Twin Cities bike repair pioneer Howard Hawkins dies at 82

Background Reading

Summary

Howard Hawkins, co-founder of Oakdale-based Park Tool, died Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, at age 82. (Courtesy photo)

Howard Hawkins, co-founder of Oakdale-based Park Tool, died Monday, Jan. 26, 2015, at age 82. (Courtesy photo)

The story begins:

Howard Hawkins, who helped build Oakdale-based Park Tool into one of the most recognizable global brands in bicycle repair, died Monday at his Arizona home. He was 82.

Hawkins died of complications related to a heart attack he suffered several days ago, said his son Eric, who now runs the company his father co-founded.

The elder Hawkins, along with his friend and business partner Art Engstrom, started Park Tool in 1963. Today, the company’s distinctive blue products are found in nearly every bike shop in the U.S., and are shipped to more than 70 countries.


TakeAways

Anyone who has done any work on a bicycle in the past couple of decades owes a great deal to the founders of Park Tool. Virtually every tool I have was either made or inspired by them.