May 2011


This is some of my favorite public art, conveniently located on my route to the shop.

The most caffeinated interview of all time in today’s Press Citizen!  Kudos to Brian for sorting through the wild notes to find a coherent story in there.

Steve Goetzelman, co-owner of 30th Century Bikes in Iowa City works at the shop May 10. / Benjamin Roberts / Iowa City Press-Citizen
Written by B.A. Morelli

First, cycling was an interest, then a job, and now it’s a mission for Cody Gieselman and Steve Goetzelman, who recently celebrated the second year anniversary of their business, 30th Century Bikes.

They independently got their first job in the cycling industry at World of Bikes of Iowa City about 10 years ago, and soon they started volunteering at the Iowa City Bike Library, which provides low-cost bikes to the community.

The library is where cycling evolved from a leisure activity to an advocacy mission to introduce more people to commuting by bike.

“When I volunteered for the library, it was more actively helping people,” said Goetzelman, 38, a former avid bike racer who said he has worked at every bike shop in Iowa City. “I got the feeling of getting people on bikes or back to bikes.”

Gieselman, 32, started biking as a way to get around Iowa City, and it took on a “do-it-yourselfer’s” bent.

“When something goes wrong, I am at the mercy of someone else to do repairs,” Gieselman said.

So she got a job at World of Bikes. One night, she went down to the Bike Library to find a lone volunteer and a long line of people. She jumped in, and ever since, her passion for cycling has evolved.

Gieselman and Goetzelman say the more people on bikes, the safer roads are for cyclists and the less congestion for motorized traffic.

“It’s great for everyone and great for Iowa City,” Goetzelman said.

Volunteering at the library helped them realize Iowa City lacked low-cost bicycle options, and so they saw an opening to begin their business. The focus of 30th Century is selling used touring or commuter bikes, repairs and personally tested parts and accessories. They sell new bikes, too.

“We had worked at bike shops for a long time, so we had ideas about how we’d do it, so the more we talked about it, the more feasible it seemed,” Gieselman said.

They opened the shop in an old, out-of-the-way industrial shop on Prentiss Street, next to the restaurant and bar Hideaway. On nice days, a large garage door opens to serve as their front entrance, a coffee cart has opened right outside, and it appears a community spot for the biking culture in Iowa City has emerged.

Gary Henry, 60, of Iowa City, encouraged Goetzelman to apply for his initial job at World of Bikes. He now is a regular customer who stops at 30th Century about three times a week. He said he comes in for bike parts or advice or to grab a cup of coffee and talk bikes.

“I come in to support local merchants and friends,” Henry said, “Or, just come in to hang out.”

Gieselman and Goetzelman said the bike shop has been more successful than they expected, and they have hired two staff members to help with the work.

“The only reason we stopped volunteering at the Bike Library is because we opened up here and we’ve been so busy. We are growing faster than we thought,” Gieselman said.

Tonight is the wrap up party for Bike to Work Week.  It will be in the parking lot right outside the shop here, hosted by the Hideaway, our friendly neighborhood bar.  There will be a fashion show, Peace Tree beer tasting, coolest bike in town contest (we are going to win), and probably some spontaneous fun.  We will be closing early today, at 5pm, for the event.

And, presenting our latest contribution to cycle fashion, our new shop jerseys are in!

These quality jerseys by Garneau are made right here in the USA and are not just for 30th Century Bicycle fans, if you like Brown Wing Studio, the Red Avocado, Chakra Body Fusion, or just looking good in a form fitting lightweight full zip breathable garment, come have a look!

Bike to Work Week is going strong, hope you have been enjoying it.

Tonight the activities continue with the Pi to Pi ride, from the New Pioneeer Coop in Iowa City to the New Pioneer Coop in Coralville.  The ride will leave sometime around 5:30 from the Chauncy Swan park across from the New Pi.  We will be closing at 5:30 today so we can go to the ride, hope to see you there!

We are very excited about Monday’s Bicycle Commuter Breakfast at 30th Century to kick off Bike to Work Week.  We are pleased to offer breakfast treats by Red Avocado and the best coffee in town by Wake Up Iowa City.  And, don’t forget the door prizes.

! ! ! ! F R E E ! ! ! !

That’s all happening on Monday, 7:30am – 9:30am.  For a full Bike to Work Week schedule, check out Think Bicycles.

Right now.  With a bike trailer near you.  Someone is moving something big, like a couch, or a huge stack of tires.  Or something you don’t even know what it is.

For years we have been using the Bikes at Work Trailers and we think they are awesome.  We now have a SURLY Bill trailer to demo for a few weeks, and we are excited to see how it does.  If you are thinking about getting a trailer, and want to pull either one of these around the block – come on down!  And ask really nicely and we might let you take our recycling to City Carton for us.

It is Bike Month!  Whoop!  Holler.  There was a letter in the paper and everything.

To get the bikes rolling the Iowa City Bike Library hosted their first commuter breakfast of the season this morning.  It was a beautiful morning, and it was crowded down there.  Look for more to come, the first Friday of each month at the Bike Library.

More bike stuff, tonight is the opening of Cody’s art show at Public Space One from 7 to 9.  PLANETARIUM ad infinitum, an installation powered in part by bicycle.  The show will be up all month so if you can not make it to the opening still stop in to check it out.  Bicycle power!

Bike to Work Week proper is coming right up, May 16th through the 21st.  To kick the week off we will be hosting our own free commuter breakfast right here at the shop from 7:30 to 9:30 on Monday May 16th.  Food by the Red Avocado, the best espresso in town by Wake Up Iowa City, and we put in an order for the finest weather mid May in Iowa can offer.

To check the full local schedule of Bike to Work Week activities check the feature page at Think Bicycles.  And just because it is Bike Month, here is a picture of a bike.  Let us marvel!