The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Parker Kulczyk
The Courier 

Bike Peddler

 

Ron Guttenberg is 82 years old, but he is one of the busiest and most active 82 year-olds I have met. Guttenberg has been fixing bicycles since his children had their first two-wheelers. His first project for someone other than his own kids, was for a neighbor girl whom he found crying on his front porch because her bike was broken. Since then, Guttenberg has developed a knack for restoring bicycles to "just like new."

After retiring from State Farm Insurance over a decade ago, Guttenberg and his wife (and secretary) Norma, took on a new challenge - a bicycle repair shop. "I was always tinkering with kids' bikes on weekends with my job as an insurance man," he said. Now, in a storage building on Highway 2, they have more than 350 bikes, either ready to ride or waiting for repairs.

If you are looking for a bicycle, look no further. Guttenberg usually has sixty-plus bikes of all different sizes ready to ride.

If you are looking for a new bike, he can order one in for you and put it together himself. "Those new bikes are a lot of fun to work on, they are like Cadillacs," he marveled.

Guttenberg's motto has been: If you are going to throw your bike in the dump, instead "dump" it off at his bike shop, which he compares to a thrift store.

If it weren't for his shop, all of the bikes would go to waste. "Even bikes from Walmart that cost one hundred dollars have three hundred in parts," he explained. Finding an affordable repairman is a problem in most areas, but Guttenberg's prices are about half of what most shops in bigger cities cost.

Mr. Guttenberg's favorite part of the job is seeing the final product. Watching the new owner take the bike for a test ride shows him that it was a job well done.

If anyone is interested in a new "hobby", Guttenberg is in search of an apprentice. He would like the shop to stay open, even after his second retirement. "It is important for Glasgow and the surrounding area to have a bike shop," he explained. "With the amount of shops in America cut in half, it gets harder and harder to get your bicycle repaired."

If you are interested in a bike, or have an interest in becoming a bike expert, you can reach Ron 263-1210 or at 228-8332.

 

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