Mountain Biking

Old Town North bike shop Wheel Nuts closing after over 20 years – ALXnow


Wheel Nuts in Old Town North (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

With redevelopment on the horizon, Wheel Nuts Bike Shop (302 Montgomery Street) owner Ron Taylor said it’s time to close up shop and ride into the sunset — specifically to West Virginia.

The store’s final day is set for tomorrow (Saturday) from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

The store is in the middle of the Montgomery Center, which developer Carr Companies is in the process of redeveloping. Taylor said the writing had been on the wall for a while.

“We were given significant advance notice that the building was being sold,” Taylor said. “My lease happens to run out in December. Demolition of the building is slated for maybe the end of the second quarter of next year, [around] June to October. At that point, all tenants will need to vacate.”

Taylor said he knew the development was coming sooner or later.

“There’s never any question that the Montgomery center will not be developed, we all knew that they had plans for the building,” Taylor said.

Wheel Nuts has been a fixture for local cyclists for over twenty years, with a location easily accessible from the Alexandria portion of the Mount Vernon trail. The business’ website said the shop opened in 1999, but by Taylor’s count it’s been around 25 years.

“We’ve been in business 25 years,” Taylor said. “It’s bittersweet. I’m the owner of the shop — my wife and I own the shop, and my wife just retired from the Fairfax County Park Authority, so it’s nice that we were able to tie it in with when she retired.”

Taylor said since announcing the store’s closure, he’s gotten a flurry of emails and texts and phone calls both from past customers and neighbors sharing just how important the shop was to them.

“I’m going to miss the work, I’m going to miss my staff, going to miss the community, going to miss cyclists that came off the trail,” Taylor said. “I’m saddened by it, but I’m excited for what the future holds.”

Taylor said he’s looking forward to new adventures when the pair move to a new home in West Virginia.

“We’re both into the outdoors and looking forward to mountain biking and skiing,” Taylor said. “We plan to do a lot of traveling and we’re excited to visit national parks, and do biking: we want to practice what we’ve been preaching for many years.”