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Haight Legacy Business Candidates: American Cyclery and Bound Together Anarchist Bookstore

These businesses are candidates in our Heritage in the Neighborhoods: Haight-Ashbury legacy business voting contest, running from August 1-31, 2022. VOTE HERE

Originally established in 1941 by Oscar Juner, a former Six Day track bicycle racer, American Cyclery is the oldest bicycle shop in San Francisco. It has a rich, well-established history of providing new and vintage bicycles and components to a large customer base throughout the city and beyond.

A poster featuring original owner Oscar Juner hanging on the wall of American Cyclery. SF Heritage photo.

Juner operated the specialty store for fifty years, and many racers bought their first bikes there. He was one to pull stunts, and according to his 2002 obituary he made a clandestine attempt to cross the Golden Gate Bridge before it opened in 1937, only to be scuttled “when his tire caught in the slotted expansion joints, and both wheels broke.”

American Cyclery, at 510 Frederick Street. SF Heritage photo.

Records show that American Cyclery has occupied the same location on the corner of Stanyan and Frederick streets for at least 70 years, appearing in city directories at 510 Frederick Street starting in 1953. Proprietor Bradley Woehl, a longtime cyclist and lover of vintage bicycles, has owned the business for over 25 years, selling both production and custom bikes while running a prosperous service department.

Shop owner Bradley Woehl displays a few vintage bicycles passed down to him from previous owner Oscar Juner and his family members in the shop.

In February 2020, Woehl had put American Cyclery on the market in order pursue other opportunities and spend more time with family, but the Covid pandemic threw a wrench into those plans, along with a mandatory building retrofit that forced temporary layoffs. Today, he is committed to keeping American Cyclery in operation and continues as its owner. Since the start of the pandemic, he has seen a steady rise in the popularity of cycling as a safe pandemic activity, and an influx of new customers into the shop.

Bound Together Anarchist Bookstore, located at 1369 Haight Street. SF Heritage photo.

Bound Together is a volunteer-run Anarchist Bookstore collective carrying printed material on queer culture, feminism, fiction, alternative culture, international and national politics, poetry, drugs, spirit, and of course Anarchism.

Inside Bound Together Anarchist Bookstore. SF Heritage photo.
Joey Cain, collective member at Bound Together, stands for a portrait session with our 1506 Haight Street window artist, Bee Betwee. See Joey’s portrait alongside other Haight Street personalities at 1506 Haight Street until August 31!

Founded in 1976 during the heyday of the collective and cooperative movement in San Francisco, its founders pooled their resources to start a shop providing books that could be used to remake and transform the urban landscape into a more human place. Each one chipped in $50 to rent a former drug store at Hayes and Ashbury Streets, and soon the store became a nexus for a radical, visionary community.

After a few years, old and new members began to realize that there was a name, history, and practice for what they were trying to accomplish as a collective bookstore: Anarchism, and its emphasis on non-authoritarian collective action, a radical critique of economic, sexual and social relations, and the idea of remaking a new society in the ruins of the old.

In 1983, the store moved to its current location on Haight Street, and collective members changed the shop’s name to Bound Together: An Anarchist Collective Bookstore.

Most recently, the shop featured in a 2021 collaboration between SF Heritage and Joe Goode Performance Group called “Time of Change,” where co-directors OYSTERKNIFE staged a sequence outside the shop. OYSTERKNIFE’s piece within the show explored little known stories of Black life in the Haight-Ashbury and how the influx of hippies during the 1960s and 1970s influenced life in the neighborhood, and Bound Together was cited as an important business in the neighborhood that inspired actor and native San Franciscan Danny Glover.

Legacy BusinessesHaight-Ashbury

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