April 29, 2005

The oldest Bike Shop in Los Angeles, hands down

In West Los Angeles can be found a bike shop that proudly claims the following:

SERVING THE CYCLING COMMUNITY SINCE 1930 PALMS CYCLE IS LOS ANGELES, OLDEST REPAIR SHOP.

I was very disappointed in this site.

Where's the pride in the Shop history?

What IS the history? Is it still in the hands of the original founding family? Is it in the same location still?

Aside from many pages of details about what the shop sells the only 2 links worth checking out are the Classic Bikes section, with its pics of old bikes for sale, and the Helmet section with its link to Helmet law.

Oh, and they rent bikes for movie, and photo, shoots.

Nothing here about area activism, bicycling clubs, and rides, or any other useful information.

April 29, 2005 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 26, 2005

Harley's, a Kansas institution since 1922

The 2nd shop to be added to the Elder Statesmen Honor Roll, today, is Harley's Bicycles in Hutchinson, Kansas ( Great picture of the shop on the About Page! ).

As the About page proudly states:

Hutchinson, Kansas is the home of one of the oldest and most well-known bicycle stores in the state.  Harley's Bicycles at 629 North Main Street was established in 1922 and has been serving the bicycle community of Hutchinson and surrounding areas ever since.

Harley's has been recognized as one of the top 100 bicycle dealers in the United States by Bicycle Dealer Showcase magazine for 9 years.  We are also currently on the board of the National Bicycle Dealers Association.  Harley's is always active in local cycling activities sponsoring and participating in many events through out the year.

There's a reason for this honor, and a look at the website brings enlightenment.

Among the useful sections of this site:

1. A Local Events page.

2. A Cycling Tips page that covers Equipment Know-how, Health and Fitness, Maintenence and Repair, Riding Technique, Fit and Comfort, Safe Biking, Sharing the Road, and traveling with Bikes.

A. A Special mention goes to the section on Family Cycling, and its infor for parents with kids.

3. A Cycling Links page with info related to Kansas cycling news and Info, Advocacy and organizations, Bicycle Industry Suppliers, and Bicycle Touring Outfits.

Visit Harley's Bicycles.

April 26, 2005 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Keeping the Goodale Tradition alive in Nashua, New Hampshire

For those that think that California, and the Western US have a monopoly on bicycling's senior citizens, I present the 1st of 2 new additions to the Elder Statesmen Honor Roll:

Goodale's Bike Shop, of Nashua, New Hampshire began as a family operation and, in a way it still is since it was eventually taken over by an employee who has run it ever since, and eventually expanded the business to another city.

As the About Page says:

First established in 1919 by Walt Goodale and run in later years by his son, Rosco, the shop has been located in and around Railroad Square in Nashua, New Hampshire.

In 1966 a young Brad Hill went to work for Roscoe Goodale. Five years later, Mr. Goodale was ready to retire and Brad convinced his parents that the shop would be a good investment.
In June of 1971 Brad Hill became the owner of Goodale's Bicycle Shop.

This is a very nice site with plenty of pictures, and lots of useful information.

There's a reason why "Goodale’s Bike Shop has been recognized at being one of the Top 100 Best Bicycle Retailers in the country by a panel of leading bicycle manufacturers."

Out 5200 such retailers that's not bad. :-D

In addition to links to info about their Service policies, various bike brands, cycling accesories, service recalls, and nutrition, and training there is plenty to recommend this site to bicyclists every where.

1. A link to an active BikeSpeak Forum Community.

We're proud to provide this online cycling community, giving you the opportunity to find information, share ideas, and make new friends. The BikeSpeak Forum is presented in cooperation with leading bicycle stores across the United States. You can connect with cyclists in our area as well as from many other places. We hope you find BikeSpeak useful (and fun!). 

2. A Cycling Links page with an extensive colleection of links to Advocacy Groups, and Organizations, Bicycle Industry Supliers, and Bicycle Touring Outfits.

