The Bicycle Emporium
From a throw-away remark over a glass of wine in late 2013 and a week's holiday in Ballina early in 2014, the idea of establishing a bike shop was born.
In March 2014, brothers Mark and Andrew Downey moved to Ballina and took over the lease on a shop in the main street of Ballina, River St. The shop opened on 2nd June 2014.
As Ballina's newest bicycle shop we aim to bring new ideas, new products and a new approach to customer service with the latest in style at the best value.
The Bicycle Emporium is the last word in all that is great and wonderful about owning, fixing and riding bikes.
A lifelong passion for all things cycling has seen Mark involved in all aspects of cycling from setting up Bicycle User Groups and Cycle Club leadership to amateur racing custom rebuilds.
Mark is a Colnago obsessive and a collector of old bikes. He has been repairing and rebuilding bicycles for over 20 years, coaching and encouraging amateur racers and beginners, and teaching new riders the skills important to ride safely and competitively and to service and repair their own bicycles.
In addition to a long interest in cycling, Mark has traveled the world working and cycling. He has had a varied career from cocktail bartender to dairy farmer, he has a PhD in plant biochemistry and spent almost 20 years working in grape and wine research authoring more than 40 scientific papers and led a large research department before leaving the public sector to live the dream!
A keen amateur racer, Andrew has raced with clubs from Darwin to Nowra and points in between, he now rides with the Ballina Masters Cycling Club. Andrew is an experienced bicycle mechanic and has built all of his own bikes for racing and leisure.
Also a keen cycle tourist, Andrew has ridden extensively throughout the NSW alps and Victorian highlands tackling all the great climbs and blinding descents.
By trade, a qualified sailmaker, Andrew has a back ground in hospitality and also spent 8.5 years in the Australian Navy before joining his brother in yet another cycling adventure, to live the dream and open their own bicycle shop.