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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mr. Cheever's Bicycle Emporium.

David Cheever is seventy-three-years-old. About two weeks ago Mr. Cheever decided to open a bicycle shop. Wiki Bikes is located in the Nuuanu neighborhood with noticeably large green “BIKE” lettering announcing the storefront. The “BIKE” lettering is recycled from Mr. Cheever’s former bicycle shop, The Bike Way.

Indeed, Wiki Bikes is Mr. Cheever’s second bicycle shop in Honolulu. With a mere two hundred fifty square feet of space, Wiki Bikes is adorned with beautiful vintage bicycles. Freshly painted storage containers - all recycled and/or salvaged - host a variety of shop tools and bicycle-related literature. Period cycling paraphernalia and souvenirs top off Wiki Bikes decor of timelessness.

“This is exactly what I wanted (Wiki Bikes), a small community store for people to hang out,” explains Mr. Cheever. There are many long-term plans for Wiki Bikes - including providing coffee for guests on morning commutes - but most progressively is Mr. Cheever’s hope to provide employment to youth in the neighborhood.

Mr. Cheever believes that youth can learn a lot from being employed. He envisions Wiki Bikes as a place where youth will learn the business of bicycle retail. On any given afternoon, curious middle-school students will peek inside the bicycle shop before scurrying away to purchase pop at the corner store. Mr. Cheever predicts that it will take a year for his plan to manifest itself.

For now, Mr. Cheever is Wiki Bikes’ only employee. There is an occasional volunteer; Mrs. Cheever and daughter Jill handle all the shop’s finances. But most afternoons it is Mr. Cheever wrenching away at bicycles and making connections in the neighborhood. Retirement is not on Mr. Cheever’s agenda anytime soon.

Wiki Bikes | 1951 Pacific Heights Road | www.wikibikes.net

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