An extremely popular, locally-owned bike shop will be closing after four decades.

Stories about beloved local businesses deciding to shut down after a lifetime of doing business in the Hudson Valley have become far too common. The latest is a shop that's kept Hudson Valley bike riders on two wheels since 1983.

Wheel and Heel says they're closing up shop in March after what they describe as "challenging circumstances." The Wappingers Falls bike shop points to Internet competition and supply disruptions for their decision to shutter the business.

Oddly, bike shops were one of the businesses that exploded during the pandemic. I know trying to find a bicycle for my son was a very difficult and expensive proposition two years ago when everyone was jumping on two wheels to safely enjoy some outdoor fun when everything else was shut down.

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Because there are so many new bike riders on the trail, the business of bike repair has also been on the rise. Wheel and Heel also had a pretty busy repair shop that I've personally visited many times over the years.

Wheel and Heel acknowledged that their decision to close was also based on a personal situation.

We also need to allow ourselves the time and space required to attend to important personal and family matters.

 

Whatever the reason, the Village of Wappingers Falls will have another vacant business next month when Wheel and Heel closes on March 12. The building occupied by the bike shop is an old bank situated in the heart of the village. Before Wheel and Heel moved into the space I joked about buying the building and opening up a huge brewpub. It seems perfect for a venture like that, with all of the original details inside, including a huge bank vault.

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Wheel and Heel is encouraging its customers to seek out other locally owned bike shops and support them. The company says its website will still remain active as a resource for local bike riders and encourages their former customers to remain in touch. Wheel and Heel will be putting their inventory on clearance ahead of their closure next month.

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