May is National Bike Month, so it seemed appropriate to feature our local bike shop.
Rick Cycle Shop, often called “Rick’s” by locals, is very traditional with an all-hands-on daily operation to serve the bicycling community. They sell new and used equipment and service and repair “any bicycle presented to us.” They have a shop floor full of bikes, quite a few walls and racks stocked with parts and accessories, and a huge basement full of refurbished bikes.
Rick Cycle has quite a history: It has been in operation since 1898! According to employee John “JT” Clauss, “This shop is considered to be the second oldest continuously operating bicycle sales and service entity within the borders of the United States of America.”
In mid-April I caught up with John (aka “Clauss”) to ask him about the business and his history with the shop.
“I came to work at Rick Cycle Shop at a time of change for the business. The current owner was in an early stage of packing up and moving out of a storefront in the seven hundred block of Main Street and relocating to its present location at 55 Allen Street.
I asked ‘Mr.Rick,’ ‘Can I help? I have a truck and I like to ride bicycles everywhere.’ April 2015 begins the eighth year for Rick Cycle Shop’s presence operating at this business address.
What do you enjoy most about the business?
This bike shop functions under a bygone era loose management style. You can come and go as you need but you stay because you want to. Bicycle riding is enjoyed by all age groups and by people from all upbringings. I mostly like seeing the smile on one’s face following a bicycle test ride or two.
What do you like about being located in Allentown?
Allentown has human activity that does not like to stay still. It is full of people coming and going. It has visitors, it is a destination, it is a center, it has businesses and residences, there is the daytime life and it is full of life after hours. It always seems to have something happening here.
What would you like to say to customers or potential customers?
‘If you had a bicycle, where would you want to go on it? What would you bring along with you that would need to be carried on the bicycle with you? Would you be riding alone or with others? If others, what style of a bike have they chosen for their self? Would you have to come back on it?’ That’s the kind of bike to ride! [read: Sturdy & Reliable]
He adds, “There is nothing wrong with having more than one bike.”
“We always provide a free bicycle inspection on site for daily safety concerns. Rick Cycle Shop is your best choice for anything about a bicycle new or old, buying and selling. Come by and surprise us!”