John initially planned to use his family’s garage for the shop, but the neighbours were not keen on the idea. Making enemies has never been one of John’s character traits; in fact, the opposite is true, so he decided instead to acquire a building in nearby Welland, Ontario. This location soon proved to be too small for John’s vision and he moved the dealership to Fenwick, its current location.
The Original Clare’s Cycle & Sports was and continues to be a family business. In the early days, John's father, Ed Clare, and brother Bill were very much involved with the business. John's wife Donna, son Randy, daughter Robin, niece Pam, and nephew Darren all continue to play important roles in the success of the business today.
Aside from the store, John’s other great love in motorcycling was the race track. Whether he was traveling to Laconia, Watkins Glen, Font Hill or anywhere in between, it didn’t matter.
Whether the races being run were flat tracks, enduros or hill climbs was unimportant. What was important to know was that a race was going on, so John Clare was right there, front and centre, alongside family and friends.
John’s passion for the sport was endless; he would ride his bike to the races, come back to work all day, then work to fix the bikes at night—and then repeat the pattern the following weekend.
His commitment to the sport was also plain for all to see through a number of ongoing rider sponsorships at all levels and disciplines through the years.
John also became heavily involved in the operations and administration of the motorcycle industry to help grow the sport in Canada. Right from the start, then, and at every possible level, he has proven himself as a man who poured his energy into the sport and made a significant mark as a result.