After spending 46 years on the same block near Coronado Center, the family behind Cycle Cave has decided to call it quits.
Hervey and Bob Hawk, the father-son team that has run Cycle Cave together since the business opened, agreed that it was the right time to step away from the long hours that go along with running a store. Bob Hawk said closure gives the duo time to travel and spend time with the rest of the family while Hervey Hawk, 87, is still able to do so.
“When you’re my age, you don’t make too many long-term plans,” Hervey Hawk said, laughing.
Hervey Hawk founded the business on Menaul Boulevard NE in the early 1970s, but not as a bike shop. Originally, the plan was for Hervey Hawk, who has a background in engineering, to sell and repair go-karts. However, they bought 10 road bicycles from a salesman, and put them out for sale in front of the store. When they sold quickly, the store bought 10 more, and the bike business was born. Soon, it was the business’ full focus.
Today, Cycle Cave sells a wide variety of bicycles, from road bikes to cyclo-cross, and related accessories. The store also features space for staff to repair up to three bikes at a time, whether or not those bikes were purchased at Cycle Cave. Bob Hawk said the store has built a loyal following spanning multiple generations. Despite changes to cycling’s retail landscape, 2019 sales were up 10% over the last year.
Bob Hawk began working at the business when he was just 16, when he’d come to the shop to work after high school. When he eventually decided to work at the store full time, he never looked back, though he acknowledged the long hours and lack of vacations wore on him. During the store’s heyday in the 1980s and 90s, he said he would sometimes work two full shifts to keep the store running smoothly.
“We’ve worked 10 to 12 hours a day our whole life,” he said. “It’s time to do something different.”
The store began a going-out-of-business sale in November, and will stay open until all the inventory is gone, likely in three to five months. After that, the family is planning to travel, golf and, of course, cycle. While the Hawks haven’t looked into selling the shop, they said they hadn’t ruled that out entirely.
“If somebody came up and said they wanted to buy the business, I would certainly sell it,” Bob Hawk said.
Despite the challenges that go along with running a store, the decision to close proved difficult. Barely holding back tears, Bob Hawk said the aspect of the job he’ll cherish most is that it allowed him to spend every day with his parents.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “I’ve cherished it my whole life, and I’ll continue to cherish it until I die.”