After three years, WheelHouse Bikes is shuttering its doors. College buddies Erik Wright and Evan Minogue opened the store during a two-year span in which four other bicycle shops went into business. Unlike the others, however, WheelHouse specializes in utilitarian bicycles and Dutch-style commuters.

Minogue noted that while Santa Barbara is a world-renowned destination for recreational road and mountain biking, its citizens have not yet adopted bicycles as their primary source of transportation. “We may have just been ahead of our time,” he said.

The rent on WheelHouse’s 3,300-square-foot property at the corner of Anacapa and Cota Streets — which the store proprietors donated for Farmers Market bicycle parking every Saturday — would have increased in March, precipitating the decision to close. Wright and Minogue plan on continuing their bike advocacy through an online information center and blog. “The community supported us and we are grateful for that,” said Minogue.

The freewheels stop clicking on January 31.


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