Adios, Cycle Cave

Cycle Cave, soon to be but a memory. Photo from the Cycle Cave website.

Another one bites the dust: After 46 years of bicycle retailing, Albuquerque’s Cycle Cave is selling through its inventory and calling it quits.

The father-and-son business wasn’t struggling, according to the Albuquerque Journal. But Hervey and Bob Hawk have been working long hours for the better part of quite some time, and they feel they’ve earned a rest.

Says Bob:

I plan to get back in shape and do some of the bike rides I’ve listened to everyone talk about all these years. I think my first trip might be to Moab. As for Hervey, he has a lot of projects around the house to do. I’m sure his dog Jose’ will be happy he is home all day.

I’ve visited Cycle Cave a time or two. And though I can’t call myself a regular, I’m sorry to see the Hawks fly away.

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14 Responses to “Adios, Cycle Cave”

  1. Tony Geller Says:

    From what I heard, they tried to find a buyer to take over the business but weren’t able to. Also, they always paid cash for their inventory. Nothing was bought on credit.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Seems like they’d be delighted to find a buyer. But damn, this town has a lot of shops already.

      Cash for inventory, hey? Good on ’em. Debt is not your friend. We’re retiring ours as fast as is humanly possible.

      Any of the local powersports dealers carrying e-bikes yet? That could nibble into a few IBD profit margins.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    I worry about that with Rob and Charley’s up this way. Seem to be doing fine but I wonder if at some point Charley will either sell the place or go this route. That would be sad. The place is an institution. I don’t even blame them for not warning me that those Marathon Plus tires exhausted my entire year’s worth of cursing in one afternoon….

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      R&C is mos def an institution, like Old Town in Bibleburg, Two Wheel Drive here, Turin in Denver, and gawd only knows how many others. I always liked the cramped and crowded little shops that felt like hobbit-holes.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Frank Smith, owner of Island Triathlon and Bike in Honolulu, was a good friend of mine and a fellow board member of Hawaii Bicycling League. He often lamented the tiny profitability of bike shops. Said you did it for love, not money. Glad there are folks like Charley, Frank, and Hervey and Bob who still have the love.

  3. SAO' Says:

    Fort Collins lost Peloton this fall. A very successful shop for what seems like forever, that kept moving into bigger and bigger stores. Missed a tax payment and the city swept in, liquidated everything. Never found out if they were a victim of market cycles or just bad bookkeeping.

  4. Larry T. atCycleItalia Says:

    Bike retail’s a great way to make a small fortune – as long as you start out with a large one. I got out while it was still (mostly) fun and don’t think I would enjoy it at all today. We’d laugh enough at the know-it-all “engineers” (I’d always say, “Engineer? That’s great, what kind of train do you drive?”) back then but with the innertoobs today everybody’s a f–king expert. They don’t come in for advice/expertise, it’s argument/debate instead. Or the “Please help me (for free) with this gizmo I bought online (mail order it was back then) that (isn’t even close to compatible with what I have) I don’t have a clue as to how to install.” We’d always threaten to get one of those signs – Labor Rates: $50 per hour. If you watch $75. If you help $100.
    Now I get to adjust a bike from our rental fleet to the client’s measurements, hand ’em one of our RideGuides and send ’em down the road. Much more fun than bike retail ever was, even back-in-the-day.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      MY LBS, M&M Cycling, should get one of Larry’s signs and add a line stating that bike washing before service is an extra $50. I can see their shop closing for retirement in 10 or 15 years. They are good business men, and if the business they have continues they should be alright. They seem to have 3 work stands busy all day every day. I hope it turns out that way.

      Just like I will never again buy a guitar without playing it, I will never again buy a factory bike much less order one on line. I will get the frame set and pick my own components with the help of the guys at M&M and have then assemble it. I have done 4 that way now and have been very happy with the results. Plus you can move some components from the old bike to the new one.

  5. Dale Says:

    I fear that my LBS will bite the dust soon. The owner is getting old (and I an 70 for crissake), he lost his best mechanic and right hand man when he got his degree. The last time I went there I was greeted by a guy with alcohol on his breath who said that he was taking the owner’s place to make sure that his two mechanics didn’t steal stuff.

    Sounds like a business plan to me.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    I used to get a lot of parts and supplies online but always bought my bikes or framesets locally. Over the decades I’ve collected pretty much what I need to wrench bikes and bikes are actually easier to work on than mass spectrometers. Of course one doesn’t want the wheels falling off on a downhill, but, knock on wood, that has not happened yet.

    Nowadays, I’ve run out of reasons to buy gruppos (do they still call them that?) and try to buy most stuff locally. Especially since there are a lot of bike shops in Santa Fe. Back when we lived in BombTowne, it was just easier to open the innertubes and order stuff and have it delivered to the house rather than drive the 40 miles to Fanta Se.

    Main problem right now is no one stocks Vittoria tires in this town. Not sure why, but they are still my favorite.

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