Huntington Beach bike shop now offering ‘Riot Proof’ T-shirts
The front window has been replaced and business is once again brisk at the downtown Huntington Beach bike shop, but the assistance just keeps coming.
The Main Street bike shop was at the center of the riotous behavior following the conclusion of the U.S. Open of Surfing late last month -- a stop sign plunged through the shop window, a bike grabbed by a looter and a second saved by employees who wrestled it away from a would-be thief.
Easyrider shop owner Jason Hilbert said customers, local businesses and anonymous donors have been so generous that he’s now starting a charity he hopes will benefit the beach city’s downtown community.
“The public and the locals defended our store when the police weren’t able to,” Hilbert, 39, said. “We’re truly humbled and overwhelmed with the support of the local businesses and local residents that were coming in and donating money for our window. Even though we told them no, they wouldn’t take no for an answer.”
In addition to the donations, the bike shop is hoping to build the fund by selling $20 T-shirts that read, “Defend Huntington Beach” and “Riot Proof,” with a portion going to the charity.
One of the first donations Hilbert received was a white envelope with five $20 bills someone had slipped into his store the day after the July 28 violence.
“To Easyrider: $100" was written on the upper half of the envelope, below it “from Danny & Kyle, Belmont Shore.”
“We still haven’t had any luck tracking them down,” Hilbert said. “Hopefully, we do, but if not it’ll go in the fund.”
He estimates about $3,000 has been collected so far.
Johnny Kresimir, owner of Johnny’s Saloon on Beach Boulevard and co-owner of Gallagher’s Pub in downtown Huntington Beach, donated $1,000 for the stolen bicycle and damages to the store.
Tiffani Randolph, 21, who works at Makin Waves Salon a few doors down from Easyrider, said she wasn’t surprised that the guys from the bicycle store would be so willing to help the community.
“Last week, I had my chain fall off of my bike, so I went over and they took my bike,” she said. “They fixed my chain, they pumped up my tires, and they brought my bike back and didn’t charge,” she said.
“They’re that kind of business.”
And it isn’t just the locals who are supporting Easyrider. Huntington Beach resident Ed Krajewski brought his sister, Julie, and her family from Chicago to the store after he had told them about what happened during the disturbance.
He had bought a T-shirt for a nephew a few days ago, and they returned to the store Tuesday to buy another for his niece before his sister’s family flew back home.
“I liked the fact that the community stood up for the store during the chaos,” Krajewski’s sister said.
Carpio writes for Times Community News.
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