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#1 2013-06-29 18:28:51

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,342
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Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

I keep meaning to post about this and keep forgetting, so here it is, a month late, for those who haven't already heard....

Austin's oldest bike shop closed last month.  Freewheeling began in 1971 in a garage apartment in West Campus.  The recent owner, Angela Prescott (the widow of the founder, Frank B. Cook), blamed the doubling of property taxes, and the fact that her children have no interest in taking over the shop.

This leaves University Cyclery (which I remember back in the day when it was University Schwinn) as the oldest bike shop in Austin, starting in 1977, I think.

What I liked about Freewheeling is that the mechanics seemed to reek of competence.  It's the kind of shop I could imagine Sheldon Brown working.

http://freewheelingbicycles.com/PressRelease.aspx

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#2 2013-06-30 10:58:09

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 439

Re: Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

MichaelBluejay wrote:

Austin's oldest bike shop closed last month.  Freewheeling began in 1971 in a garage apartment in West Campus.  The recent owner, Angela Prescott (the widow of the founder, Frank B. Cook), blamed the doubling of property taxes, and the fact that her children have no interest in taking over the shop.



What I liked about Freewheeling is that the mechanics seemed to reek of competence.  It's the kind of shop I could imagine Sheldon Brown working.

http://freewheelingbicycles.com/PressRelease.aspx

+1.
Loved their mechanic'ing and service. Could tell where their hearts were by the number of mechanics stands in the shop.
East Side Pedal Pushers seems to be of kindred spirit.
I procured a ton of excellent bicycle goodies from Freewheeling during their close out sale.
2 Brooks saddles, nice 8 bicycle rack for my front porch/bicycle garage.
5 bike receiver hitch...
Lots of components and hard to find parts.
Cycling sandals for $25, shoes for $15.
Wald baskets.
Lots more.

Sad to see them go. Another lost piece of the Austin I loved for the past quarter century.
RIP

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2013-06-30 11:02:28)

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#3 2014-07-03 19:11:27

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,342
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Re: Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

Just got this in my InBox:

This is a Mailman mailing list bounce action notice:

   List:       Forum
   Member:     freewheelingbicycles /at/ earthlink.net
   Action:     Subscription disabled.
   Reason:     Excessive or fatal bounces.

Sadness.

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#4 2014-07-03 22:54:15

ggw
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 35
Website

Re: Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

I was a constant customer way back when they were at the end of the shopping center next to Nau's.

I really am having to let the old go away.

I had to catch myself again when I found out early this week that Crump's Plumbing quit being open for normal business hours. I've been there soooo many times. Now I have no such places left at all. They all quit on me. All of that makes me (contrary to my 2nd sentence) want to visit Home Lumber Co. even though I don't need anything right now. I had been partial to East End Lumber. I don't even WANT to remember all the electronics parts stores I went to. Sadly, I found myself (bragging) about buying copper mesh from Davis Hardware to build a Faraday shield... gawd that place had everything. I remember robbing Blond Electric blind 'cuz the old man had lost touch with how much stuff cost! Hah! I did talk myself out of getting an (really) old Daily Texan and doing one of those KUT 30 second Old Austin segues just reading the names of the businesses from the paper ads... and I'd finish with a  tiny flash mentioning the day the Campus Corner burned down... or just a slow naming of all the businesses that have occupied the N.W. corner of 24th & Guad.

I'm afraid to mention bike shop names!

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#5 2014-07-04 12:32:39

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,342
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Re: Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

Noooooo, not Crump's!

Anyway, thanks for sharing, ggw.

When we go to the drag I tell my wife, who's not from here, about how most businesses on the drag change every couple of years because the rent is so high.

In the 90s, there were four video arcades on or next to campus (Le Fun, Einstein's, the one at Dobie, and the one in the Texas Union).  Now there are ZERO.

Same with movie theaters:  Dobie, the TX Union, the Varsity, and if you count it, the XXX theater where CVS now is.  Now, it's zero.

The Internet has some downsides.

We went to Kerbey Lane on Guadalupe last night, and I asked my wife, "Did I tell you this place used to be a Conan's Pizza?"  She replied, "Many times."

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#6 2014-07-04 22:19:26

kuoirad
Member
Registered: 2013-10-09
Posts: 2

Re: Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

MichaelBluejay wrote:

In the 90s, there were four video arcades on or next to campus (Le Fun, Einstein's, the one at Dobie, and the one in the Texas Union).  Now there are ZERO.

Arcade UFO - http://arcadeufo.com/

Not *directly* next to campus, but not that far away.

We went to Kerbey Lane last night, and I asked my wife, "Did I tell you this place used to be a Conan's Pizza?"  She replied, "Many times."

  It didn't move *that* far... :)

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#7 2014-07-07 01:55:14

chuckthomas
Member
From: North Austin
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 80

Re: Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

My favorite Austin hamburger joint is closing. Player's on MLK at the end of the drag is shutting down at the end of November to make way for the new UT medical school.   :-(

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#8 2014-07-26 11:36:29

AustinNative
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From: Brentwood
Registered: 2014-07-24
Posts: 5

Re: Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

I had to check this morning after i read this post, but sure enough on my '95 Trek 930 is the Freewheeling sticker. It also mentioned a San Marcos location. Is that closed as well?

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#9 2014-07-26 14:02:55

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,342
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Re: Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

AustinNative wrote:

It also mentioned a San Marcos location.

What is "it"?  I've never heard of a San Marcos location.  It certainly wasn't in their press release, which is the only thing linked from here.

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#10 2014-07-26 19:22:30

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 331

Re: Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

"It" I take to mean the sticker on his '95 bike.
I have not heard of a San Marcos Freewheeling in business.

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#11 2014-07-26 21:16:56

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,342
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Re: Freewheeling Bicycles, RIP May 2013

Jack wrote:

"It" I take to mean the sticker on his '95 bike.

Oh, right.  Duh.  Sorry.

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