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Handmade Founder Walker Going Retail

Published June 23, 2008

SPEEDWAY, IN (BRAIN)—Don Walker becomes one of the latest entrants to the IBD retail market, with a new store specializing in a wide range of handmade bicycles, Speedway Handmade Bicycle Works, which has its opening party on June 28.

Walker has already gained a reputation as a master builder of road and track bicycle frames and as the founder/director of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS). Now he follows a tradition that is time-honored by frame builders in other countries by setting up a storefront to his building business.

One key departure from tradition, though, is that he will not be selling his frames exclusively. Apart from selling Don Walker frames in lugged and fillet brazed steel, and titanium, Walker's new store will offer frames from Lynskey (titanium and steel), Independent Fabrication (steel or titanium), and Roland Della Santa (lugged steel). Still being finalized are arrangements with Crumpton and Parlee (carbon fiber) and Rock Lobster (aluminum).

"I really want to have all the materials bases covered, so to speak," Walker said. "I want to offer the customer a chance to choose for themselves what material they desire, and by having some of the best builders on planet Earth available, in one place. They can feel confident in their choice."

"I am very excited to put down roots in Speedway, where I can be near the Major Taylor Velodrome—as track racing has played a large part in my life, and my kids are now starting to ride the track. Through this store I am looking forward to providing top-notch services here in the Midwest," Walker said.

The concept of this new boutique style retail business is to provide full service to meet the exacting standards of high-end cycling customers in the region.

The front end of the business comprises a bike fit studio, a retail store and a mechanic's workshop.

The mechanics workshop is primarily for bicycle assembly and to provide high quality after-sales service to customers of the Speedway Handmade Bicycle Works. Hospitality, too, will be a central theme of the store.

"I have purchased an espresso/cappuccino machine, and I will purchase a dozen bagels every morning. People are welcome to stop by for coffee and bagels any day," Walker said.

The theme of customer hospitality is continued with a sofa and television setup, where waiting customers may entertain themselves watching television or a range of cycling videos.

Located on Main Street, Speedway, just two blocks north of Zipp—a company with which Walker has close ties—Speedway Handmade Bicycle Works will be the closest dealer to the carbon fiber wheels and components manufacturer.

The idea for a retail outlet came to Walker while he was looking for a workshop/office for his own frame building business and the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

"I visited this space on Main St, between 14 and 15 Streets, and it's just such a great location I decided pretty much there and then that I'd establish a retail outlet," Walker said.

The opening of Speedway Handmade Bicycle Works is a public event on Saturday at 1 p.m.

His new shop is located at 1432 Main Street, Speedway, IN 46224.

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