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Longtime shop owner stepping away from College Park Bicycles

Published September 24, 2021

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (BRAIN) — Longtime retailer Larry Black told BRAIN that he is turning 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 wife Linda owned College Park Bicycles for 42 years, said he will make the announcement official during an open house at the shop on Oct. 3. The Blacks have owned Mount Airy Bicycles since 1991.

"She's been hounding me for years, while the place spiraled into the edge red ink starting eight years ago," said Black, whose College Park location offers new and used bikes. "COVID completely turned it around as hundreds and hundreds of used bikes started flying out the doors."

Marden Timen is the new owner, and Larry Black said Timen will pay for tools, fixtures, and bikes and gear as he goes along. Black said Timen is a newcomer to the retail shop business but has been importing bikes from China, advertising on Facebook, while selling from a warehouse. Black said Timen also was wholesaling small quantities of his bikes to shops in the region.

Black said three employees will continue working with the new ownership and most of the free follow-up service will be honored.

"We're going out on a very high note," Black said. "And these are the best of times in my whole bike shop career."

Black said despite the supply-chain issues, this is 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, very little concern for frame material, speeds, specs'. Does it fit? Can I get it soon?"

One less store will allow the Blacks a needed respite.

Linda "has been balancing 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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