Reporting Harry Porterfield
OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) – One family has owned the same bicycle shop for 100 years. They are celebrating that anniversary now and also enjoying the public’s renewed interest in bike riding.
The two brothers who run the business are both “Someone You Should Know.”
CBS 2′s Harry Porterfield reports that, this year, Barnard’s Oak Park Cyclery celebrates a century of doing business in west suburban Oak Park.
“Our great uncle Robert Edward Barnard started back in 1911,” co-owner Jeff Hajduk said.
From the day it first opened its door, the store has been owned and operated by the same family.
“I figure I was about 8 years old, I got my first flat tire. Mom and dad loaded up the bike in the car, my uncle Tiny came down, says ‘Sit down, you’re gonna learn how to fix your first flat tire,’” Jeff said.
Jeff and his brother Greg are the current proprietors of the business.
Asked how the family managed to stay in business all these years, Jeff Hajduk said, “Our uncles taught us give the customer a fair shake, treat them like your family and word of mouth will grow your business.”
Greg got into the bicycle business at a very early age and has a very special passion about being in the business.
“It’s great, I love it. I love to restore the old stuff,” Greg said.
The only Schwinn bike restoration shop in the Chicago area, the store receives an abundance of calls from cyclists who are looking to have their Schwinns restored.
The oldest bike in the shop is a 1933 Elgin and it’s valued at about $3,000. Even the seat is a collector’s item; it could go for as much $800.
The Hajduks started customizing bikes early.
“We had our own paper routes, made a little bit of money,” Jeff said. “These Stingray-style bikes was kind of our love. … Our uncles wouldn’t sell us those type of bikes. Too heavy, too slow of a bike, you don’t want that.”
“It always was in our minds to have one, so we took our little Stingrays and made choppers out of them,” Jeff added.
Like many businesses, bicycle sales can be seasonal, but the economy is changing that.
“Apparently, as gas prices go up, the bicycles come out,” Greg said. “Two of the most important things you should have: a lock and a helmet.”
Jeff and Greg Hajduk — bike shop owners who are maintaining a long tradition. Both of them are “Someone You Should Know.”