Saturday, May 5, 2018

Michael Wolfe to Retire, Close South Salem Cycleworks

We're late to this news, but it deserves more notice.

At the Monster Cookie 2012
Long-time advocate and bike shop owner Michael Wolfe is retiring and closing South Salem Cycleworks.

A 2013 profile in the paper
In a message on the shop's website, Wolfe says
I’m retiring and closing the shop, effective the 31st of May....

We have offered rentals in the form of XC-skis, snowshoes, bicycles, tandems, and kid’s trailers for nearly 30 years. I don’t hesitate to say we’ve been the major player in rentals during this period of time, and paying the insurance premium for that as well. I hope someone steps up and carries that forward for tourists, or just folks out for a lark.

We’ll be offering our rentals for sale at very discounted prices, along with much of the store’s inventory of new parts and bikes. More exotic items will not be reduced, but will continue to be available via the shop’s gallery on this website.

I’ll miss my regular customers, many of which have enjoyed their free lifetime tune-ups, as well as introducing new riders to the sport. But I’ll also enjoy telling, instead of listening to, tales of riding, whether locally or more exotic locations.

I hope to see you on the road...
South Salem Cycleworks, near the corner of Liberty and Browning, has been the only major shop outside of the downtown core and, at least until the Hub came and focused totally on reusing and recycling old bikes, might have been the most deeply green. They never had dumpster service, and Marion County featured them in press about the EarthWISE program. In 2015 the shop won "Recycler of the Year" at the Mid-Valley Green Awards.

An Earthwise ad


A feature about the shop
Wolfe has also been President of the Salem Bicycle Club, as well as an important advocate locally and at the State level and with ODOT for bicycling and sustainable transportation.

Though he does not talk about advocacy in the notice about his retirement, it's possible he's ready to retire from this also.

Just outside the shop on Liberty - the wide avenue invites speeding!
Five auto lanes and two five-foot bike lanes
via Streetview, 2016
Several years ago he talked about the struggle for appropriately sized bike lanes in front of the shop on Liberty. The street was being redesigned and the plans specified 4-foot bike lanes, and four each 12-foot auto travel lanes with a continuous center turn pocket. The apparent design speed vastly exceeded the intended posted speed of 35mph, and the road design would obviously induce speeding. AASHTO standards even recommended a 6-foot bike lane. But the City was not very interested. Wolfe got an additional foot, for 5-foot bike lanes, but not for 6-foot lanes.

And we still lack any continuation north between Browning and the difficult wye with Commercial at Vista and Fairview.

This, and the frustration it implies, is a very typical story for Salem and its approach to transportation. (Just look at the struggle for bike lanes on State Street right now!)

So stop by the shop, just south of Browning on Liberty, and say "bon voyage!" Maybe you'll find something to help with the inventory reduction, too!

1 comment:

Paul Painter said...

I truly miss this shop...for me it was always fun to see the frames from differant builders and the gorgeous paint works of art...differant ways of doing a
thing.
Mike was a very in the know fellow and always took the time for each customer...thanks for being there it certainly was a great run Mike!