Making Macon: Capitol Cycle

Making Macon: Capitol Cycle

Capitol Cycle is a family-owned business that started in 1918 and has been selling anything on two wheels ever since. 

For almost a century, the Banks family has passed down a passion for transportation. 

Talking to his son, Don Banks thinks back on how much Capitol Cycle has changed through the decades. He even remembers his first sale.

"We sold a $1.38 pair of pedals," Banks recalled.

From there, business took off with a little help from a famous soda.

"That Coca-Cola box probably helped keep us in business because we sold more Coca-Colas," Banks said.

Banks says at first they only sold bicycles.

"We found that there was some company making a motor that goes on the bicycle and it was called a Whizzer, so we started putting those on the bicycles and that's how we started in the motorized aspect of the business," he said.

Now, they sell everything from dirt bikes to motorcycles and even the new Sling Shot, but his prized possession isn't so shiny – it’s an 1861 high wheeled bicycle.

"The reason they had high-wheelers is because they wanted the operator to be as high as a man on a horse," Banks explained.

In fact, his bike is so unique that the Smithsonian has been asking for it.

When he was younger, Banks' son Donnie enjoyed riding the high-wheeler, but what really caught his attention was the dirt bikes.

"I remember when we were downtown next to the library basically sitting on the bikes thinking hey I want to ride them and it was funny because my grandmother would tell me that motorcycles were meant to sell, not to ride," said current owner Donnie Banks with a laugh.

Decades later, he's running the family business and fixing up the bikes. He refuses to put the brakes on a booming business.

"The customer that walks in the door…he's family, you know? If we can keep him happy, that enables us to keep our employees happy and then everybody is happy," Donnie said.

With three generations selling everything from Schwinn to Honda, the Banks are excited to see their business pedal into the future for generations to come. 

Capitol Cycles sold more than 15,000 bikes last year.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment