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Container store: Missouri bike shop, built with shipping containers, will serve rail trail users

Published January 29, 2018

WILLARD, Mo. (BRAIN) — Matt and Cari Harrison were looking for a way to build a small bike shop next to the popular 36-mile Frisco Highline Trail, on a piece of land leased from the rail trail's owner, the Ozark Greenways corporation.

"They (the Greenways) didn't want a permanent structure on the land, and Willard is steeped in railroad history, so we thought using rail containers would be appropriate," Cari Harrison said. 

The couple purchased two 8-foot by 20-foot containers from a company in Tulsa that specializes in selling used containers for various uses. The containers were delivered by truck and the couple got to work building them out for the shop, which they hope to open in time for spring break in the middle of March. The finished containers will be tied down to concrete footings at the corners.

The Harrisons haven't run a bike shop before, but both grew up in families that owned and ran small businesses. They are natives of Willard and are avid cyclists and runners on the trail. Matt has a background in construction that's coming in handy in transforming the old containers into an attractive store. 

The shop, called Frisco Bicycle Rental, will use the two containers for a 16x20 foot retail space, with a deck on the roof for cyclists and runners to take a break and a snack and a cold drink. The shop will offer rentals of mountain bikes, gravel bikes, kids bikes, trailers and tandems, and it will sell Diamondback and Raleigh bikes, parts & accessories, nutritionals, drinks and service. It will offer drop bag storage for runners who use the trail for their long training runs.

Long term plans call for offering mobile service, in part to serve the many bike tourists who come through Willard on the Adventure Cycling Association's TransAmerica Trail. 

The shop is located on the Willard Trailhead on the Highline Trail, so parking and restrooms are available. The Harrisons also hope to be able to rent space in a Greenway-owned building nearby for overnight storage of the rental fleet. 

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