Longtime shop owner walks away from College Park Bicycles

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (BRAIN) – Longtime retailer Larry Black told BRAIN that he is handing over College Park Bicycles to another owner. Black also owns Mount Airy Bicycles in Maryland and said he will continue to operate that location for the foreseeable future.

Black, who with his wife Linda owned College Park Bicycles for 42 years, said he would make the announcement official during an open house at the store on Oct. 3. The Blacks have owned Mount Airy Bicycles since 1991.

“She’s been stalking me for years, as the place turned into red-rimmed ink eight years ago,” said Black, whose College Park location offers new and used bikes. “COVID completely reversed the situation as hundreds and hundreds of second-hand bikes started flying through the doors.”

Marden Timen is the new owner, and Larry Black said Timen will pay for tools, fixtures, bikes and equipment as they go. Black said Timen was new to retail, but imported bikes from China, advertised on Facebook, while selling from a warehouse. Black said Timen also wholesales small quantities of his bikes to area stores.

Black said three employees will continue to work with the new owner and most free follow-up services will be honored.

“We’re leaving on a really high note,” Black said. “And those are the best moments of my entire career in a bike shop.”

Black said despite the supply chain issues, it’s an exciting time in the industry.

“I can’t wait to get up and find homes for worthy used bikes,” he said. “We love the current market conditions. People don’t care about brand, care very little about frame material, speeds, specs. Does it fit me? Can I get it soon? “

One less store will give Blacks much-needed respite.

Linda “balanced the books until 3 a.m. for 42 years and looks forward to a little less work and more travel,” Larry said.

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