Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed customers, and cherished members of the Papillon Cycles community,
Today marks a poignant moment in the history of Papillon Cycles as we gather to bid farewell after an incredible 50-year journey. With heavy hearts, we announce the closure of our beloved store in Arlington, VA. This decision has not been easy, and we want to express our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you who has been a part of this remarkable ride.
For half a century, Papillon Cycles has been more than just a bike shop; it has been a hub of passion, adventure, and camaraderie. From the first pedal strokes of childhood to the exhilarating mountain trails of adulthood, we have shared in the joy of cycling with you. Together, we have weathered the changing landscapes of the cycling industry, embraced technological advancements, and forged lasting connections.
Our decision to close is not a farewell to the memories created within these walls or the bonds formed over countless rides. Rather, it is a transition, a shift in gears towards new horizons. While the physical presence of Papillon Cycles may fade, the spirit of our community endures. The friendships forged here will continue to thrive on the open roads, the winding trails, and the shared love for the freedom that comes with two wheels.
As we close this chapter, let us remember the countless stories of triumph, the shared laughter, and the moments of quiet reflection that have defined Papillon Cycles. To our loyal customers, dedicated staff, and the Arlington community, we extend our heartfelt thanks. Your support has been the driving force behind our journey, and your passion for cycling has fueled the spirit of Papillon.
As the sun sets on Papillon Cycles in Arlington, let us not dwell on the closing, but instead, let us celebrate the legacy we leave behind. Here’s to 50 years of pedaling dreams, conquering challenges, and embracing the beauty of the ride. May the wind always be at your back, and may the roads ahead be filled with endless adventures.
With gratitude and fond memories,
From the Arlnow.com:
After a nearly 50-year ride, Papillon Cycles on Columbia Pike shuttered on Tuesday.
The bike shop, founded by Ted Decapiteau in 1976 and later acquired by Bailey Garfield in 1989, shared a heartfelt goodbye on its Facebook page yesterday.
April fool’s 1976-Halloween 2023. It’s been a long strange trip, and Awesome! Thanks Customers Friends Family, STAFF! Owners, BAILEY! and long ago TED! But honestly ALL of you crazy riders. We are closed officially tonight. LOVE PEACE PEDALS!
Although his retirement was already on the horizon, Garfield, 70, shared with ARLnow he had hoped to hand over the reins to a new owner. However, the business had become increasingly unprofitable post-pandemic due to a combination of factors, including a lack of foot traffic, supply chain issues and the soaring rent costs.
“The bicycle industry, in general, is not good right now. Every week some of our major suppliers are showing signs they’re in economic distress… It’s a perfect storm,” he told ARLnow, adding that he knows several other small business owners on the same block who are also still struggling.
The building at 2801 Columbia Pike — housing Papillon and other neighboring retailers on the block — may be razed for a mixed-use development, according to filings with Arlington County.
The Christopher Companies proposes building an 88-unit, 7-story building with 5,800 square feet of retail space, UrbanTurf first reported in 2022.
Rendering of proposed 7-story mixed development at 2801 Columbia Pike (via Arlington County)
Garfield said he is in the dark about the project but observed that Alexandria-based Seaport Properties hasn’t renewed long-term leases for several building tenants, including Papillon.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. Eventually, they’re gonna put in a 6- to 8-story mixed-use building here and we’re seeing what they’re doing all up and down the Pike. I don’t see how this is going to be any different,” Garfield said.
Your one-stop bike store, a fixture on-the-pike since 1984, Papillon Cycles is proud to offer its customers the latest in biking equipment, prompt and expert servicing, and a gathering place for local bikers. In addition to our new bicycles, we occasionally offer reconditioned bikes for sale. As an authorized Breezer and Fuji Bicycles dealer, we carry a variety of models to fit you and your budget. Whatever you choose, Breezer and Fuji have the model for you. Don’t see that special bike in our showroom? We’ll be happy to order that Breezer and Fuji Bicycle to fit your needs.
Our bicycles are professionally assembled with comfort and safety in mind. Each bicycle is professionally fitted. Whether you ride the trails, the mountains, or the city streets, a well-made, professionally assembled, and maintained bicycle will take you safely wherever you choose to ride.