It has been a good ride, but the owner of a West Indiana Avenue bicycle sales-and-repair shop in Downtown DeLand is closing the business at the end of March.
Unless, that is, a buyer comes forward for the 15-year-old DeLand Cyclery, said owner Ted Beiler.
Essentially, he told The Beacon, the coronavirus pandemic is to blame, since it shut down so many manufacturers of bicycles and related accessories, particularly those based overseas.
“Eventually, materials and bikes will be available, but right now, it’s taking six to 12 months to get them,” he said. “I can get high-end bikes, but that’s not what my clientele wants.”
It’s ironic, he noted, but with the pandemic, many people have been looking for outdoorsy activities to partake in, such as biking, fishing and the like. Manufacturers ran out of raw materials, though, and couldn’t get more to make more products.
“It all started with COVID, and the overseas factories shut their doors,” Beiler said.
Complicating matters is the fact that a South Florida company is buying the building in which DeLand Cyclery is located, and Beiler is afraid his rent will be increasing soon.
“I’ve never heard of anyone saying ‘you’re paying too much rent,’” he said.
Beiler had posted a note on his Facebook page earlier this month, announcing the closure and a sale of all his remaining merchandise. As March wears on, the sale prices will continue to drop for the remaining bicycles — mostly pre-owned — and accessories of all kinds.
Not included in the merchandise sale, however, is his personal collection of classic and collectible bikes, which he’ll let go for cash only, his note said.
DeLand Cyclery also rented bikes by the day or week, but of course that, too, will end when the business closes, unless any possible new owner were to decide to continue.
However, another related business that Beiler will be continuing is a pedicab service in Downtown DeLand. The cabs carry one or two passengers, with a cyclist providing the pedal-power for the contraption.
The pedicabs haven’t been running much in recent months. But Beiler is planning to get them rolling again, probably in time for the Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival and the DeLand Outdoor Art Festival, both scheduled for March 27.
“We will continue as restrictions relax and more events take place,” Beiler said. “And maybe on Friday and Saturday evenings we’ll be operating.”
DeLand Cyclery is at 111 W. Indiana Ave. For more information, call the shop at 386-822-9422 or visit delandcyclery.net.