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Two Big Wheels Roll On

Two icons of American bicycle shops recently passed away in Chicago and Los Angeles. Fred Richard Sr, a revered figure in the Chicago bike scene, passed away last week at age 76. Born in 1930 in Chicago, Fred eagerly followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father who owned Richard's Bicycles, one of the oldest bicycles stores in America that was founded in 1910.

Fred Richard Sr's son, John Richard today CEO of southside Chicago's Richard's Bicycle commemorated his late father, saying "Although my father semi-retired ten years ago, he continued to be a part of the culture here at Richard's Bicycles as well as at my brother Fred's company, Chicagoland Bicycle. His humour, dedication, integrity and wisdom were a source of inspiration for his employees and family, making all who met him proud to be a part of the companies that are his legacy."

In Santa Monica, California, Duane Stier, owner of Helen's Cycles, suffered a heart attack Tuesday afternoon that proved fatal. Stier is survived by his wife and family.

Considered the top bike store chain in Southern California, Helen's Cycles was founded in 1936 by Helen and Ted Throckmarton, who built the Helen's Santa Monica Broadway location in mid 1960. Duane Stier and his wife Karen Stier purchased Helen's Cycles in 1975 and eventually expanded to five locations as well taking over LA's legendary I .Martin Bicycles on Beverly Boulevard.

Jay Wolff, Helen's Cycles general manager was with Stier when he had his heart attack and told Bicycle Retailer that “It was a big shock to everyone. Duane and I were returning from lunch in the car when his heart attack struck. We were only minutes away from the hospital," said Wolff. In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions to charities that are listed on the company's website.

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