Media Blitz!

Okay okay moving on from snowy bird houses, it is full on bike season crazy times in here, we celebrated our 6 year anniversary last month, hosted a Bike to Work Week breakfast AND just yesterday got interviewed for a prestigious local paper. Clarifying a couple of things: did not buy the shop, opened it from scratch, and some days we sell WAAAAAY more than 1 bike. But some days we sell none. Also they did not use the answer to What Sets Your Shop Apart question? (answer: Shop Fish). So without further adieu, here is something new to read on this 6 year old blog!

Bike shop business continues for 6 years BY Grace Pateras | MAY 14, 2015

Each week, The Daily Iowan will provide an in-depth look at a local business.

All three full-time staffers at 30th Century Bicycle, 312 E. Prentiss St., ride their bikes to work each day.

The independent shop sells new and used bikes, as well as accessories. Staffers also offer repairs to customers, the most popular being brake issues, shifting adjustments, and flat tires.

Owner Steve Goetzelman bought the shop six years ago. He said the bike demand in Iowa City is high, and he doesn’t expect it to drop.

“Bikes are here now, and they’re never going away,” he said. “People talk about if they can design a better car or the energy source of the future, but I just think bikes are always going to be there.”

On a typical day, the shop will sell one bike.

The most popular are used bikes, and sell between $200 and $500, which is a good price, Goetzelman said.

Approximately 40 to 50 bikes are on display typically, and fewer than 10 of those are used bikes because of the high demand.

One of the shop’s employees, Mary Coats, is one of the rare female mechanics in the bicycle industry.

She joined the 30th Century Bicycle team two years ago after disliking her previous experiences at bigger corporate shops.

“[Steve] doesn’t pressure us to upsell,” she said. “I like that I can focus on what’s the best fit for someone, and there’s no pressure to sell more stuff just to sell more stuff.”

Customers, Goetzelman said, are a mix between students and locals. The fall season is the busiest time of the year because of the dry weather — and students back in town for school.

However, Goetzelman said, other seasons are popular for customers as well.

“I think a lot more people are riding in the winter now than six years ago, which is great,” he said. “It’s always weather-dependent. This past winter was our busiest winter.”

Next door to the shop is Trumpet Blossom Café, 310 E. Prentiss St.

Owner Katy Meyer has known Goetzelman for many years, she said, and is happy to have him as a neighboring business.

“It’s fun to go over there and talk shop with him and talk to him about the ups and downs of running a small business,” Meyer said. “[Steve] is really dedicated to his job, and he’s there every day working hard.”

In addition, Meyer said Goetzelman is a customer at the café and comes in to replace light bulbs and perform other maintenance.

All employees at 30th Century Bicycle have different pasts with touring, racing, and biking in general. Their experiences make them good advisers, they said, to their customers.

“If you need advice on bikes, we’ve all been doing it for a long time. To get advice, it’s what we do,” Goetzelman said. “It’s how we get around. So we’re pretty good to talk to about it.”

Check it out, 30¢ Squad coffee roaster Jarrett is in the paper again.


Combining his love of coffee roasting and his education in art he threw together a little found object composition demonstration for us yesterday morning over a cuppa, explaining that the juxtaposition of a perfectly roasted bean and a shiny tin was one of the first techniques employed by artisan coffee roasters in, uh, the middle Roman / Germanic times. Yeah? Um, sure. Hey look over there!

This caught our eye over at Urban Velo:

Mobility Lab recently held an event at George Mason University’s Arlington, Virginia campus with former Department of Transportation secretary Ray LaHood on the future of transportation in America. He predicts that in the next 25 years we will see a huge expansion of nationwide passenger rail, wide adoption of driverless cars, and continued gains in biking and walking infrastructure.

“Transportation is always about the future,” LaHood said. “There are no Republican roads or Democratic bridges,” he added.

About his prediction that America’s future transportation needs would be met more by passenger rail than automobile, LaHood referenced a “pent-up demand for passenger rail,” and said, “The people almost always get it right.”

LaHood told the audience that if Eisenhower had signed a “Passenger Rail Bill” rather than the Federal Highway Act, then America would look much different than it does today. LaHood envisioned a future America that looks, transportation-wise, more like Europe. Smart-growth advocates in the audience undoubtedly were pleased, as the Federal Highway Act is widely considered to have played a significant role in urban sprawl.

When asked by an audience member how a major infrastructure project like the rail LaHood envisions would be funded, LaHood was unequivocal in his response. He called for an increase to the national gasoline tax ”not raised since ’93″ of 10 cents, tied to the inflation rate. He also referenced the Highway Trust Fund as a good starting source of funds, but said it should be supplemented by a vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) tax, tolling, and public-private partnerships operating to cover the shortfall.

LaHood’s final pronouncement was that while America is no longer number one in transportation, it can be. The countries that are surpassing us, such as China, are investing heavily in rail. If America does that as well, it will create jobs in the short term and ensure our competitiveness in the long term.


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.

