Correction: R.I.P. CounterBalance on Roy
Back in June I wrote the following about the closing of the bike shop, CounterBalance, on Roy, in lower Queen Anne:
More than one million gallons of oil a day are spewing into the Gulf of Mexico and yet we keep driving and driving. We should be riding and riding. Places like CounterBalance should be opening shops rather than closing them down.
My friend Vinny, a stickler, argued that he'd seen a study on Publicola (“Seattle's News Elixir”) showing walking and biking rates were up, not down, both nationally and in Seattle; then he sent me a link to the study. I glanced at it, poo-pooed it. Walking was certainly up, bicycling just a tidge. And it didn't explain CounterBalance. “What about CounterBalance?” I asked. “Why did that close?” Vinny had no answer.
Now I do. I ran into someone who used to work at the CounterBalance on Roy and he told me the shop had been financially solvent. There had, in fact, been two shops, one on Roy and one in University Village close to the Burke-Gilman trail, as well as two owners. The original owner opened the shop on Roy. And when the original owner decided to call it quits and move (back?) to New Zealand, the second owner closed the shop on Roy. It was, according to this guy, a wholly unnecessary move.
In the end, though, that's a double shame to me. It's a shame someone closed a bike shop that apparently didn't need closing. And it's a shame, given the general unhealthiness of 1) Americans, 2) the environment, and 3) our dependence on foreign oil, that more people don't walk and bike. A tidge ain't gonna do it, people.