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Erik The Bikeman: 13 year old entrepreneur to retail chain owner

  • Apr 17, 2014 · 6:15 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

This Year is Erik Saltvold's 37th Year in business, he was 13 when he started ERIK'S BIKE SHOP. His first bike, a hand-me-down from an older family member, sparked his interest in bikes. With entrepreneurial spirit, and the money he saved from his job (the only other job he's ever had) as a paperboy - Erik began his business. He bought 50 used bikes, fixed them up, and sold them.

Erik's original workshop was in his parent's backyard, inside one of the few remaining barns in the urban setting of Richfield, Minnesota. A homemade sign brought business to his doorstep.

Throughout high school, Erik worked out of the barn, as part of a school work for credit program. In fact, half of the grading system was for on-the-job performance. Being a "one-man operation" Erik had to grade himself... so he managed to earn a lot of A's!

By his senior year (1982), the business (now stocking NEW bikes and accessories) began to take over storage space from his parents' basement... to the dining room... to the family room. So at 18, Erik moved his business out of his parents' barn and opened a store on 72nd & Chicago Avenue South in Richfield, Minnesota.

His business philosophy remains... professional, knowledgeable service in a friendly store environment.

Now in his 40s, Erik employs up to 300 people and has 18 store locations, 14 in Minnesota and 4 in Wisconsin. His selection of products and services focuses on Bicycling, Snowboards, Downhill Skis, Skateboards, Pro Scooters and all the gear that goes with them.

Erik enjoys working at the shops and helping customers find that perfect bike, snowboard or downhill skis! In fact, he often meets a "Third Generation Shopper" of a customer from his original backyard barn store!

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  • Jason

    This was my first time, and I really enjoyed it. Erik was a great speaker and had something for everyone in my eyes.

    April 18, 2014

  • rich s.

    Terrific information. Erik's focus on customer service and reinvestment is a reminder of how great brands are built. Now off for a quick 20mile ride.

    April 18, 2014

  • Dan

    Erik is a great guy!

    April 17, 2014

  • Ketan K.

    I may not be able to attend, so changed my RSVP to make sure others on wait list can attend.

    April 16, 2014

  • Roger S.

    I'm excited to learn from Erik's story. I'm operating my business out of my basement and would like to move above grade at some point.

    February 20, 2014

  • Clyde H.

    I have hear Erik speak and it is energizing and enlightening. He really shared this thinking and decisions as key stages in the development of the business. His learning applies to all types of business.

    January 27, 2014

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