NASHVILLE, IN — Of course, outdoor winter fun in Brown County starts with Brown County State Park, but it can also quickly lead to Danielle and Kate Nolan.
The couple recently started their second business venture together with their new storefront in downtown Nashville, Indiana, "Brown County Bikes."
It's the only bike shop in downtown Nashville, directly adjacent to Brown County State Park.
Not only does Brown County State Park bring about 3 million visitors per year to the area, but it also boasts over 28 miles of biking trails that coincidentally links to Yellowwood State Forest and Hoosier National Forest, further allowing for upwards of 300 miles of riding trails.
"Brown County State Park has an International Mountain Bike Association Epic trail system that is highly rated," Danielle said.
Opening their own bike shop was the Nolan's collective dream. With their passion for the trails and the vacancy of another bike shop in the area, it was the perfect timing for the couple to open up shop.
"It's been a lifelong dream for us to open a bike shop. We're both professional mountain bike instructors and are very passionate about getting more people, especially women and children, into the sport," Danielle said. "We also wanted to open something in downtown Nashville to service the local community and tourists who visit here."
Danielle, a Hoosier native from Evansville, and Kate, from Detroit, both have had a love for biking since they were kids.
"We met in Indianapolis back in 2011. So Indy was our first home and a place that is very near and dear to our hearts, but we found ourselves venturing to Brown County a lot for personal and business adventures we were guiding," Danielle explained on how they found themselves in Nashville. "We got married in 2015 in Brown County State Park and decided to move here to grow our family and business (two-and-a-half) years ago."
Starting businesses that encourage outdoor adventure is nothing new for the couple, however.
Before opening Brown County Bikes, the pair of entrepreneurs had already been running another business called DNK Presents, which organizes and guides outdoor adventures primarily for women. It was one of seven businesses featured on the Facebook Original Show "Boost My Business," with Tan France last year and was named Brown County Business of the Year in 2019.
Brown County Bikes is a mountain bike focused shop that currently sells two brands, Norco and Transition. The shop also has apparel, accessories, and their own specialty dark roast of Costa Rican coffee made by local roaster "Side Track." The two offer full-service repairs, bike rentals, guided tours, and professional coaching clinics for all levels and ages, as well.
Opening a new business in the pandemic presented its own hardships, but then the potential lack of inventory presented even more hurdles as bike sales spiked.
"Luckily, we've successfully been able to order and get in bikes for our customers. Sometimes they are a few months out from getting here, but thankfully our guests have supported us in patiently waiting for bikes and accessories to arrive," Danielle said.
On the first and third Thursday of every month, at 6 p.m., Brown County Bikes also hosts a women’s mountain bike group ride in the state park. You can learn more about that here.
Brown County Bikes
185 South Jefferson Street
Tuesday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday - 12p.m. - 5 p.m.