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Jeff Archer, owner of First Flight Bicycles, killed while crossing street

Published July 21, 2016

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — Jeffrey Patrick Archer, the owner of First Flight Bicycles in Statesville, North Carolina, died Wednesday evening after being struck by a car. Archer, 52, was walking across a street in Mooresville when he was hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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A local news report said that Claydon Laural Turner, 30, of Hickory has been charged with felony death by motor vehicle and DWI in connection with the death.

In addition to the shop, Archer operated the Museum of Mountain Bike Art & Technology (MOMBAT), a collection of several hundred vintage mountain bikes and a website documenting the history of early mountain bike brands. He was well known in the national bike community and served as a judge at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show several times. Archer also owned the Mountain Goat Cycles brand, which he bought from the brand's founder, Jeff Lindsay. In 2013, the shop bought out the remaining assets of the Hi-E component company. He was a nominee for induction into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame this year.

Archer entered bike retail as a teenager in Ohio. After graduating from Ohio State University with a computer engineering degree, he returned to bike retail, soon becoming a part owner in Cool Breeze Cyclery in Statesville in 1989. He bought out his partner in 1994 and renamed the store First Flight in honor of the Wright brothers' flights in North Carolina. Like Archer, the Wrights started out in an Ohio bike shop.

The store has been recognized repeatedly as one of the top bike retailers in the country.

The store was open Thursday and dozens of friends and acquaintances stopped by to tell stories, said Wes Davidson, the store manager. Friends planned a short ride and a toast to Archer after the store closed for the day. Arrangements for a memorial have not been finalized.

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