Learning how to ride a bike is a childhood rite of passage. Learning how to fix a bicycle as a child has turned into a lifelong business venture for Bill Adcock.
The 76 year old, who owns Bike World of Covington at 3140 U.S. Highway 278, has been in business and at the same location for almost 40 years.
Adcock does bicycle repairs and sells mountain, hybrid and road bikes as well as a number of other types. The oldest bike in his store is a Dry Shaft, built in 1895.
Adcock gained a love for bikes early, learning how to ride at age 4 or 5.
“I started working in a bicycle shop when I was 9 years old in Decatur, and I worked with them until I graduated from Decatur High School [in 1954]. I traveled after that for 20 years, selling parts to bicycle shops on the road, covering Georgia and South Carolina. And after 20 years of travel, I said, ‘Heck, I can stay at home and make a living,’ so I decided to open my own bike shop. … And this is where I have been for the rest of my life,” Adcock said.
The Morgan County resident has been in the bicycle business for 56 years, opening his first shop in Madison in 1971.
“It was such a small town, I said, ‘Heck, I need another location, you know, to make a living,’ so I decided to move to Covington [in 1974] and we had two bike shops. My wife was running the one in Madison and I was mainly at this store, but I was doing most of the work here. She was taking in repairs and I was bringing them to Covington and fixing them,” Adcock said.
The father of four said he rides a bicycle every day and that he has worked on them for so many years, he can practically fix one in the dark.
He joked that while he loves getting cyclists back on the road after repairing their bikes, he doesn’t see any signs that his children will follow in his footsteps.
“My girls are into computers real big, and I’ve got a son who works at General Mills, he’s been there about 15 years; [and] I’ve got a son, who’s in the guard and he’s about to retire from the National Guard. But, I don’t think their interested in it,” he said with a smile.
That doesn’t stop Adcock from teaching his eight grandchildren how to fix and ride bicycles. He said they are young and share his love for pedal power.
And he’s selling to yet another generation of Newton County residents, some of whom are his grandchildren’s ages.
“Well, we’re selling now to the third generation. I’m selling to kids now who I’ve sold to their dad and also their dad,” Adcock said. “It makes me think back a lot. It’s just, you see people who you haven’t seen in a long time and it’s good to meet people. I enjoy talking to different ones and I remember faces, but not names too well.”
In his leisure time, Adcock said he enjoys taking care of his yard at his home in Madison.
He said most people would retire at his age, but he loves what he’s doing and plans to work “’til I kick the bucket, as they say. I can’t sit in the house, now that’s for sure.”