United Cycle was incorporated in 1928. Similar to many other businesses at this time, United Cycle was operated by an owner and perhaps one or two staff members. Community relations with athletic clubs, community leagues, and sports teams were fostered early in the life of United Cycle. Raleigh Brooks claimed that he went through the depression, but somehow the business always provided a living. Bikes were an important means of transportation and often used for deliveries. It was common for customers to make payments of $1 per week from their earnings to pay for their bikes. As a sign of the times, there were four hardware stores on one block of Whyte Avenue. During the late 40’s, business went through a period of regrouping after the war.


United Cycle and Motor Co. Ltd. was formed to sell sporting goods and small engine products at 10342-82 Avenue. Mr. Montague merged three stores when he purchased two small bicycle stores and incorporated them and Harris Sporting Goods – as United Cycle. The original phone number “31181” is still used, although today the number is 433-1181.


Raleigh Brooks purchased United Cycle and focused on the retail sale of sporting goods and bicycles. Art Bonneyman owned and operated the repair end of the business (skate sharpening, bike repair, lawn mower sharpening, and lock smithing). Raleigh had three sons who helped in the business when needed. Two sons were killed in the war and the third son drowned in the early fifties.

1920s-1940s facts

  • Population of Edmonton: 69,744

  • Prime Minister: William Lyon Mackenzie King

  • Average annual income: $2000

  • Average cost of a bike: $30

  • Skates sharpened: $0.25