The Bicycle Paper has a fantastic history of Gregg’s Cycle, which has been serving Seattle for 80 years this fall. A great read to long-term look at cycling in the city through the eyes of one — then, eventually, three — bike shops.
Original owner and founder, Ray Vincent (R.V.) Gregg certainly could not have known how much his company would achieve when he first opened up Gregg’s Greenlake Cycle in 1932. Though originally from Minnesota, he and his family had moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, where he farmed wheat, and probably would have remained in this occupation had the farming economy not fallen on hard times in the late ‘20s. However, fate would not have it, and Gregg decided to move to Seattle with his wife and five children to find a new way to support his family. Understanding that the country was steeped in the Great Depression and that people would therefore need inexpensive entertainment, he came up with the idea of renting bikes. In 1932 he opened a rental shop in Greenlake, charging five cents an hour. This activity was the main source of Gregg’s revenue in the early years and remains popular to this day thanks in part to a once dirt three-mile path nearby that circles Greenlake. During the 30’s and 40’s they even sold cotton candy and popcorn and operated a jukebox repair business out of the Greenlake location — as it turns out, his business became quite the hangout!