If it has air in the tires, Charles Bennett Moore — owner of the Alexandria location for Big Wheel Bikes — has been selling it.
While businesses across Alexandria have been struggling to pull out of the pandemic, the last few months have been an unusual windfall for Old Town waterfront business Big Wheel Bikes (2 Prince Street).
“It was gangbusters in May and June,” Moore said. “We had quadruple our usual demand. The supply has dwindled to pretty much nothing. If you walk in, we have maybe a half a dozen bikes.”
It hasn’t just been bike sales, either. Moore said service requests have been increasing quicker than the shop can keep up.
“Service has increased tenfold,” Moore said. “We are just going crazy with service still. People are constantly dropping off bikes. That’s been sustaining us. I sold anything that had air in the tires.”
Outdoor bicycling, especially alone, has been cited as one of the healthier exercise activities — especially compared to the risks of an indoor gym.
The business stayed open through the pandemic and Moore said May was particularly busy. Moore said the store has sold half its collection of vintage bikes, usually just items of interest for collectors. Now there’s a waiting list for new bikes coming in.
“People don’t want to be cooped up indoors,” Moore said. “The season hit at the same time as COVID. People feel they can keep six-feet of distance on the bicycle. And with [many] gyms closed… it’s a perfect storm for the bike business”
It’s particularly a boon to the Alexandria Big Wheel Bikes location, which sits on a waterfront spot virtually surrounded by new development and density.
“With all this development and things changing, [this] probably helps to get a lease extension,” Moore said. “A lot of businesses aren’t staying open. So it’s been a good thing for us.”
Staff photo by Vernon Miles
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!
In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!
We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.
Mark your calendars and join us for the Family Fun Fall Fest on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 11am – 2pm!
This FREE in-person event will be held at the Shoppes at Foxchase, located at 4641 Duke St, Alexandria, VA