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.

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