November 2014, by Jay Freeman (CC BY-SA)

Varsity Bike Shop has been in this location since 1964, founded by George Misbeek and two friends. The Daily Nexus interviewed Misbeek about the history of the shop in 2016:

Ad in a February 1987 issue of the Isla Vista Free Press. The Isla Vista Foot Patrol is no longer next door."There was a particular “cycle boom” amongst UCSB students in the 1960s, as noted by a 1964 headline in El Gaucho (a predecessor to the Nexus). The story reported 23 accidents and 659 bike thefts in the 1963-1964 school year, events that campus police considered a “major problem” to address the following school year. Misbeek took advantage of this “cycle boom” when he and two other friends started Varsity Bike Shop on Sept. 18, 1964, a date he quickly recalls today. The founder, now 87 years old, said bikes were well in use by the time he had set up shop in a building where “they hadn’t even got all the walls in yet.” He and his co-owners were “optimistic” of the store’s future; they anticipated continuing growth for the university, both in enrollment numbers and in the physical size of the campus."

"Varsity Bike Shop could hardly keep up with demand. Misbeek remembers opening at 6 a.m. and working nonstop until as late as 2 a.m. He would buy several large containers of 350 bikes, “all of them black three-speeds.” It would only take about six weeks, he said, to sell an entire container of bikes, each priced from $39 to $49 in 1964. Three to four years later, the same bikes were selling at $70 to $80."

Contact Information

6547 Pardall Road

Mon–Thu 9:00am–6:00pm

Fri–Sat 9:00am–5:00pm

(805) 968-4914
George Misbeek