BELMONT, MA (BRAIN) — Hurricane Sandy has shut down most bike shops and suppliers from North Carolina to Southern New England, as high winds and heavy rain precede the storm's landfall, expected later Monday.
Most shops from Washington, D.C. to Boston are closed, with a few exceptions.
Belmont Wheelworks, one of the largest shops in Massachusetts, planned to stay open until 2 pm local time, said salesman Dan Roveto.
"It's pretty dead here. Most stores are closed, the schools are closed," Roveto told BRAIN Monday morning. "My wife wouldn't let me ride my bike in today, so I drove. There are not many people out."
Farther south, W.E. Stedman Co. Bikes in Wakefield, Rhode Island, planned to stay open all day, said floor manager Jay Faria.
"We're getting some things done, little things. We have some pre-season stuff coming in," said Faria.
Stedman's and Belmont were exceptions, however, as most shops in New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C. and Southern New England posted messages on their Facebook pages or websites announcing that they would be closed Monday. Most shops planned to stay closed at least through Tuesday or Wednesday.
Many suppliers are closing, as well.
QBP East closed its Pennsylvania facility mid-day Monday. QBP's Central warehouse in Minnesota will fulfill orders coming from East Coast customers, said Dave Smith, site manager for QBP East. Most shops from South Carolina and south are open, he said.
"We opened this morning and filled a couple of orders, but our freight carriers are not running, so it doesn't make much sense," Smith said. The concern in central Pennsylvania is that high winds could knock out powerlines, he said. "Public schools are closed, mass transit is closed. There are places just a few minutes from here that have already lost power," he said.
Much farther north, Downeast Bicycle Specialists in Fryeburg, Maine, was open for business Monday, said buyer Peter Moore. Most of Downeast's customers are close to Boston.
"Most of our accounts are closed, but we are open," Moore said. "We are not feeling anything (from the hurricane) here yet; it is supposed to hit later today." He said UPS was still picking up orders at Downeast. "Their hub is in Lewiston, Maine (father north and east), so they are OK," he said.
ASI, the distributor of Fuji and other brands, closed its Philadelphia office, with a few employees working from home, said Rob Gaspari, who answered the office line from home Monday. "For the most part the city is shut down," Gaspari said. "As a precaution we are not open but a couple of us have remote access so we are working from outside the office."
Mavic, Inc., has closed its U.S. offices in Haverhill, Massachusetts, for the day, Mavic spokesman Zack Vestal said.
Jamis Bicycles has closed its headquarters in Northvale, New Jersey, putting a crimp in shipments to dealers. Some 50 to 55 percent of sales and shipments go through the New Jersey warehouse, but the company is continuing to move product out of its locations in Miami, Florida, and Santa Ana, California, said Greg Webber, vice president of product development. Calls to Northvale are being routed to Miami.
A power outage in New Jersey, however, could take down the company’s credit department, further affecting delivery, Webber added. When Hurricane Irene swept through the region last year, Jamis lost power for 72 hours.
In Washington, D.C., the city has shut down mass transit and the bike share program. D.C.-based League of American Bicyclists has closed its offices for the day.
Watch for more developments to this story later today and this week.