3. The Want to Learn More section has many sub-topics including:

A. A Bike Pictionary.

B. Info on eyewear, lights, car racks, clipless pedals, and hydration.

C. An extensive Bicycle Fit Section.

D. A Road Riding Tips section that I highly recommend, especially for parents.

E. The Signature Section has great pages on bike tools, chain replacement, and repair, saddles, and fitness.

F. Also in the great Signature Section you can learn how to deal with bad dogs, climb, ride in groups, survive road hazards, and find time to ride.

4. There is also an Area Events page.

Pay the Goodale's site a visit.

April 26, 2005 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 22, 2005

Eugene Cycle Shack in Business since 1927

The Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines a HUTCH this way:

1. A Compartment for storage.

2. A pen or coop for an animal.

3. Shack. Shanty.

My call for readers to let me know of Elder Statesmen among bicycle shops with an internet presense has paid its 1st dividend!

Thanks goes to Gene, of the Blog Bikin Bis', for the heads up from his bunker in the great Northwest!

Since 1927, when Earl "Hutch" Hutchinson opened his bicycle/lawnmower/keymaking store, in Eugene, Oregon, then his son took over and renamed the shop in the 60's, Hutch's Bicycles has stored the needs of lovers of our favorite 2-wheeled steed in not just the original "shack", but several other well-stocked, and popular, locations in surrounding cities.

This site also has a history page that pays tribute to its past.

The Masterlinks page highlights the bike the chain sells.

There is a page for various Hutch's gear.

There is a picture of 2 of their very best customers that must be seen to be believed, and is a hoot! ;-)

There is a links page to various comapanies whose products the chain sells.

Don't own a bike? Don't want to cart yours with you on vacation? You can check out how to rent one from Hutch's!

However the best thing about the site is the essential resource that is the Saddle Up! page.

It includes 2005 info not only about local free rides, but rides that cost a small to moderate fee, and require downloadable registration forms.

Thank's, Hutch's, for being there!

March 22, 2005 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Weir Oregonians have bought bikes since 1925

Weir's Cyclery is Portland Oregon's oldest Bike Shop.

It has been around since 1925 and its original location is still in use! ( Love that picture! )

For over 75 years Weir's Cyclery has provided what their community has wanted in family bicycling. Started in 1925 byGordon Weir as Weir's Fix-it Shop,Gordon repaired appliances, lawnmowers, plumbing and, always, bicycles. As bicycles continued to grow in popularity, other repairs were eliminated to concentrae on bicycle sales and service.

The 3rd generation of the family now runs the business, and has opened other shops as well.

Being a history buff one of the things that I have treasured as I have discovered the Elders of the cycling business has been finding how some shops have paid tribute to their history on their websites.

Weir's has a wonderful tribute page that tells the tale.

I think its cool that the 2nd shop, in St. Johns, was opened in  the former home of a hardware store that had opened in 1908.

The site has links to info on the bikes, and accessories, it sells and to a page about its Service Dept.

Pictures play a big part here, too.

Aside from the history page the highlight is the page about Bicycling in Portland.

Portland, Oregon was rated the best city for bicycling by Bicycling magazine again in 2001 after having the designation for two years in a row: 1997 and 1998. One reason: Portland has more than 140 miles of designated bike lanes and miles of forest, lake and river trails. Conveniently located on the peninsula at the Gateway to Nature, Weir's Cyclery is between both the Columbia and Willamette rivers, not far from the beautiful, historic St. Johns Bridge and Forest Park where there's great mountain biking! 

This page is >an indispensible resource for locals, and vacationers, alike, with links aplenty.

Lastly, the Interesting People We Know page is fun, and informative.

Thanks for being there, Weir Cyclery!

March 22, 2005 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kopp's Selling Bikes since 1891

The oldest Bike Shop in the United States has no internet presence.

Until that happens a newspaper story is the only way to learn of its remarkable history.

