Local Shop Offers Products and Service for Bike and Paddlesports Enthusiasts
Photographer / Lana King
Steve Huffman’s main goal is happy customers. As owner of Pedals & Paddles, the North Webster resident knows the feeling of freedom that a bike ride or paddle through an Indiana waterway can bring.
Huffman grew up at Fisherman Cove Resort on Webster Lake, and next door was The Dixie, Indiana’s oldest sternwheeler excursion boat. Owned by his uncle, Tag Huffman, he spent his youth on the boat and was the captain during his college years.
“I was fresh out of college with a computer science degree when I began working for a CAD software reseller in Syracuse,” Huffman says. “During that time I developed a business partnership with a fellow programmer and we wrote our own software.”
Eventually he bought his partner’s share of the business and became the sole owner of Draftware, Inc.
Huffman then moved to southern Indiana, near Madison, and purchased property on the Ohio River. When a 1923 paddlewheel boat larger than the Dixie was for sale, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to purchase and operate it. The boat was so large that he had to get a Coast Guard license to operate it.
During his time in Madison, Huffman met his wife Barbara. The couple moved back to northern Indiana in 2016 and bought a home on the Tippecanoe River. Huffman was ready for a change, and his love of cycling and a history rooted in paddlesports propelled him into motion. The result? A new business for the North Webster and lakes community to enjoy.
Pedals & Paddles is a cycling and paddlesports outfitter known for quality brands and a wide assortment of accessories.
“I opened the store to give people in the lakes area a convenient option for bike and paddlesports sales and service,” he says.
Huffman enjoys helping customers and giving advice on the recreational equipment they are looking for.
The store houses Trek, Electra and Sun bike brands, along with Old Town canoes and kayaks, Ocean and Hobie kayaks, as well as Rave Sports and Hobie paddleboards. The shop also carries Hobie pedalboards and is the exclusive dealer for the north-central Indiana lakes area.
“Hobie’s Mirage Eclipse is a stand-up paddleboard with handlebars,” Huffman says. “Stepping up and down on the foot pedals powers the paddleboard through the water.”
The shop has a wide array of bikes to suit multiple riding styles and help with various customer needs. Comfort, road, gravel, mountain, hybrid, cruiser and child bikes are available, along with specialty styles like electric bikes, tandems, trikes and recumbents. If a specific color or model is requested, Huffman is happy to assist with special orders.
Pedals & Paddles offers a bike service and repair shop, used equipment for purchase or trade, layaway options, consignment and financing options for new purchases, as well as bike, board and kayak rental with delivery.
For bike repair, Pedals & Paddles can fix specific issues, handle general tune-ups and do complete rebuilds. The staff works on all brands.
Huffman has always tinkered with bicycles, and gained an appreciation for bike repair and maintenance by slowly learning on his own throughout the years.
“I put over 4,000 miles on one of my bikes and it was falling apart,” he says. “This was before YouTube, so I had to learn how to overhaul the bearings myself.”
Pedals & Paddles is located at 105 East Esterbrook Drive in North Webster. For more information, call 574-244-2279 or visit pedals-paddles.com.