Jun 18, 2007


{click on images to enlarge}

Erik’s Bike Shop a Minneapolis institution for over 30 years now, was recently Raleigh’s partner and host for Bicycling magazine’s Bike Town event on June 16th (more on Bike Town and the Minneapolis edition). The event was a great success and a lot of fun! Much of that success and fun was due to the “can due” approach, coordination and logistics planning of the entire staff of Erik’s - we would like to give a special call out to DaveO for his patient guide service and Libby for putting it all together.

The Erik’s Bike shop story is almost a perfect model of an “American Dream” success – Erik was only 13 when he started Erik’s Bike shop. His first bike, a hand-me-down from an older family member, sparked his interest in bikes. With entrepreneurial spirit and the money he saved from his job (the only other job he's ever had) as a paperboy - Erik began his business. He bought 150 used bikes, fixed them up, and sold them. Erik's original workshop was in his parent's backyard, inside one of the few remaining barns in the urban setting of Richfield, Minnesota. A homemade sign brought business to his doorstep.

Throughout high school, Erik worked out of the barn, as part of a school work for credit program. In fact, half of the grading system was for on-the-job performance. Being a "one-man operation" Erik had to grade himself... so he managed to earn a lot of A's!

By his senior year (1982), the business (now stocking NEW bikes and accessories) began to take over storage space from his parents' basement... to the dining room... to the family room. So at 18, Erik moved his business out of his parents' barn and opened a store on 72nd & Chicago Avenue South in Richfield, Minnesota.

Erik’s now employs up to 140 people and has 13 store locations, 11 in Minnesota and 2 in Madison, Wisconsin.

We had a great time in Minneapolis. The staff at Erik’s built 50 Raleigh Coasting bikes, found a great location, coordinated the event with the local parks and recreation commission, transported the bikes and helped staff the event. Thanks to all and again special thanks to Libby and DaveO! Oh, and one last thank you – thanks to all the staff at Erik’s Dinkytown location for helping Carey and me have two super rides around downtown Minneapolis, and a special thanks to Jon for being there late and letting us get the bicycles in the store after closing (super cool and much appreciated).

-Reed Pike

No comments: