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Route 66 News

Coates Cyclery in Pomona to close after 83 years

Coates Cyclery, Pomona, CA

The Coates Cyclery bicycle shop in Pomona, California, will close at the end of February after a staggering 83 years in business.

The shop, at 760 E. Foothill Blvd. (Route 66), features a distinctive freestanding neon sign that was erected in the 1950s or ’60s.

Corey McCroskey, who bought the shop 15 years ago, told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin he’s been struggling with changing market forces.

“With the internet, vendors are going consumer direct and as a single sole-owner, it’s increasingly harder to fill a store this size and to keep it profitable and keep everybody well employed and well paid. So it’s just a changing of the times,” McCroskey said. […]

“One of the things we do well here is service, and that’s what’s been great for us, but sales changed,” Palmer said. “You have a big store with a lot of square feet, and we’re just not doing the numbers. It’s not going to add up.” […]

McCroskey said he’s in discussions with an undisclosed bike shop operator to purchase the store’s assets and continue a bicycle shop at the location under different management and a different name. McCroskey says he hopes the historic sign stays after any potential acquisition.

Coates Cyclery made a brief post on Facebook about its pending closure in late January.

About 100 people participated Jan. 29 in a 30-mile bicycle ride to salute the shop.

The Claremont Courier dug up this history on the shop during a 2012 report:

Coates, named for the first owner Adair Coates, began its life as a lawnmower shop on Second Street in Pomona in 1934 before placing itself on cyclers’ radars as one of the premiere Schwinn stores in the country. While the Schwinn Bicycle Company now ceases to exist, the Coates brand continued. Mr. Coates passed on the business to Wes Roth, who opened several new shops, including the store locals have come to know and love on Foothill and Towne in 1963. Under Mr. Roth’s ownership, a young Mr. McCroskey first came to work at the shop.

3 thoughts on “Coates Cyclery in Pomona to close after 83 years

  1. John Huntington co Cub Scout Den 4 with Chickybabe. Wes lived on corner of Town and Alvarado before moving to a chicken farm in south Pomona.

    Huntingtons lived at 760 E Alvarado. Mr Coates lived about the same address numnber behind us on Kingsley. Mr Coastes strung tennis rackets besides selling lawnmowers. Wes started working for Mr Coates as an 8th or 9th grader at Emerson Jr H. around 1952 or 1953. Wes was also a Red Devil cheerleader in 1955-56 for Pomona High School.
    Wes’s nickname sister DeAnn gave Wes was Chickybabe. I have no idea why.

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