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New bicycle service opens on Mercer Island
Just this month, Mountains Plus Outdoor Gear officially opened its doors to the public for bicycle service and sales.
Mountains Plus has been located on Mercer Island for more than five years, focusing on online sales. The business has been growing steadily and, even during the recent economic downturn, Mountains Plus was ranked #35 as the fastest growing retailer by Inc. Magazine in 2011.
Although Mountains Plus is focusing its walk-in attention on cycling, it was founded as an outdoor retailer with the majority of its online sales within the outdoor segment. The product showroom at Mountains Plus will continue to display and provide fittings for its growing selection of trail running and cross-fit shoes, as well as a selection of related adventure running gear such as backpacks and hydration supplies.
Founder and owner Erik Viafore graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1988. In 2007, he brought the business to the Island with his young family from Seattle and currently lives within walking distance of the store.
“As a member of the community, with children in school, I have always been struck by the limited kids’ bicycle and service options available for families and children here,” Viafore said. “I realized we had the resources and knowledge to fix that and make things easier for my friends and neighbors.”
Mountains Plus has been involved in bicycling since 2008, when it began to operate Cyclocrossracing.com, which focuses on this niche sport that has deep roots in the Northwest and Seattle area.
“Providing bicycle services to the Mercer Island community was a natural progression for us and something that we have considered for years. It has taken time for us to get to the point that we felt the moment was right,” Viafore said. “Our goal is to become a ‘pro-shop’ for local cyclocross racers as well as to provide bikes, equipment and tune-ups for families and children here on Mercer Island.”
Last month Mountains Plus hired a full-time, experienced mechanic to run their repair and service shop, and they are now advertising their services. Currently, Mountains Plus is limiting its walk-in hours to Monday through Fridays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., but plans to expand as demand requires. It is located in the True Value complex next door to the former Washington state liquor store.
For more, go to www.mpgear.com.