Photo by Jeanine Fiser – A row of bikes at the Fulton Cycle Works now open in downtown Hanford after owner Darren.
By Jeanine Fiser | Reporter
Cyclists in Hanford have a local bicycle shop once again after the opening of Fulton Cycle Works June 30. Based on owner Darren Johnson’s hopes, fans of two-wheeled travel can expect more than just parts and repair from the store.
Johnson considered opening a shop in Hanford for several years, but did not think he would move his entire business there until constant break-ins at his downtown Fresno location left him with no desire to stay. The new shop is located at 219 N. Irwin Street in Hanford.
“We looked at opening a second store in this building two years ago,” Johnson said. “Actually a week before the last break-in I was standing in the suite next door to this one checking it out. Then after that final break-in I called on this suite since it was bigger and decided to move the entire shop here.”
Johnson said his Fresno shop suffered four break-ins just this Spring.
“I couldn’t board up the windows fast enough,” Johnson said. “It was one after another, I’d get the window fixed and get hit again.”
Johnson said so far he likes the new location and has already seen an increase in business. He said Hanford’s downtown has less crime so it is easier to draw customers from all over town.
“I actually think I’m going to have a stronger impact on the competition I had in Fresno from this spot,” Johnson said.
The opening of Fulton Cycle Works marks the first bicycle store to serve the Hanford area in several years. Johnson said the move has increased a demand for beach cruisers and mountain bikes, whereas in Fresno he dealt mostly with road bikes.
“There’s a lot of interest in BMX too,” Johnson said. “There’s two courses nearby, one in Hanford and one in Lemoore. I also decided on a line of Mountain Bikes to sell, just waiting for them to come in.”
The store held an open house during Hanford’s Thursday Night Marketplace and Johnson said they have a Grand Opening planned for Saturday July 16.
Johnson first got into bicycles when he started using one to commute to work. He said he wanted to get more exercise and his interest grew from there. He still likes to ride when he has the time.
“Right now, I feel like I have the curse of the bike shop owner,” Johnson said. “I can’t find any time to ride any bikes because I’m spending too much time fixing bikes, but that’s how it goes.”
Several customers popped in and out of the shop looking for parts and commenting that proximity brought them in. Johnson said he actually had a few customers from Fresno and Clovis come by train to see the new shop.
“I think it could be something people could do for a fun little trip,” Johnson said. “They made a day out if it, took their bikes on the train down, came in and of course made a stop at Superior Dairy.”
Johnson said that although he has no concrete plans for events in the future there are a few races he would like to bring back to the town. One in particular is the Hanford Criterium bike race, or as he called it “the crit.” Johnson said Hanford has not held a criterium race in a few years, but that it is a rather exciting event for racer and spectator.
“What they do is block off streets in the city and have a mass-start road race,” Johnson said. “It’s fun to watch because it’s about a mile turned into a lap so people can watch the riders go by more than once.”