John DeBold, owner of Evergreen Park-based Park Schwinn Cyclery tells us a little bit about the biking business and whether or not the high gas prices are playing a role in more people riding bikes.
Last week's Weekly Business Spotlight featured John DeBold, owner of Park Schwinn Cyclery, a bike shop that's been in the village for more than 70 years. Recent news that this area of the country is experiencing the highest gas prices may be leading many to wonder: what other alternative forms of transportation are people using? So quote naturally, we asked DeBold if people were riding more bikes now and what effect it's making on his business. Check him out in our Business Rewind.
Around since the 1940s, Park Schwinn Cyclery has only changed ownership a total of three times. A loyal customer-base and a great selection on a variety of bikes help keep business steady.
Like most people, John DeBold used his first job as a teenager to gain experience for future positions. Unlike most people, DeBold's first job has eventually become his main job. First employed at Park Schwinn Cyclery in 1973, DeBold eventually purchased the business from its second owner in 1994. "I started here in the summer between eighth grade and my freshman year of high school," DeBold said. "I was working in the back, working the floor, doing repairs, building bikes." First established in the late 1940s as a side business by a Chicago Transit Authority bus driver who turned it into a full-time gig after retirement, Park Schwinn was purchased by its last owner in 1972, who ran it until DeBold took over. "It started out being a summer…