As the weather outside bumps and hiccups its way towards spring, the atmosphere here in the shop is heating up, too.  The repair bikes are stacking up, our used bikes are going and new bikes are being ordered.  A big part of the coming season will surely revolve around that ol’ ride across Iowa, because it is coming right here to Coralville, if you had not heard.  The Press Citizen did an article about getting ready for it and quoted Steve about the early interest we are seeing here at the shop.

We also recieved a mention on the Adventure Cycling blog about used bikes and the bike shops that sell them.  We believe so strongly in the value of good used bikes it is nice to see more press about them.  Remember – your new bike is used as soon as you ride it!  As a shop nominated for the Braxton Bike Shop Award we were given a free membership with all the benefits in the Association.  But we are already members!  Leave us a comment here about why you deserve a free membership to Adventure Cycling and it is yours – best reason takes it!



We open for 2011 business today at 11am!  We had a nice couple of weeks off, we needed that.  While we were away you might have noticed that Steve’s bike was on the cover of Little Village, and that we were interviewed inside?

January 2011 Little Village - Click to read online

You can pick one up for free at numerous places around town (we have a few) so check it out, you’ll be glad you did!  30th Century Bicycle elsewhere in the news, Steve wrote a letter to the editor of the Press Citizen:

On Tuesday, the Press-Citizen Editorial Board opinion said, “The best way to find a spot, the best way to avoid a ticket, the best way to enjoy the downtown and not worry about running back to feed the meter is to park in the ramps.”

Ride a bicycle!

Truly the best and easiest way to find a parking spot. Bonus: no parking ticket, no worry, no running, no meter, and no ramp. And while we’re at it: no gas, insurance, pollution, etc. You can take the money you save and spend it at downtown businesses so they have more money for their Park and Shop program and can help more motorists by subsidizing their insatiable parking needs.

So if you want to talk about issues or get your copy of Little Village signed, come and see us!  And if you need bike stuff or repair of course we can do that, too.

The New Class Warfare over Bicycles

Don Cherry and Rob Ford twist it backwards. The elitists are pro-car politicians, slowing up a better life for the working class.

By: By Yves Engler, 13 December 2010,

View full article and comments:

In Vancouver the pro-car crowd criticizes the Hornby bike lane by claiming to stand up for small business.

In Toronto, after being sworn in as new mayor, Rob Ford declares an end to the “war on cars.” He plans to block a light-rail line and to abolish a $60 vehicle registration fee. Don Cherry congratulates him for rising up against the “elite” and slams “bike-riding pinkos” who supposedly once ran the city.

In Montréal a new political party that won office a year ago in the Plateau Mont-Royal borough begins to widen sidewalks, add bike paths and close some streets to traffic. For doing so, critics accuse them of engaging in class warfare.

In a much discussed La Presse opinion piece, Luc Chartrand denigrated the “supposedly enlightened urban planning” measures as “nothing but a strategy by the wealthy to grab territory in a centrally located district… to the detriment of the general interest of the City.”

This is just one more example of the Big Lie. Call black white, say war is peace, claim the media is left wing and argue urban space dominated by cars is good for poor and working-class people.

The truth is that these Montreal “traffic calming” measures will make a relatively bike- and pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood more so, and they will make it more difficult for suburban commuters to use the area’s smaller side streets to avoid the main north-south arteries. Over 650,000 cars travel through the eight square-kilometre district daily, with more than 80 per cent headed elsewhere.

Making life difficult for cars could be, in fact, described as a form of class war, but one that works in the long-term interests of the poor and working class.

Autos hailed as equalizers

Even superficially, the critics’ argument makes little sense. While the Plateau is not Montréal’s most affordable neighbourhood, it’s far from its most expensive. Many students, artists and working-class people live in this hip, politically progressive, area.

Chartrand’s claim, Don Cherry’s diatribe and Hornby bike lane opponents share a common theme: Among North America’s most extreme auto proponents, any move to curtail car domination is an attack against the little guy because automobiles give everyone equal access to mobility.

In a Wall Street Journal opinion article, Stephen Moore captured the essence of this argument. “The car allowed even the common working man total freedom of mobility — the means to go anywhere, anytime, for any reason. In many ways, the automobile is the most egalitarian invention in history, dramatically bridging the quality-of-life gap between rich and poor.”

The car’s proponents invoke class even though all other forms of land transportation are eminently more accessible. Shoes, a bike, or a metro pass are all cheaper than a car with its gas, insurance and upkeep needs. According to the American Public Transportation Association, individuals who get around with a bus pass instead of a car can save a whopping $8,368 annually.

Cars eat up smaller incomes

When the automobile is used as the primary mode of mass transit, the poorest are hardest hit. In 2008, for instance, the poorest fifth of Americans spent 13 per cent of their income on gas. The top fifth spent 3 per cent. In Highway Robbery: Transportation, Racism and New Routes to Equity, Robert Bullard notes: “Those earning less than $14,000 per year, after taxes, spend approximately 40 per cent of their take-home pay on transportation expenditures. This compares to 22 per cent for families earning between $27,177 and $44,461 annually, and 13 per cent per year for families making more than $71,900 per year.”

Nearly three-quarters of U.S. households earning less than $15,000 a year own a car, and in an extreme example of auto dependence, tens of thousands of “mobile homeless” live in their vehicles.

