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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
Bicycles are an old concept. Some people claim they date back to Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th Century. In fact, Da Vinci is believed to have sketched the first drawing of a two-wheeled vehicle that included a drive chain and pedals. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until nearly 400 years later that the first bikes were produced and people could actually ride them. And as their popularity grew, bikes became great for transportation as well as recreation.
Around 1923, Joe Fisher began selling bikes in Salt Lake City. But it wasn’t because of their popularity. Instead, he did so out of his own passion for them. Joe was an enthusiast. He had raced bikes and ranked high in national competitions. Actually, Joe began selling bikes as a side product to his lawn mower shop where he and a business partner sold and fixed lawn mowers and did some welding. Back then, there were few brands unlike the many names on the market today. Joe’s bikes sold well and eventually became a major part of his income. Through the years, many people in Salt Lake bought bikes—even their first bikes—from Joe Fisher.
But in 1974, Joe quit the bike business, and his shop, which had become Fishers Cyclery, passed through several owners until a couple of enthusiasts bought it in 1989. Those enthusiasts—Jeff Nolte and Phil Blomquist—own it today, and the shop sells nine different brands from its location near 21st South and 9th East.
I recently talked to Jeff who told me that buying a bike has evolved over the years. Now, instead of simply picking a color, riders can actually be measured so they can find a bike that fits them. And models range from $200 basics to $5,000 custom-designed titanium wonders. And Fishers Cyclery sells them all, along with riding gear and racks for transporting them on cars or trucks. Plus, Fishers will service all brands of bikes. Jeff said that despite Utah’s winter months, sales remain relatively strong year-round with people riding even in cold weather.
Jeff told me that even though Joe sold the business several years ago, he still remains passionate about bikes and is glad that Jeff and Phil have carried on that passion by keeping his name in the bike business.
For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I’m speaking on business.