More than 12,000 repaired flat tires later, Charles Kuhn is pleasantly surprised and even prouder of the shop and business in which he grew up and now owns.
   Mr. Kuhn is the owner of Kopp's Cycle on Spring Street, which was recently named the oldest bike shop in the country, at 109 years old.
   "It really kind of blew me away," he said. "Some guy out West, a bike retailer in Idaho, I think, was doing the research. Then, about three weeks ago, Bicycle Retailer magazine asked me some questions about the shop and they said we were the oldest in the U.S."
   Mr. Kuhn said he always just assumed there were older bike shops, mentioning Pop Kugler's in Somerville and Quigley's in Manville, though both of those shops have gone out of business.
   "It's cool, I'm so used to being in an old shop," Mr. Kuhn continued. "I open up a drawer and there may be a part in there that's 100 years old. I've been around here my whole life."
   Mr. Kuhn's father bought the store in 1948 from the Kopp family, which founded the store in 1891.
   "It's fun coming into work on most days; it's always different," he said.

Full story:

PRINCETON PACKET- 11/28/2000: Princeton bike shop is nation's oldest by George Frey 

***UPDATE - January 2009***

At some point, this year, the link to the Princeton Story was discontinued.

If I can find a new one I'll add it.

It is very sad that this post now appears to be the only Internet story about Kopp's available.

***END UPDATE***

***UPDATE - August 10, 2009***

A comment was posted, this morining, by someone in SoCal, who did a Yahoo Search for "Kopps Cycle Shop in Princeton", and I am gladly promoting it to a spot in this old post. ;-D

Fred Kuhn was one of the truly great men in the world of cycling.

I saw first hand how he nurtured young kids into the sport.

His impact on the sport will be felt for decades to come.

Walking into Kopp's is like walking into a store at the turn of the century and that's the way they still do buisness...the old fashioned way!!

Over in Belgium they named an award after him the "Fritz Kuhn" award given to the person that best promotes cycling and good sportsmanship.

His son Charlie has been awarded with the honor.

It will be quite some time before someone comes along and fills the void left by Fritz....he will always be idolized and cherished by me

KARL

***END UPDATE***

***UPDATE - November 12, 2010***

The Owner of Kopp's, Charles Kuhn, says "Thank You!"

As you will learn, Kopp's now even has a website! Finally! ;-D

***END UPDATE***

 

March 22, 2005 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 28, 2005

Bummed no more about dead Bumstead's Link

Readers may have noticed the dead link to Elder Statesman BUMSTEAD'S Bike Shop, in Ontario, Ca.

Those concerned that, at the ripe old age of 95, this fine establishment ( I should know: I shopped there on occasion from the 70's to the late 90's. It is 1 of my 3 favorite shops in the Inland Empire region ), might have finally, irrevocably, blew a tire, need fear no more.

It's ALIVE!

I've just got off the phone with Loyd, the owner, and the good news is that the website will soon be up and running again.

As soon as it is, rest assurred, I will update my link, visit the site, and file a report.

( Which reminds me: I need to finally finish visiting the rest of the Elders for an initial report soon. )

February 28, 2005 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 25, 2004

A Yesteryear of Bicycles

Now THIS is how to share one's pride in the Family business!

Or, at least, one very good way to do so. :-)

YESTER'YEAR CYCLERY, Inc., of New Bedford, Massachusetts, has been a fixture in New England for 84 years, and is proud to share the amusing story of its founding with visitors to its website.

The company takes pride in saying it's "the oldest continuously operating full service bicycle shop in New England".

Its ABOUT US page tells of its founding and how the Grandson of the founder now runs the place.

In addition to a directions page, and pages about products and services offered there is another useful page.

The LINKS page has links to 8 useful bicycling related websites, some local, some national.

Now if only someone could convince them to add a page, or several pages, devoted to the history of the store, and the merchandise it has sold in its long, illustrious life. Pictures, Pictures, pictures. And stories, especially about famous customers through out the last 90 years.

