and bike shop inside the RJCasey Industrial Park, just off the Jail Trail, nearly three years ago after storing more than 3,000 bikes and parts in garages around the city for 30 years.
“I just like neat stuff,” he said, crossing his arms over a sleeveless, oil-stained shirt. “I'm one of those guys who, once I get into something, I really get into it. I was into cars once. Did studio recording out of my house for a while. I'm pretty sold on bikes, now.”
Anthony Lynch of Chateau-based marketing group Anthony Michael Creative LLC, who handles marketing for Morrow, said the deal is “very preliminary.”
A film crew dropped by a few months ago to test color and light, Morrow said. Footage from the shop is being shopped around to major networks now. If the pitch for a pilot gains traction, he said, the film crews will return.
“There's a lot to figure out,” Lynch said. “The kind of attention an arrangement like that would bring could be amazing for the shop, but right now, the museum is small enough that Craig can show you everything himself.”
If Bicycle Heaven grows to include an entertainment arm, the shop will need to become more accessible for a self-guided audience, Lynch said.
Expansion is slow-going. Morrow expects to add 1,000 more bikes to his collection this summer and reorganize the adjoining bike repair shop, which services cyclists year-round. Morrow's wife, Mindy, opened a massage room for bicyclists coming off the trail in an adjoining room on Monday, she said.
“We do the same thing (“American) Pickers” do, with a very specific eye,” he said, referring to the popular History Channel show for restoration enthusiasts.
“Collectors would come looking for a specific bike, and I'd say, ‘Sure, but we've got to go to this house or that one to get it.'”
Morrow lent bikes to film sets, including “A Beautiful Mind” and “Fathers and Daughters,” both starring Russell Crowe, who dropped by the museum last month.
“Rich people, poor people, important people — it doesn't matter,” Morrow said. “Everyone always has a story about their favorite bike.”
Larry and Barb Klemencic, both 67, of Bridgeville recently brought a pickup piled with bicycles to the shop. They left their haul in the parking lot while Morrow assessed the bikes — one for parts, four for resale, maybe.
Inside, Barb clapped a hand to her mouth, pointing to a 1930s-style bicycle trapped in a chunk of an old tree, while Larry tinkered with the handlebars of an electric blue Stingray.
“I wanted it to be dynamic,” Morrow said, watching. “A museum full of the kind of stuff you can touch. Every once in a while, something might get damaged, but it's worth it. Just look at their faces.”
Ronald Prince, 53, of Philadelphia wandered through the shop with a friend. He visits Pittsburgh a lot, he said. The city and its bike scene have come a long way.
“Trails? We didn't have trails 20 years ago,” Prince said. “We just hoped (drivers) were looking out for us, and most of the time, they weren't.”
Mechanic Brian Schaffer, 44, met Morrow in the mid-80s. His hands are more black than flesh-toned, so incrusted with muck and grease that he said he never gets them totally clean.
“Craig used to collect bikes and guitars,” Schaffer said. “I'd give him a box of parts and charge him $200 not knowing it was worth $10,000. It was before the Internet when we could price all this stuff. It's great that he kept up with it all. No one knew what they had.”
Megan Harris is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-388-5815 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Megan Harris to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Corbett christens $960K bus shelter, bicycle station in Robinson
- McCandless OKs land development plan for potential Wal-Mart
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- Peduto says city dropped UPMC lawsuit to help nonprofit payment talks
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’
- Blind man accused in stabbing on South Side to stand trial
- UPMC, Pittsburgh drop tax-status fight
- Evacuees return to Young Hotel apartments in Pitcairn
- Grand jury report says Western Psych failed to cooperate with police
- Sewickley man dies in Route 28 motorcycle accident
- Newsmaker: Kevin Hogan