Our History

There has been a bike shop within a block of our present site since around 1922. For most of that time, it was owned & operated by George Dudgeon. George was born in Elwood, Indiana back in 1903. His parents moved to a house on Epler, about a block west of our current location. Although he had polio when he was young and could never ride a bike, George became fascinated with cycling when an uncle rode down from Elwood to Indianapolis. He has been in the bicycle business since the age of 14, originally selling parts out of his parents’ house. His first shop was originally designed to be a chicken coop, but George talked his dad into letting him convert it into a bicycle store.

George started carrying Schwinn bicycles in 1927, back when Schwinn was the dominant brand. His little bike shop prospered, and in 1942 he moved into a larger store, located on Madison Avenue, where the Speedway gas station now stands. Marathon wanted that choice corner location for a filling station, so they made George an offer he couldn’t refuse. They purchased the real estate where Supreme Bicycles was located, and the adjoining properties. George moved into a larger store (our present one) in 1964.

Those first years in the new store were very good ones, and Supreme sold over 1,000 Schwinns in 1967. A young man named Roy Keller began working at the store in 1968, so he could pay his tuition at Indiana Central (more on him later). Business was so good in the 60s that the store was expanded to its present size in 1969 when our current service area was added. Cycling boomed in the seventies, and the only problem bike shops had was getting bicycles to sell. By the time a shipment of 200 bikes would arrive at the store, three-quarters of them would be already sold. At one point there were only 5 bicycles on our showroom floor.

After the 70s, the bicycle business has gotten progressively more difficult. That, combined with some business decisions that didn’t work out, drove Supreme Bicycles into bankruptcy in late 1992. Roy Keller (who had continued on after graduation & became George’s shop manager) and John Stack bought the assets of Supreme Schwinn, and reopened the store as Circle City Bicycles in the spring of 1993. Fortunately the shutdown was only during the winter, and many of our customers never knew the store was ever closed.
Pete & Ed Books began in 1993, when Pete Benner and Ed Pope started selling bicycling books at local rides. Ed, along with Chuck Fearnow & John Kistler, had written a book called “25 Bicycles Tours in Southern Indiana”, and sold some copies of it at the Hilly Hundred the previous year. In 1996, Pete & Ed Books went online with its first web page. Phone orders & shipping were handled by Circle City Bicycles, which is still true today.

In 2000, John Stack sold out his interest to pursue another business opportunity. Pete Benner and Ed Pope became co-owners along with Roy, and George Dudgeon still maintains a small interest in the company. In late 2000, we bought out the assets of Biker Up! and began selling bicycling-related gift items. In 2001 we went on-line again, selling the gift items as Pete & Ed Gifts.

On October 12, 2003 George celebrated his 100th birthday (86 of them in the bike business).

Many things have changed since our first store was opened in a chicken coop back in 1922, one thing hasn’t. The bicycles may look a lot different, but we still strive to give you the same personal service that George delivered in his first shop. Stop in & visit our store at Madison and Epler, or check us out online at CircleCityBicycles.com.


George passed away on March 28, 2004. He will be missed by all of us.