It’s time to introduce the third generation of Richwagens, owners of Richwagen’s Bike & Sport. Welcome 8-month-old Ava, daughter of the store owner Albert Richwagen and his fiancée, Lisa Napolitano. As far as biking is concerned, it’s never too young to start.
“I’ve put Ava on the seat of a bike, and she’ll be riding a tricycle before she can walk,” Richwagen said.
Albert Richwagen represents the second generation in his family business, which his father, Robert, founded 60 years ago. Albert and his mother, Bertha, took over in 1988, after Robert died.
In its fifth location — a 3,000-square-foot store at 298 NE Sixth Ave. in Delray Beach — the business has seen some changes over the years.
A little history: Robert, who learned machine work in high school and during World War II, was a welder at the Boston shipyard. After moving to Delray Beach, he took his skills and ingenuity and applied them to products for his new store, where he sold go-karts and Vespa scooters. A man on the move, so to speak.
“In the 1960s Gidget days, he started shaping surfboards, and then, noticing the number of retirees, he designed a three-wheeled bicycle for adults,” Albert Richwagen recalled.
And things continue to evolve.
“Now, people are loving electric bikes,” Albert Richwagen said. “That side of the business has grown 150% during the pandemic, and kids’ bike sales have exploded, too. The sale of kids’ bikes had dropped steadily over the last 10 years. But when gyms, pools, tennis courts and playgrounds closed during the pandemic, family biking really took off.”
The Richwagen store closed its doors at the start of the pandemic, but offered curb service. It is fully open again. And, by the way, Bertha, 83, misses working there, Albert says.
“She stopped because of the pandemic, but she would be there every day, if she could.”
Photo by Tim Stepien – Bertha Richwagen, Lisa Richwagen, Ava Marie Richwagen, 8 months, and Albert Richwagen pictured inside of Richwagen’s Bike & Sport, 298 NE 6th Ave. Delray Beach, Florida on Sunday afternoon.