The poor purchase cars because there is no other option in a society built to serve the needs of the automobile. If you want to work, you need a car. If you want to visit your friends, you need a car.

Car-dominated transport eats up a disproportionate amount of working-class income. At the same time, the automobile is an important means for the wealthy to assert themselves socially. A luxury vehicle lets the whole world know that you have arrived, both literally and metaphorically. “The automobile’s a credit card on wheels,” writes Heathcote Williams. “It’s pushy to tell people how much you make, so you tell ’em through your automobile.”

Over a century ago, cars grew to prominence as technological toys for the rich. By the turn of the 20th century, New York City’s Automobile Club had more millionaires than any other social club in the world. “No American Sport,” noted the Washington Post in 1902, “has ever enlisted so much power and money.”

‘Purse-proud crazy trespassers’

Those living at the dawn of the Auto Age often viewed it as an obtrusive and “particularly ostentatious display of wealth.” Farmers and the working class were incensed by their presence. A 1904 edition of the U.S. farm magazine, Breeders Gazette, called automobile drivers “a reckless, bloodthirsty, villainous lot of purse-proud crazy trespassers.”

In 1907, rioting broke out in a working class Lower Manhattan neighborhood after two-year-old Louis Camille was run down and killed. The automobile sparked dozens of other similarly violent protests.

One reason the car was popular among the wealthy was because it strengthened their dominance over mobility, which was slightly undermined by rail. Prior to the train’s ascendance in the mid 1800s, the elite traveled by horse and buggy, but the train’s technological superiority compromised the usefulness of the horse and buggy. Even for shorter commutes, streetcars became the preferred mode of transport by the late 1800s. With respect to mobility, the train and streetcar blurred class lines. Unlike the train and streetcar, which were more available to all classes of society, the automobile provided an exclusive form of travel.

The automobile’s capacity to create social distance appealed to early car buyers. In a car, one could remain separate from perceived social inferiors (blue-collar workers, immigrants, blacks etc.) while in transit. Prominent auto historian, James J. Flink remarked that, “the automobile seemed to proponents of the innovation, to afford a simple solution to some of the more formidable problems of American life associated with the emergence of an urban industrial society.”

The different ways in which the private car strengthened wealthy people’s grip over culture and mobility have largely been forgotten. At the same time, the immense financial burden cars place on the working class seems of only passing importance to its critics.

The largest source of capitalist profit over the past century, the automobile has shaped landscapes, culture and the environment in a host of harmful ways.

It’s time for a class-focused challenge to private automobility.  [Tyee]

Yves Engler’s the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy. For more info:

Over the weekend the 30¢ Squad of Steve went down to Kansas to ride the Dirty Kanza 200.

Photo by Michael K. Dakota

Had a great ride and got to be on the cover of the Emporia Gazette, too.  We need to get shop jerseys, anybody want to buy a 30th Century Bicycle jersey?  The caption is true, it was the craziest day of riding ever, and I have had some crazy ones.  Full race recap to follow!

There was a nice write up & review of the MASI 3VC 105 over on

The article also covers some of the history of the MASI company and is a good read.  We focus on commuting and touring bikes, true, but we are ready, happy, and able to help you with a racing bike, too.  I (Steve) raced on the road seriously for 15 years and still like to ride road bikes as fast as I can, so rest assured I can answer your questions and load you up with advice, opinions, and glory days stories, if you can stand them.

And, if you are looking for less race oriented advice, Cody loves to ride the go-fast bikes, too, and has plenty of experience to share.


How quaint, we are in the phonebook!  Remember those?  Look for us under Bicycles in the “yellow pages” section- it’s easy and fun, too!


Wayne seems to like the book even more now.  If you don’t have a phone book, don’t worry, our phone number is available in many places online, too.  Like right here:  (319) 248-1288

Gotta go, the phone is ringing!

Please don’t think we are not still moving copious amounts of stuff by bike.


That is yesterday’s recycling run, today I moved our trash on the cargo bike, and as an added bonus and test of skill I got to ghost-ride a free curbside parts bike for six blocks.  Score.


We were closed today, but still had visitors.  Like this slinky black kitty cat that boldly walked in to check things out.  Some people stopped in that had read about our shop in the June issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine.  We did not even know that was happening, so it was pretty cool to find out we were featured!  Other visitors came in for minor repairs and small purchases, we were there so could not say no.  And our old friend Paul was passing through town on his way home to Michigan and he stopped to check out our shop, too.


Cody finished up her PUCH with Ira Ryan custom built fork and porteur rack, she is going to ride it on our overnight bike trip to Anamosa this weekend.  Oh yeah, good time for an announcement:

We will be closed Saturday, July 4th and Sunday the 5th, we will reopen Tuesday July 7th.


Also in the stand today, finishing up this MASI Rando build, switched the sidepull calipers out for Paul Racers.  Not only do they look really cool, but they will increase the Whoa Nellie factor as this bike will be used for loaded touring.  Those pedals were just for test riding, no worries.  The rack will be in and on tomorrow and a set of Arkel t-42’s will finish it off.

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