30th Century Bicycle Closes its Doors on Valentine’s Day

30th+Century+Bicycle+is+seen+on+Tuesday%2C+Feb.+13%2C+2018.+The+bike+shop+announced+it+was+closing+on+Valentine%27s+Day+earlier+this+year.+%28Nick+Rohlman%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
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30th Century Bicycle Closes its Doors on Valentine’s Day

30th Century Bicycle is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. The bike shop announced it was closing on Valentine's Day earlier this year. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

30th Century Bicycle is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. The bike shop announced it was closing on Valentine's Day earlier this year. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Nick Rohlman

30th Century Bicycle is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. The bike shop announced it was closing on Valentine's Day earlier this year. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Nick Rohlman

Nick Rohlman

30th Century Bicycle is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. The bike shop announced it was closing on Valentine's Day earlier this year. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Troy Aldrich, [email protected]

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30th Century Bicycle closed its location, 312 E. Prentiss St., on Valentine’s Day.

Steve Goetzelman and Cody Gieselman opened the shop on Earth Day 2009.

Gieselman left the business in 2012 and now operates the Iowa City Bike Library. It’s uncertain as to why 30th Century hasn’t had great success, but the owners identified a niche market in the Iowa City community during the time of operation.

“He [Goetzelman] was an excellent mechanic, and he sold bikes marketed toward the idea of bikes as transportation,” said Donald Baxter, local bicyclist and 30th Century Bicycle customer. “He was also a non-car owning cyclist.”

Goetzelman was an ambassador for ecologically sound daily commuting, and he shared this passion with his customers.

“Ninety percent of my transportation is human-powered, whether by foot or by bike,” said Del Holland, Iowa City cyclist and 30th Century customer. “Steve has been patient and worked with me on my unusual bike.”

Holland owned a recumbent-style bike. This type of frame forces riders to sit nearly on the ground, with their legs outstretched, pedaling in front of them.

Goetzelman was able to attract the urban commuter market in Iowa City. The Iowa City bike market is saturated with larger local stores.

“From a customer’s point of view, there are still good options around,” said Kevin McConnell, the store manager at Geoff’s Bike and Ski. “There are still three other stores to choose from in the Iowa City area.”

Geoff’s services similar customers in the Iowa City area. Its location, 816 S. Gilbert St., is less than a quarter mile from 30th Century.

“From a business owner point of view, we do expect a small spike in business because of the closing,” McConnell said.

World of Bikes, Geoff’s, and The Broken Spoke all remain in the area south of downtown.

“It’s never good when a local shop closes down,” said Ryan Baker, store manager at World of Bikes, said.

Holland noted the importance of Iowa City bike shops in regard to the diverse expertise of Iowa City bike shops.

“I try to spread my business between all the stores in Iowa City,” Holland said. “Each shop has its own specialty, and I can find certain things at other shops that might not be available at others.”

30th Century held the last of its closing sale on Feb. 9. Goetzelman posted on Facebook and invited local bikers to come empty the showroom as well as the refrigerator.

This was followed by the image of an “open” sign thrown in the trash outside the location, next to Trumpet Blossom Café.

Outside of 30th Century, three cardboard signs are mounted in the snowdrifts; together they spelled the word “BYE.”

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