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Motorcycle shop offers 'affordable pastime'

Motorcycle enthusiast Joe Grisamore has opened Ascension Cycle Works at 202 Eastern Ave. No. in Park Rapids.

His goal: to offer "an affordable working man's bike, to make motorcycling an affordable pastime."

Grisamore is currently focusing on repair and sales of used bikes, but long-term plans call for creating custom frames with differing displacements - frames to match the engine size.

His inspiration for the business venture is a company that originated in the 1970s, Amen Savor. But the trend of making inexpensive custom frames has waned, he said. Customized frames now cost thousands of dollars, sending the price "skyrocketing."

He's hoping to revive the affordable cycle.

Meanwhile he has an inventory of used bikes awaiting riders, the cost ranging from $300 to $1,500, some of them custom.

Grisamore sat behind the handlebars for the first time at 16, having to learn how to fix it himself if he were to continue to ride.

He employs the "antique method" of using hand tools for metal forming.

He opened a business in Iowa three years ago, his motorcycles pictured in four magazines, one a "crazy custom street fighter," another an old, rebuilt Harley.

"I like to do things that haven't been done before," he explained.

"Motorcycling is the best therapy there is," said the mental health counselor. Due to his "other occupation" - specializing in counseling people on parole or dealing with substance abuse - the hours are currently 6 to 8 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. But he intends to expand the shop hours.

His move from Iowa City brings him closer to parents Katy Grisamore and Wayne Eimers. Summers as a kid had been spent in the area. "I've always wanted to move north," he said. "The people here are great."

"The working man's stuff at a working man's price" can be found directly north of the C'mon Inn.

Grisamore may be reached at 237-0143.