Hardworking Hawaii: Long-time bike store goes on roller coaster of challenges amid pandemic

Hardworking Hawaii

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Bicycles have been a way of life for the Takayesu family since the 1920s.

Benjamin Takayesu’s grandfather started a small bike shop in Waipahu almost 100 years ago.

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In the 50s, Benjamin’s father opened up his own bicycle and sporting goods store also on Oahu.

“I remember when I was five years old, I was pretty much helping my dad in Waipahu way back then,” Benjamin Takayesu said about his childhood.

Eventually, Benjamin followed in his family’s footsteps and opened McCully Bicycle and Sporting Goods in 1972.

History repeated itself again with his children.

“[I was a] little brat in the store, running around,” said Benjamin’s son Ryan Takayesu. “Probably, you know, making more trouble than helping.”

Now Ryan is helping out the family business.

“More than anything, guys come in to talk story about fishing, but lately it’s just been rods and reels really,” Ryan said about what’s been their most popular item.

Over the last five decades, McCully Bicycle has been through a lot of change.

“A lot of competition because of Amazon,” said the owner, Benjamin. “So it’s really difficult.”

The rise of online shopping was a big blow to the brick and mortar store, and now the Takayesu’s are facing another challenge, the pandemic.

“Everyone was stuck indoors with nothing open, and the only thing they could really do would be to get outside and exercise,” Ryan said about what business was like at the start of the pandemic. “You know so biking and running, fishing, those types of things really took off.”

But it wasn’t just locals who were looking to get outdoors amid quarantine. People across the country had the same idea. That led to supply issues, which is still a problem for the family business today.

“We normally have about 200 to 250 bikes on the floor at any given time,” Ryan explained. “As you can see right now, there’s probably about 50 bikes out here, and that’s probably one of the better days.”

It’s not just bikes that have an inventory issue.

“It seems like one thing comes back in stock and then there’s another category that’s running out,” Ryan said.

As the Takayesu’s wait for more inventory, they say they’re going to keep pedaling through the tough times.

“More than anything, it’s probably just, you know, seeing all the hard work that my grandfather and father have put into the business day after day, year after year, and just trying to keep that legacy going,” Ryan said.

McCully Bicycle and Sporting Goods also offers a bike repair service.

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