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Chris Walker, owner of Walker’s Bike Shop, said everyone has memories of their first bicycle or the first time they rode one.

And he’s no exception.

“It was a Schwinn Sting Ray,”Walker said from his shop, 808 First Ave. N.

The proof is in a picture circa late 1970s or early 1980s. The bike was red in color with long handlebars and a black banana seat.

“Bikes to me remind me of being a kid,”Walker said. “The freedom of your first bike. Everybody remembers their first bike and when they get on it and ride it, you feel so free.

“All the cares in the world don’t matter, just cruising on your bike. Everything is so quiet and calm. So calming to me. So whenever I get on a bike, I remember being a kid and can forget about all the stresses. It can slow life down immediately — or you can go as fast as you want to. You can slow life down or speed it up.”

Walker has had a love for bikes almost his whole life. And in 2000 he began working for his parents, Dawn and Eugene at The Bike Shop.

He attended Barnett Bicycle Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he became a certified bike mechanic.

Walker worked at The Bike Shop until 2018. He then left to work construction full-time.

Within that year, his parents decided to leave the business.

“I’ve always had three to four jobs at a time for the past 20 years,”Walker said.

He’s worked for construction companies like Doyle Construction and Hepp Construction, both of Fort Dodge.

In May of 2019, Walker decided to come back to bikes and he opened his own shop.

“This was his dream,”said Walker’s wife, Tina, who helps out most days after her regular shift working as a medical assistant at UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine — Second Avenue North. “He’s always wanted his own bike shop.

He sells Trek and Reid brand bicycles.

“Trek is a family-owned business in Waterloo,”Walker said.“Been in business since 1976. Reid are a small company out of Australia. They are very small, only a few dealers in Iowa, but offer a really good price point on a good quality bike.”

Hybrid bikes are a top seller.

“That’s where most of my sales are,”Walker said. “Typically a bike that will be a more upright position, bigger seat, more comfortable. Second is mountain bikes. With all the trails here in town, the paved trails are great for hybrids. And we have a new mountain bike trail system in Fort Dodge with over 10 miles of trail there and more to come.

“That’s with the Fort Dodge Mountain Bike Club — super excited about that. That’s super great for our community.”

“I love selling bikes to people because I’m selling fun,”he said.“I’m selling fitness. I can sell something that is changing someone’s life for the better. It’s awesome.”


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