Still Thriving After 87 Years
Sickler’s Bike & Sports Shop has endured a World War, historic floods and now a world-wide pandemic. They’ve moved around the Valley and changed hands over the years, but one thing has never changed: their love for cycling. Sickler’s ownership and staff are dedicated not only to selling and servicing bikes, but also sharing their passion through group rides, clinics, workshops and local events.
A Longtime Staple in the Cycling Community
Lauren Sickler founded the original shop in 1933. His grandson, Tom Jones, worked alongside him for years and acquired the business around the late ’80s or early ’90s. The shop changed hands two more times and moved from its original location next to King’s College in Wilkes-Barre to Exeter.
While in Exeter, Dave Kaplan, the current owner, built a second location in Clarks Summit. The Exeter store moved to Kingston and has now found its permanent location on the corner of Wyoming Avenue and Market Street.
A Look Inside the Shop
Sickler’s carries Cannondale, Specialized, Giant, GT and Salsa as their major brands. All of these brands offer a full spectrum of quality bicycles, from kids bikes to mountain bikes to BMX and gravel bikes. Whether you like to take relaxing rides along the rail trails or compete in road races and triathlons, you’ll find the right bike for you. Sickler’s also offers electric assist bikes that come in a variety of styles, from comfort bikes to mountain bikes to road riding bikes.
Both shops do their best to carry everything a cyclist would need, like clothing, tires, tubes, spare parts, flat repair kits, pumps, bells, racks and more. The shop also takes care of service, from simple tune-ups to more complicated repairs.
While they offer basic repair services, Sickler’s does their best to meet the customer’s individual needs. They can adjust the bike to make it more comfortable for you.
Connecting With the Community
The shop and staff members are actively involved in NEPA’s cycling community. They hold group rides and clinics, and they often help out at events, like volunteering at local charity rides or providing food and refreshments for trail building groups.
Some of the staff members are part of the Moon Lake Trail Crew. The group works with land management and property owners like the DCNR Bureau of Forestry to maintain, plan and build new trails at the Moon Lake State Forest Recreation Area. This trail system in Hunlock Creek is known as one of the best riding spots in the area.
“There are around 20 miles of mountain-bike-specific trails that range from intermediate to advanced level riding. There’s also plenty of service roads to explore for the rider looking for a more relaxed, scenic ride,” said Kyle Parsons, Sickler’s staff member and trail crew volunteer. “The recreation area is also off limits to hunting year-round, so it makes for a safe haven as long as you stay within its boundaries.”
The Moon Lake Trail Crew is currently working with DCNR to get proper, approved trail signage. Follow their Facebook page for project updates and volunteer opportunities.
Sharing the Love of Cycling
After 87 years, what’s the driving force behind this thriving business? It is a passion that words can hardly explain. It’s a return to youth. It’s freedom and escape. It’s the reward of soaring like an eagle after the hard work of pedaling to the top of a mountain. It’s exploration, tranquility, exhilaration and endorphins all at the same time. It’s the excitement of making big gains in personal improvement, stamina and strength.
That’s the kind of passion that’s behind Sickler’s, and they’re dedicated to sharing it with customers. If you haven’t ridden in a while, get out there again and remember how incredible it feels.