Peter and Tiffany Barson are the Owners of Campbell Street Bicycle Shop in Arlington Heights, IL.
1) How/when did you get into cycling as a profession?
We opened our shop in November 2007, prior to that we were in the hotel and restaurant business. We were introduced to cycling by Tif’s brother, but were inspired to make healthy lifestyle choices by Peter’s mother’s battle with cancer.
2) How does your organization directly benefit cyclists?
We sell new and used bicycles, parts, and accessories. We encourage advocacy and helmet use, and are guest speakers at the local “Safety Town,” where we discuss bike safety and inspect hundreds of kid’s helmets. We also have an open shop to help take some of the mystery out of bike repair and allow people to use a stand and professional tools.
3) Do you specialize in a certain type of cycling?
I am passionate about transportation cycling and casual, non-competitive cycling.
4) What are your "must-have" items for cycling (this could be a tool, an accessory, a food, etc.)?
The proper (appropriate for the rider and bike) saddle, which for Peter is usually a Brook B-17, and an under saddle tool kit. A tube and patch kit, a small multi tool appropriate for bikes needs, and an inflator (frame pumps are best for reliability).
5) What do you see as the biggest area of opportunity in your niche market?
I would love to broaden people’s concept of what errands and trips can be taken by bike, and inform people about the value of a quality bike. Dollars per hour or mile, few hobbies or vehicles are as inexpensive as a quality, durable bicycle.
6) How do you think the cycling community has changed in the last year or two?
The understanding that very few people actually race bikes competitively continues to grow. Bikes can be more than a child’s toy or an enthusiast’s hobby, and are a viable way to get around.
7) If you could go on a bike ride with anyone (living or dead), who would it be?'
Ben Franklin? Not sure if he rode though; Joe Breeze probably has some great stories; and Sheldon Brown, who has been a hero of Peter’s for a long time.