At only about meter high, the young Cole, with the help of his dad, took that box of parts and he constructed his first bicycle. He said it was a complete bike that may have only needed a random bolt or two.
Since then, it's what he does - he works on bikes.
This early childhood memory may have been the precise moment that led to Cole and his partner Rachel Abbott to open 4 Season Cycle at 422 12th Street in Franklin this summer.
Frequent riding trips on the Oil Region trails led to his interest in Franklin, which, to his surprise, didn't have a bike shop. "I'll tell you man, I've seen a need for years here," he said noting a lot of customers he's had over the years in Erie County came from Venango County. "It's a logical spot."
So when opportunity presented itself he and Rachel took it and began planning to open the Franklin shop. "I want to help promote the area as a great place for riding," he said.
Then the opening was delayed due to COVID-19.
They hoped to be open already. June is a huge month for people looking for bikes or bike repair, Cole said. When the pandemic hit it really set everything back. Also a new floor had to be put into the building he was set rent.
But they soldiered on through the obstacles. Cole took up temporary residence at the Franklin Area Chamber Commerce while he waited for his space to be ready. On Friday, they were starting to move merchandise into the 12th Street location.
He says many people who owned bikes in the past don't realize how important getting the right bike is for them. He has helped many people get the bike adjusted so it helps their riding experience.
The couple will maintain their Erie County business, but Jim will be in Franklin Friday through Monday once they are open while Rachel stays in Fairview to handle that business and their two year-old daughter Fern, who Jim jokes that he expects her to be head mechanic by the time she is four.
At the Franklin location, 4 Season Cycle will offer bike and parts sales, rentals and servicing. Cole expects to service a lot of locals who previously took their bikes to Meadville or Erie, but also hopes to be a source of promoting the area trails and bringing tourist traffic to the store and community.
Though plans are still technically up in the air, they are hoping for a soft opening on July 25.
In the meantime, Cole hopes the business will have a strong presence at the Bike the Wilds race next weekend at Two Mile Run County Park which typically brings 25-30 racers. They don't intend to race but be available with product information and servicing help.
Once up and running he is hoping for a long relationship with Venango county and it's surrounds. "The goal is world domination or at least regional expansion," he said laughing.