The 1950’s ushered in a boom time for Edmonton, and United Cycle was able to capitalize and build during these years. In 1952, when Reg and Lois Brooks took over and began to learn about the sporting goods and bicycle business, United Cycle’s store was 16 feet wide by 100 feet long. One third of the space was for sales – featuring bikes, skates, bats and ball gloves, hockey, figure skates, wagons, trikes, and their two top sellers – fishing and hunting gear. The oil floored repair shop was used for key cutting, skate sharpening, and bike and lawn mower repair. The unheated storage area at the back had planks covering a dirt floor. Top brands were CCM, Bauer, Spalding, Cooper, Winwell, Thistle trikes, and Leader. Products could be purchased locally from downtown distributors such as Marshall Wells, Ash Downs, and Motor Car Supply.

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Most customers at this time were men – often arriving by the streetcar that went up and down Whyte Avenue (that would have been a great asset to the parking nightmares of the 80’s and 90’s!). Reg had one other staff member, with Art Bonneyman in the back service area. Some days were quite slow with only 4 to 5 shoppers, while Saturdays could be crazy, with customers often helping out behind the counter! Because there was such a small staff, tasks like lawnmower and skate sharpening and bike repairs had to be done in the early morning before the store opened.

One of the popular community events was the 100-mile, 3 speed road bike races from Red Deer to Edmonton, and during this decade, United Cycle began a fifty-year relationship with Little League Baseball.

The 1950’s saw the beginning of a legacy of construction and remodeling. Reg was a builder at heart (a quality which seems to run in the family), so there has been continuous relocation or renovation for the past 50 years. The growth in Edmonton’s economy helped the Brooks family to move into its own location by the end of the decade.


Raleigh Brooks retired and sold the business to his nephew Reg Brooks.


Art Bonneyman purchased Edmonton Cycle and sold repair end of business to Reg Brooks. Art Bonneyman established a standard of excellence in skate sharpening at United Cycle. Wilf Brooks got his feet wet (and stayed out of trouble!) setting up trikes in an old shed behind Southside Sound location (10356-82Ave).


Reg moved United Cycle off Whyte Avenue to 8239 – 104 Street. The building was the old Bell Meat Market and the basement was used for Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

1950s facts

  • Population of Edmonton: 169,196

  • Prime Minister: Louis St. Laurent

  • Average annual income: $3,000

  • Average cost of a bike: $42.99

  • Average cost of skates: $26.99

  • Edmonton Mercurys won gold at the Olympics

  • CBC began its first TV broadcast

  • Superman premiered on TV

  • Singing in the Rain was a top song