Even though it is among the most bikey neighborhoods in Seattle, Capitol Hill could lose its only fully-featured bike shop next year as Velo Bike Shop plans a move from it’s longtime 11th and Pine home to 6th and Blanchard in the Denny Triangle, Capitol Hill Seattle reports.
Velo plans to open the new shop in the under-construction Via6 apartments spring 2013, and the new shop will be very much a part of the building. In addition to the shop, Velo will operate a bike club that offers locker rooms with showers, secure bike parking for up to 250 bikes and even a bike wash.
With Amazon likely making a big move to the block and the popular bike commute route on 7th Avenue getting a big bike-friendly makeover, Velo seems to be getting in on what could be a bike revolution in the rapidly changing Denny Triangle.
And, as CHS reports, Velo has a long history of providing all kinds of bike services in Seattle:
Generations of the family have worked at the business Glenn Tamura founded as a bike rental venture along Lake Washington Blvd just before the big bike boom of the 1970s. That’s when he opened the Capitol Hill shop. Others followed. In the 1990s, however, much of the Tamura biking business fell to pieces. The family was able to keep the 11th and Pine shop and it became their sole outlet. This 2000 Seattle Times profile provides a history of the Velo stores. It makes no mention, however, of Glenn’s role in establishing Bicycle Sundays, helping to introduce bicycles to the Seattle Police Department or his Sekai bicycle brand that is now a sought-after collectible. The family says there are plenty of other tales of the Tamuras helping to keep Seattle rolling.
Velo’s new store at 6th and Blanchard will be about half the size of the current location but presents the opportunity for the Tamura family to expand into a new bike-related venture. The Via6 apartment towers are described as a “vertical neighborhood” – the idea for the new Velo will be to provide that neighborhood with the bikes it needs and services like bike parking, lockers, showers and, yes, even a bike wash:
Map of new planned location: