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Hub owner 'so disappointed'

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Cyclists in Hays will have to look elsewhere for bike repairs and supplies.

John Schlitter, owner of the Hub Bicycle Shop, 803 Fort, thinks that's a shame.

Schlitter, who lives in Florida, announced Monday he was closing his Hays shop, effective immediately. He was shipping the contents to Florida, where he started a recumbent bike business in 2006.

Schlitter thought he had an agreement in place for the shop's manager to take over the business, but that deal fell through.

"It's a sad situation," Schlitter said Tuesday in a telephone interview from Florida. "I still wanted to maintain the shop, as long as it didn't cost me money, and paid the wages. I had no problem keeping it going as long as it could go. Unfortunately, eventually I had to pull the plug."

Schlitter owned a bike shop in Hays in the 1970s, then went to work at his brother Randy's company, RANS Designs, with its recumbent bikes. He stayed there until opening the Hub in 1999.

Schlitter said a bike shop such as his can make a go of it in Hays.

"If someone is willing to put the hours into (a) shop, run it accordingly, they would make a decent living, very good living," he said. "That's the sad part about it. It could be a very profitable business if run right."

But for now, Hays' lone shop catering to bicycles is closed.

"Very disappointed, very disappointed," Schlitter said. "So disappointed, tried to provide a service for Hays."