Dave Hudson, owner and founder of Recycled Cycles, started working on bicycles in his parents’ garage in 1972. Completely self-taught, he personally bought, reconditioned, and sold over 600 bicycles while attending Arvada West High School. “Ten Speeds” were the hot item back then: Motobecane, Gitane, St Etienne, Torpado, Bridgestone, none of which are available in the U.S. today! Stingrays, choppers and three-speeds were quite new, and mechanical speedometers, odometers, toe clips and bookracks were the popular accessories. A great quality new bicycle was $99, weighed 32 pounds, and there was no such thing as “index” (click) shifting. Bicycle magazines actually had articles, and virtually no advertising! Dave paid the neighborhood kids 10 cents per frame to sand off the old paint, and spray painted them balanced across the family’s incinerator…remember when everybody burned their own trash?
After graduation, Dave moved to Fort Collins to attend CSU, where he earned his degree in Marketing while working at Campus West Bikes and Dave Cook (Gart Bros) Sporting Goods.The first Recycled Cycles opened in 1978 about 4 miles South of town (where all of the flea markets are now located) selling nothing but repainted and reconditioned bicycles. Road bikes were still the rage, so the staff spent hours cutting the old upright bars off cruiser bikes and putting on racing (drop) handlebars and skinny tires.
Fitness equipment was added in 1982, and after business expansion and contraction in the early 1990′s, Recycled Cycles settled in their current location on South Mason Street.
Today, the staff spends hours cutting the old racing (drop) handlebars off old ten-speeds and putting on cruiser (upright) handlebars and fat tires.
And now, for those of you who enjoy a good beer every now and again… There has been a myth that the bicycle featured on the label of the New Belgium Brewing Company’s Fat Tire Ale once belonged to Dave. Well, yes, Dave did own the bike that was used. An artist from New Belgium visited Dave years ago to find inspiration for the brewery’s new label. An old red cruiser bike proved to be the inspiration, and the artist drew the bike on site. The rest is history. You can now buy Fat Tire Ale nationwide. Hmmm, I wonder how much that bike played a part in the distribution!