Arlington, VA

The company behind a Clarendon cycling shop has a new owner and a new name.

Local bike and clothing chain Revolution Cycles is now the “Trek Bicycle Store.” The name change is part of a sale to the Trek Bicycle Corporation, a Wisconsin-based retailer of bicycles and riding accessories.

Workers will soon install signs with the company’s new name at the former Revolution Cycles at 2731 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon as well as at the locations in Georgetown, Rockville and Stafford.

“We have plans to expand and continue to improve everything that has made these stores so important to the communities they serve,” Trek spokesman Eric Bjorling told ARLnow.com. “Along with us will come a dedication to creating a great environment for local cyclists through local cycling advocacy and we will be focused on finding all the opportunities we can to create unforgettable retail experiences.”

Revolution founders Mike Hamannwright and Santiago “Pinkey” Gonzalez thanked the store’s longtime customers in an email yesterday.

The full email is below.

Twenty years ago, a couple guys set out on a mission to fulfill a personal dream, namely to turn our passion for bicycles, serving customers and wearing shorts to work into a livelihood. Thus was born Revolution Cycles at the foot of the Key Bridge in Georgetown.

The time has come for us to pass the baton and move into the next chapter of our lives. We’ve been honored to serve the Washington D.C. community and have watched our dream grow into a successful and vibrant family of four stores stretching from Rockville, Maryland, to Stafford, Virginia. From your house to the White Hose, we’ve always strived to exceed expectations. In this journey, we’ve been carried by a tide of amazing customers and a dedicated and talented staff.

We love the business we’ve all built together, and as we planned for the future, our priority was finding a partner who shared our core values and would commit to building upon what we’ve developed. We believe the best part of our business wears shoes; the customers and our tremendous staff. We needed to know that Revolution Cycles would be in the caring hands of people who have a passion for cycling, a reputation for excellent customer service, and a dedication to giving back to the community through advocacy.

We have found that partner in Trek Bicycle. We know they will do a great job and that your experience with your shops and cycling in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia will continue to improve under their guidance and leadership.

There truly aren’t words that adequately say “thank you” for all the support you’ve given us through the years. Owning a small business is a ride like no other. Without your support, there is no revolution cycles. Over the years we’ve drawn inspiration and our drive from the energy of our customers and hundreds of staff who’ve worn the Revolution Cycles black and red polo.

We are forever grateful you chose us to be your local bike shop.

Happy cycling,

Mike and Pinkey

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These are anxious times for independent booksellers. Having survived the emergence of e-tailers like Amazon.com, now small book stores are bracing for the impact of e-books on their business.

The American Booksellers Associations, which represents independent booksellers, held a four-day convention in Crystal City last week to network and discuss business strategies.

Among the activities was a field trip to Arlington’s Revolution Cycles.

NPR tagged along as Revolution Cycles CEO Mike Hammanwright shared words of wisdom on how to connect with customers.

Hammanwright said consumers are passionate about books in the same way they’re passionate about bicycles. To connect with those passionate consumers, you have to have a passionate (and well-trained) sales staff.

“If we’re listening and paying attention, and we hear what you’re looking for, then we can show you the products we have that we feel meet those needs,” Hammanwright said. “If a customer comes expecting that expertise, and you don’t deliver it, you’re going to do very poorly.”

Read more from NPR.

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You heard right. In honor of the Tour de France, Revolution Cycles is holding a French wine tasting at its Crystal City store (220 20th St. S.).

The wines will be grouped by their location along the Tour de France course.

There will also be a contest to see who can predict the winner of tomorrow’s leg of the race. The winner will get a free bike tune-up kit.

Tonight’s event will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public (ages 21 and up).

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Arlington County has been investing heavily in marketing efforts that try to persuade people to ditch their cars and bike to work. But a car-free diet doesn’t just benefit the environment and ease traffic congestion — it also, in theory, steers money that would have otherwise been spent at service stations and car dealerships to bicycle stores.

There’s no way of knowing whether there is a correlation with the county’s pro-bike efforts, but according to a published report, local bike stores are doing quite well in a down economy.

Revolution Cycles, which now has two Arlington locations, is on pace to see a $1 million jump in sales this year, according to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Revolution’s flagship Clarendon store alone has seen sales increase by 60 percent in April and by more than 30 percent for the year.

A Revolution Cycles spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

At Spokes Etc., which has an Alexandria store near Fairlington, sales were up 6 percent last year and are up again this year, according to the publication.

In other local bike news, BRAIN is reporting that Conte’s, with its big, iconic store on Wilson Boulevard, is under new ownership and will soon be changing its name to ‘Freshbikes.’

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It was a bit of a surreal experience. Nearly 30 cyclists, bike lights leading the way, heading down the darkened Mt. Vernon Trail. One rider in the convoy is on her Gary Fisher bike. Another rider is Gary Fisher.

Fisher arrived at Revolution Cycles City Hub in Crystal City shortly after 7:00 Tuesday night. Dressed in a horizontal stripe  suit, high argyle socks and a cap befitting someone on a fox hunt, Mr. Fisher cordially greeted the Revolution employees, Crystal City BID honchos and cycling enthusiasts who gathered outside the store. He signed bikes and bike parts, and posed for more photos than should have reasonably been asked of him.

The ride only went as far as the Humpback Bridge before turning off for an impromptu, bike light-fueled “campfire” near the Potomac. Then, despite the unusually pleasant weather, it was back to Crystal City.

It was neither an endurance challenge nor a race, but the ride was exhilarating for the sheer novelty of riding a mountain bike next to the guy who literally invented mountain bikes.

More photos, after the jump.

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The first customer of Revolution Cycles City Hub, a brand new bike rental store in Crystal City, was no less than Gary Fisher himself. The legendary bike maker is in town this week for the National Bike Summit.

“At first we didn’t believe it,” said Revolution Cycles marketing manager Chris Huller. “We couldn’t ask for a better person to kick this off.”

Fisher, who rented a Trek bike with a polka dot saddlebag, told the staff he’d return tonight to lead a “tweet ride,” a group ride promoted on Twitter.

The ride will leave the City Hub store at 220 20th Street South, near the McCormick and Schmick’s, around 7:00 tonight, Huller said. The destination has not yet been set, but it’s likely to head into the District, possibly ending up at a bar.

City Hub, meanwhile, will have its “semi-official” opening tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. The store will rent bikes for $5 per hour or $35 per day.

City Hub will only rent bikes; it will not sell bikes. Huller says the store’s concept of “a bikeless bike shop” is new for the industry.

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