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Vashon Island Bicycles closes its doors
By NATALIE MARTIN
After 18 years in business, Vashon Island Bicycles shuttered its doors last week.
“It’s too bad,” said Jeff Ammon, the bike shop’s owner, as he was packing up the shop and holding a sale last week. Ammon has repaired bikes, sold parts and rented bikes at the storefront on 178th Street.
Last month Ammon announced that the store may have to close if he couldn’t work out a deal with his landlord. Business in recent years has been just a fraction of what it once was, he said, and he has struggled to restock his shelves and make rent.
Some customers tried to help out, putting up an online fundraiser that brought in several hundred dollars and holding a couple of concerts in the shop that were also meant to bring in donations.
However, Ammon said his decreased business was a trend, and he decided to close at the end of last month. The shop held a clearance sale, with his final day of business on Saturday.
Ammon said he would miss working with people, spending time with the teens that often hung out at his shop after school and meeting tourists from all over who came in to rent bikes.
“I’m going to miss people. That’s the thing I’m going to miss the most,” he said.
Ammon isn’t currently looking for another storefront to rent, he said, but is considering doing bike repairs out of his home or perhaps starting a traveling repair business. He plans to donate many of his leftover bike parts to a Seattle nonprofit that teaches youth bike repair skills.