Max Ray remembers how he got into the bicycle repair business.
"I fixed my brother's bike many, many years ago," he said. "He then brought me another guy's bike to work on, and that was it."
Ray, 75, is the owner of Grove City Bike Repair, which has been located at 3957 Broadway in the Town Center since he opened there in 1982.
But the city purchased the property in April to make room for the new Grove City branch of Southwest Public Libraries, displacing the current tenants, including Ray's shop, and he decided to close down, unable to find another location that matched the $275 monthly rent he had been paying since the 1980s.
"I appreciate all the business" from the community over the years, Ray said. "We serviced you all the best we could ... (but) it's time to get it over."
Repairing bicycles, Ray said, has a number of challenges, some of them quite difficult, that he enjoys taking on.
Even with cars, buses and other modes of transportation, Ray said bicycles still have their place and purpose. Many of his customers were regulars, Ray said.
"This town needs a bike shop," he said.
Ironically, Ray said he doesn't ride a bicycle himself; he was sidelined from the activity a few years ago by a bad ankle.
On Saturday, Aug. 10, Grove City Town Center Inc. hosted a reception for Ray outside Grove City Bike Repair, and members of Grove City Council as well as Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage turned out to present him with a resolution of appreciation, thanking him for his professionalism, dedication and contributions to the community.
"It's been a wonderful 30 years," said Councilwoman Maria Klemack-McGraw, who read the council resolution.
Stage said he himself ran a bicycle shop many years ago.
"I don't know if I ever repaired any of yours, but you repaired plenty of mine," he said to Ray. "We hate to see (Ray) go. We'll miss him."
Ray, a Grove City resident for about 35 years, said he doesn't have any plans for retirement at the moment, except to help his daughter move.