By Patty Mooney
Photo: Patty Mooney and Mark Schulze married on their mountain bikes in San Diego’s Cleveland National Forest in 1987; creative commons photo by Rolf Schulze via Wikipedia
June 20, 2017 (Santee) - There’s a new kid on the block (8774 Cuyamaca Street) in Santee. Heads up to bicyclists in the neighborhood, because the “new kid” happens to be the illustrious Zumwalt’s Bicycle Center. The shop has served avid bicyclists in San Diego for over 85 years now and is the oldest family-run bicycle shop in our region. The cyclery had its roots in North Park when Robert Zumwalt, weary of repairing lawnmowers, began repairing bicycles and opened Zumwalt’s Bicycle Hospital along with his father on University Avenue in 1931. Father and son added bicycle sales, starting with Schwinn. The small shop weathered WW2 during which steel was unavailable for consumer goods like bicycles. So Zumwalt’s fell back on bicycle repairs and reconditioning used bicycles. When the war ended, the popularity of bicycles skyrocketed and Zumwalt’s cyclery flourished.
As the years passed, so too did management of the shop, first into the hands of Robert’s daughter, Shirlee Zumwalt-Hayman in 1979, then into the hands of Shirlee’s son, Todd. He purchased the College Cyclery from long-time family friend Jerry Rimoldi on El Cajon Blvd, in the College area in 1997. After Shirlee closed the North Park shop, Todd renamed his shop Zumwalt’s College Cyclery in 1999.
The Santee location is Zumwalt’s third. Their new address is: 8774 Cuyamaca Street, #A, Santee, CA 92071.
As a mountain biking couple who purchased our first “steel steeds” at the North Park location from Shirlee and Todd, we appreciate Zumwalt’s impeccable service and attention to detail and entrust Todd Hayman, fourth-generation “wrench” with the care and maintenance of our mountain bikes. One interesting historical factoid that might make Todd blush was that he appeared in the world’s first mountain-biking instructional video, “The Great Mountain Biking Video” produced by San Diego’s New & Unique Videos in 1987. He taught viewers how to bunny-hop their bicycles.