When I started working with the Ridgeland Tourism Commission to plan the Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally, one of the first items on our agenda was to find a tandem-bicycle dealership to partner with. And since no bike shops in Mississippi specialize in tandems, finding a tandem dealership required a little bit of a search.
We are thrilled to have found House of Tandems, in Spring, Texas, owned by Ric and Marcia Becker. The Beckers will be on hand at the OBO tandem rally April 17-19, providing support and answering questions for tandem rally couples. They’re bringing a tandem for Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee to try out, and they’ll have a tent with their tandem bikes on display at the Ridgeland Arts Festival.
I spoke to Marcia Becker about tandems, cycling and more.
Thanks, Marcia, for taking time to answer my questions. We’re excited about your joining us for the Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally. When did you start riding bikes?
Ric and the boys started mountain biking when the boys were rather young. Ric was a manager of a music store at the time, and he found many similarities in the two retail businesses. In defense of the mounting expenses of mountain bikes and gear, Ric began exploring the possibilities of opening a bike shop. In 1994 he opened a small store in Katy, Texas, a fast-growing suburb of Houston. ACME Bicycle Company grew from a 2,500-square-foot location to a 7,000-square-foot store, and, with the last expansion in 2005, ACME Bicycle Company became the largest bike shop on the Gulf Coast, with 15,000 square feet. We have become a Top 100 Dealer for Bicycle Retailer and a Top 50 dealer for Trek Bicycle Company.
How did you get started with tandems and House of Tandems?
In 2003, we had a special customer friend convince us to go to the International Bike Show and investigate tandem manufacturers—we returned from the show as a CoMotion and DaVinci tandem dealer. We discovered quickly that the tandem world was uniquely different from that of traditional bikes; there was a different language we would begin to speak when talking to potential tandem customers. In 2007 our friends at Bike Barn of Houston made us an offer we couldn’t refuse, and we sold ACME. It was agreed that the Beckers could continue selling tandems, and we returned to our home in Spring and began the project to create House of Tandems. We built a warehouse and converted our three-car garage into a boutique showroom of tandems and accessories. House of Tandems is attached to our home, and it makes for a very unique and inviting setting for our tandem friends.
What do you like about participating in tandem rallies?
We love tandem rallies! It is such a great opportunity for us to share what we do every day with people who are passionate about riding tandem. We enjoy being able to provide SAG for many rallies. It is our intention to keep everyone riding. We try not to allow a team’s mechanical issues keep them from completing their ride! We LOVE hearing about others’ adventures and trips on their tandems.
Is there anything specific that drew you to the Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally?
A very special invitation! A tandem friend we met in Georgia suggested that we participate in the Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
We love the Texas Hill Country in the spring.
If you could ride anywhere in the world that you have never ridden before, where would it be?
We would go to Europe! France, Spain, Germany or Italy! But there are so many places within the U.S. we would like to go also … Great Lakes, Washington, Oregon, maybe some of the rails to trails… .
What do you do when you’re not cycling?
Ric is a big motorcycle guy. His favorite motorcycle is his BMW 1200GS. He has award-winning Honda Goldwing Restorations. He loves to find a winding country road to ride his motorcycles. Ric is also the drummer in our praise band at church. I continue to do meeting and event planning for a few clients. But most of all, I love being Mimi to our grandchildren.
Tell us a little about your family, Marcia.
Ric is originally from the Philadelphia area, and I am from the Pittsburgh area. Both Ric and I moved to the Houston area in the early 80s, although we didn’t meet until 1996 when a mutual friend introduced us. We blended our families in 1998 and purchased a home in Spring, Texas, just a few miles north of Houston. We weren’t the Brady Bunch, but we are the Becker Bunch! Ric had 2 boys, and I had 2 girls. Nathan, our oldest, has been serving in the U.S. Navy for 12 years. He and his wife Shurin live in Osaka, Japan. Our oldest daughter Julianna is also married. She and her husband Eric are the parents of our oldest grandchild, Jordan. Our daughter Sherrill is the mom of our two granddaughters, Tatum and Kynsleigh. Marshall is the baby and he has a great job working for the county commissioner. We are also blessed to have Ric’s 89-year-old mom living with us. “Dolly” bowls two or three days a week and loves to go to the casino whenever possible.
Thanks again, Marcia, for taking time to share your life with us! We look forward to your company next month!
Make sure you have your questions about all things tandem ready for Marcia and Ric during the Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally on April 17-19.