SYCAMORE – Rod Griffis, proprietor of Blue Moon Bikes in Sycamore, began accumulating classic bicycles – notably Schwinn Stingray Krate bikes – within the 1990s when he was nonetheless working his part-time bike restore store out of a storage on State Avenue.
Griffis and his son, who was 12 on the time, shared an curiosity within the bikes and began in search of them on eBay and at swap meets throughout basic bike exhibits.
Griffis mentioned he has greater than 200 basic bikes on show in an upstairs museum at his store, which incorporates yearly, make and mannequin of the Krate bike that was made for kids. He mentioned the shop and his assortment began to get protection after bigger information networks got here into city to cowl bigger court docket instances – most notably Jack McCullough’s exoneration after he was convicted of the 1957 homicide of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph.
For the primary time, Griffis mentioned, the store shall be featured nationally on NBC’s Nightly Information from 5:30 to six p.m. Saturday for the 27th annual Traditional Bike Present at two metropolis parking tons on South Somonauk Highway in downtown Sycamore. Kevin Tibbles, the NBC correspondent who lined the story, mentioned the characteristic is ready to be the closing story for the Saturday night information section.
Griffis mentioned his store has been featured in articles, however he was shocked the nationwide community wished to characteristic the gathering.
“As a result of that is simply what our love is, the paintings of bikes,” Griffis mentioned.
Tibbles mentioned he enjoys doing tales on Americana, and that he was tipped off to the bike store and pageant after a reporter advised him about it. He mentioned he was advised that this yr’s bicycle pageant in Sycamore is a much bigger deal than traditional this yr as a result of it is the 50th anniversary of the Krate bike, which was manufactured from 1968 to 1973.
“I’m at all times in search of any story that has slightly angle that’s about who we’re, the place we come from, and one thing that’s maybe out of the abnormal that may pique peoples’ curiosity,” Tibbles mentioned.
Tibbles mentioned he made the pitch to the community about this “slice of Americana” that child boomers will keep in mind fondly, and that he emphasised Griffis’ assortment of greater than 200 basic bikes. He mentioned one of many bike store staff advised him that, again within the day, the 1968 Krate bike was the bike that each child had or wished.
“We reside in a time the place there’s all types of anxious and animosity and never a variety of excellent news occurring,” Tibbles mentioned. “I’m simply making an attempt to focus in on stuff that individuals would say, ‘Oh yeah, I keep in mind these.’ ”
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