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Velo Bikes leaves Capitol Hill for bigger venture in Via6 ‘vertical neighborhood’

With news of one square-footage sensitive, transportation-focused retailer making plans to stay on the Hill, we should note that 11th and Pine’s Velo Bike Shop has, indeed, pedaled off the Hill.

Last summer, CHS broke the sad news that Capitol Hill’s largest bike shop was leaving the location it had called home since 1985. Velo has traded in Capitol Hill for the new “vertical neighborhood” of the Via6 high-rise at 6th and Blanchard. There’s a party Thursday to celebrate the move with free food from Skillet for bikers — if you can stomach the grief.

The 8,000 square-foot Capitol Hill shop has been mostly emptied. We haven’t had the heart to stop by to see if the air hose is still in operation by the front door. We don’t yet have any indication of what will be next for the retail space a floor beneath the offices of the venerable alternative weekly, The Stranger.

There remains one active bike retailer on Capitol Hill proper — Branford Bike holds down the fort on the northern edge of 10th Ave E. We’ll stop through soon to talk with them about their newfound place in bicycle culture on the Hill.

Meanwhile, the nearby shops below and Hill destinations like The Bikery or even REI aren’t too long a ride from Pike/Pine and offer a mix of bikes for sale, parts and accessories, and services like tune-ups. Seems like Cal Anderson might be a good place for the mobile Bicycle Doctor to set up a clinic or two this summer, too.

Hill-proximate bike shops

  • Branford Bike, 2404 10th Ave E
  • 20/20 Cycle, 2020 E Union
  • Capitol Loans (OK, not a bike shop. But has bikes. And lawnmowers. And guitars.)
  • Montlake Bicycle, 2223 24th Ave E


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7 thoughts on “Velo Bikes leaves Capitol Hill for bigger venture in Via6 ‘vertical neighborhood’

  1. So sad to see Velo go!! I have lived in Cap Hill for 5 years, mostly biking my way around town. I love the hood, and the gentrification that has happened since has mostly been positive in my opinion. But it seems to have gotten out of control now when places like Velo, which has been a part of the community for decades, is forced out due to exploding rent increases (is that even legal?). Construction is everywhere on the Hill now, it seems, and I’m afraid the speed of construction is gonna kill the precious Hill spirit and turn it into another failed Belltown. Please make the apartment buildings slow down a bit so the Hill doesn’t lose what makes so many of us love the hood and want to live here!

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