Sunday, March 05, 2006

Helen's Cycles 70 years...

Helen's Cycles has been serving Santa Monican's for 70 years.

According to The Cycling Dude, Helen's Cycles was founded in Santa Monica in 1936 by Helen and Ted Throckmarton.

That was 70 years ago.

I think that is probably one of the oldest existing bicycle shops in the USA. And it is probably one of the oldest existing businesses in Santa Monica.

The 1930's was during the years of the depression, when many people had little money, and on the cusp of a time that the car began to take over many California communities streets and roadways.

I believe it is also near the time when the Red Car began to lose favor with residents, over the car, as their choice of transportation to and from the Santa Monica beach.

It is not to long after the 1930's that the Big Blue Bus began its operations, under the name "Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines.

It is my understanding, that service was formed to take over for the loss of the service the redcar provided to Santa Monicans.(The picture of the Santa Monica bus was taken at the now gone, Ocean Park Pier in Santa Monica. You can find a public mural memorializing the old Ocean Park Pier (located at Ocean Park Blvd and Main street).

I believe it was also during that spurt when bicycles began to grow in popularity.

Here is the applicable quote from The Cycling Dude's website:

Helen'’s Cycles was created in 1936 by Helen and Ted Throckmarton. They built the Santa Monica Broadway location in mid 1960. The current owner Duane and Karen Stier purchased this location in 1975. The other Helen's stores were purchased on the following years in an effort of being the market leader in Southern California.
Well, Happy 70th Birthday Helen's Cycles. You guys are certainly one of the oldest businesses serving Santa Monicans and Westsiders, especially those that need supplies for their two wheel human powered lifestyles. And I wish you many, many more b-days to come and lots of success.

And I hope that, in the future, Helen's Cycles may consider offering more for the needs of commuter cyclists.


Kiril, The Cycling Dude said...

Welcome to the Blogosphere!

Thanks for the mention ( and on my Birthday, no less! ), and for an entertaining read.

BTW, Helen's is not even CLOSE to being one of the oldest shops in the country, much less California, or Southern California. ;-D

Hell, she's not even the oldest on the West side of Los Angeles, City, or County. ;-D

In my sidebar is a Link List I call The Elder Statesmen with known Bike Shops that have been around since before 1941.

The oldest was born in 1891!

My Archives of stories about them is here:

Me thinks its high time I finally add a link to Cycle Santa Monica to my collection, as well as your Blog to my Blogroll.

1st, though, I'm going to bed. ;-D

Cycle Santa Monica! said...

I believe this is the link Cycling Dude was refering to:

Meet The Elder Statesmen and Women