Fred Boykin, owner of Bicycle South for 43 years, is retiring at the end of the month.
Boykin started the business with six or seven Emory students during his junior year in Feb. of 1972. He got the idea after “a contact” from New York City sent European 10 speed bikes to him and his friends to sell to fellow students.
“He shipped the bikes to us by bus and we went downtown to the Atlanta Greyhound station, picked up the bike boxes, built the bikes up in our dorm room and then sold them. Later on that fall we decided to open a store after the first of the new year,” Boykin said.
Boykin says that “it seems like a good time to retire” as he turns 65 in Jan. and his daughter, Hannah Boykin, graduates from Decatur in the spring.
Although he will no longer be employed at Bicycle South, he will still be available to answer any questions about the business.
Boykin will miss meeting all of the different types of people that come into his store.
“We [have] fixed bicycles for President Jimmy Carter and everyone inbetween. Old folks, young folks and kids . . . I’ve helped multiple family generations through the years.”
All in all, his best experiences have been with the children that are learning to ride a bike.
“My best memories are seeing the kids’ expressions when they learn how to ride a bicycle for the first time and we take the training wheels off. It’s a proud moment for them.”
Photo courtesy of Fred Boykin