HONOLULU (KHON2) — Employees at The Bike Shop in Honolulu are passionate about cycling.
“You can really like just let all that stress from your life and work onto a bike that takes you somewhere with a beautiful view,” said Carl Nethercutt, The Bike Shop store manager.
When The Bike Shop first opened in 1970, it was a small store.
The owners wanted to see more people like Nethercutt pedaling around the island.
“The owner Faye Saiki had a vision of seeing and trying to increase bike usage as a means of transportation,” explained Melvin Nakahata, The Bike Shop’s general manager.
Today, there are three locations on the island.
The long-time local business has survived a number of tough times over the decades. The pandemic was a hilly ride for the business.
“We sold more bikes than in the Spring of 2020 than we did the previous Christmas,” Nakahata said.
For a while, The Bike Shop couldn’t keep up with demand. While the racks are now full again, there are new challenges.
For example, Nethercutt said the pandemic has put a restriction on the number of tubes they can get a hold of.
In addition, the cost of shipping has gone up drastically.
Soon Nakahata expects to see the demand for bikes go back up with the rising cost of gas. He already made the switch.
“I commute in from Waipahu on bicycle,” he said as he explained that it costs too much to fill up a tank now. “When we saw the bus strike, and high gas prices in the 80s, you know that caused a big surge in bikes.”
On his electric bicycle, it takes Nakahata roughly 55 minutes to get to town.
“It can be faster than traffic, especially if there are accidents,” he said.
Nakahata’s passion for bicycles is not just because of high gas prices. It’s personal.
“I love it because one, it’s healthy. I am recovering from a heart attack in 2015,” he said.
It’s that love for biking that has made The Bike Shop so successful for over 50 years, and Nethercutt has that love too.
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“Like Tantalus is probably my getaway, like I go there, ride hard up there, and then you just enjoy that view. When you come down,” Nethercutt said. “You’re like, ‘oh, it was all worth it’ and you forget about all your problems, and then you feel good.”