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A J's Bicycle Shop
123 North Court Street, Fairfield, IA 52556
I'd say my son was about nine or ten when my wife and I decided to buy him a new bicycle.

Having out-grown his one-speed smaller bike, he was ready for a shifting bike. We went to A.J.'s Bike Shop in our town of Fairfield, Iowa. At that time, A.J.'s was on 4th Street in a small garage-like extension of an big house instead of his current location just off the town square.

"Just a minute," A.J. said, finishing up with another customer. After that, A.J. told us that he gave away a bicycle to every 100th customer who was buying a bike, and that we were number 100.

That was about fifteen years ago, but I still remember the moment: the small shop cluttered with shiny bikes, the smell of oils and mechanical things, and A.J. standing there in his blue mechanic's tool apron, a smile on his face while he enjoyed our happiness.

That's A.J. What would we do without such a man and such a shop in our town? I think over the years I've bought at least eight bicycles from A.J.'s Bike Shop. I've bought accessories. I've had my bikes tuned-up, modified, and fixed by A.J. I learned about the greater world of bicycling, joined the national Adventure Cycling organization, and have even done a bit of bicycle touring. I've become a bicycle commuter, traveling to work regularly on my bike.

I wouldn't have experienced this growth and these joys without having a local bike shop in my town. Fairfield, Iowa, was designated as one of the Great Places in Iowa, and part of its greatness is in having such great businesses as A.J.'s Bike Shop.

With great joy and memories, I celebrate my long-term business relationship with A.J., his partner-wife, and with all those wonderful bikes. There's just something happy about all those spinning wheels--and every town needs as many happy places as possible.

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