Garfield Bike Shop to Close Completely After Part of Building Collapses – WPXI

PITTSBURGH — A longtime bike shop is set to close completely for now, after its back completely collapsed amid wet Friday morning weather.

PICTURES: A collapsing wall behind a bike shop in Pittsburgh

“It’s my life,” said Rocky Cristobal, owner of Kraynick’s Bike Shop on Penn Avenue in Garfield. “I have my family and then my bike shop.”

Around 6 a.m. Friday, the rear of the building caved in. Behind the business is now a pile of rubble, bike parts on concrete. No one was hurt.

“It all finally came to an end…it wasn’t completely unexpected. It’s like anything in life, you just have to live with it,” said Jerry Kraynick, the former owner of the boutique, who came to the scene on Friday to support Cristobal.

A city spokesperson said the collapse was the result of “dangerous” construction work that the owner of the neighboring business, Artisan, had had done.

City officials say he had already received a stop work order, and in the past few months Kraynick’s fullback has been condemned. Cristobal had been cleared to operate at the front of the building. But from Friday the whole structure had to be boarded up and utilities cut off.

The Craftsman owner had no comment on Friday. Court records show he is due to appear later this month.

“The contractor made a mistake, which happens, so we’re doing our best and hopefully everything will be fine here,” Kraynick said.

Kraynick’s father opened the beloved bicycle shop in the 1940s, operating in several neighborhoods including Squirrel Hill and the Hill District. In the 1970s, the shop moved to its current location in Garfield. The Kraynicks have always sought to run a “community shop” and have provided several services for free.

Cristobal sought to continue this legacy.

He volunteered at the store before eventually taking over from Kraynick for the past five years.

“He was one of my best volunteers and eventually decided he wanted to own the place.”

The bike industry is a labor of love for Cristobal.

“We give a lot of people access to cycling and transportation,” he said. “It will be fine, because we have insurance. But the people who really need us the most, they will have problems, because many people depend on their bikes to get to work or to exercise… we want to be there for them as much as they are there for us.”

Cristobal said he hopes to be up and running again by the summer, if not in Garfield, maybe in a new location. He tries to keep smiling.

“I learned this from Jerry: in everything that happens around you, always try to look for the positive…that gets me through everything. It’s all about attitude. It’s something you can control.