Even tributes to long time employees.

If they die at their post, after 40 years of loyal service, they deserve to be honored, I say! :-)

A very nice site.

Yester' Year

April 25, 2004 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bike Shop a Hazard in Santa Barbara

Yes, you read right, for 90 years a Bike Shop in Santa Barbara, California, has been a Hazard.

It is currently known to the community as HAZARD'S CYCLESPORT.

And this is a look at their website. :-)

It bills itself as Santa Barbara's most experienced, and largest store, and its services, and accesories pages are informative on all of this, but its the other pages that I want to bring your attention to.

After the LOCATION PAGE there are only 2 other useful pages here:

The COMMUNITY page is a useful list of links in 4 categories.

Sponsored Clubs and Teams.

Sponsored Events.

Foundations and Organizations.

Other Friends.

The LOCAL RIDES page had 5 Road, and 5 Mtn. Bike Rides, but only 1 is linked, and therefore described. For more info on the other 9 you need to go to the shop.

I am disappointed that there is nothing here about the Shop History.

As a history buff I would have liked to see a page, or several pages, devoted to the history of the store, and the merchandise it has sold in its long, illustrious life. Pictures, Pictures, pictures. And stories, especially about famous customers through out the last 90 years.

Even tributes to long time employees.

You know the type: So and so worked here so long that he had to be carried out on a stretcher on the day he died. :-)

This is a useful site that has the potential to offer more to its community.

Hazard's Cyclesport

April 25, 2004 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Keeping Up With the Jones

I have a select few Bicycle shops listed in my links, and those are there for a reason.

Longevity.

These shops have benn in business since before 1941, and deserve special recognition for this as well as for the places they have made for themselves in their communities in various ways.

The closest such shop to where I now live is JONES BICYCLES, established in Long Beach, Ca. in 1910.

The website has links related to these categories:

About Us
Where To Park Near Our Store
Bicycles
Community Involvement
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn More About...
Links
Site Map
Skateboards
Where To Ride Your Bike
Your Privacy
2004 California Cycling Events

The OUR STORE link is pretty cool.

The page begins with a brief history of the store, and then proceeds to a group of photos that, when clicked on give you a virtual tour of the store, which is huge.

I like that they have a link explaining where to find convenient parking near their store.

Another thing to like is their community involvement as they support local schools and the Books 4 Bikes Reading Program.

The FAQ'S page is a treasure trove of useful information on accesories, Bikes, bike fitting, components, injury prevention, maintenance, riding skills, safety tips, training and fitness, and Trail issues.

The LEARN MORE ABOUT section is a whole lot more info on some of the same things as the FAQ'S and a few other things as well.

In other words, just because you don't live in California there is no reason to not visit this site for information you can use.

The LINKS section has plenty of useful website links.

The WHERE TO RIDE section is of use to Southern Californians in a number of ways:

It talks about Cycling in Long Beach: Bike paths, and the San Gabriel River , and Shoreline Trails, but for some reason doesn't mention the Los Angeles River Trail.

There is a page on Mountain Bike rides, and one for Road Rides to 2 destinations with the shop being the starting point for each.

A really cool idea is the page where you can tell them about your favorite ride. It is a detailed way to explain about your ride, and submit it to them so they can spread the word.

There is also a page listing 2004 Cycling events in California.

As a history buff I would have liked to see a page, or several pages, devoted to the history of the store, and the merchandise it has sold in its long, illustrious life. Pictures, Pictures, pictures. And stories, especially about famous customers through out the last 90 years.

Even tributes to long time employees.

You know the type: So and so worked here so long that he had to be carried out on a stretcher on the day he died. :-)

All in all a very cool website that provides much more than the usual sales pitches.

Jones Bicycles

April 25, 2004 in Meet The Elder Statesmen ( and Women! ) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack