Mt. Airy Bicycles⁄College Park Bicycles was the winner in the multiple-store category. A statement from the magazine said, ‘‘Larry Black, owner of Mt. Airy Bicycles and College Park Bicycles in Maryland, started thinking green ... when he opened his first shop. By 1976, he was using solar power to heat the water. He now purchases wind credits to offset his businesses’ energy use. He recycles tires, patches and inner tubes, uses recycled paper, buys hybrid company vehicles and tries to stock products from sustainable-minded brands.”
Black said in a statement, ‘‘We would like to share some of our operations so we can encourage other business to help with their conservation, sustainability, and ecological concerns. We are not only saving the planet, we are saving quite a bit of money and passing on a better environment for all to enjoy.”
Despite other reports, he doesn't see people making much of a switch to bicycle commuting.
‘‘Not yet,” said Black, who sells bikes ranging in price from a few hundred dollars to thousands. ‘‘We’ve seen a little upturn, but not that big. And the gas crises in 1971 and 1979 didn’t put people on bikes. I think we should see an upturn, at least a modest one, once people discover all the healthy things about getting on bikes.”