Oldest and biggest
Wheels in Motion doubles its size
by Sally Mitani
Wheels in Motion recently took over the building next door on Washtenaw (formerly Naked Furniture, which moved down the road) more than doubling its size--in fact, owners DeWight and Vickie Plotner also have a third contiguous storefront which they're currently using for storage. DeWight is the middle of a three-generation operation that has so many claims to both fame and offbeat trivia it's hard to know where to start.
For starters, it's the oldest bike shop in town. DeWight's father, Farrell, started it on William in 1933--near Cottage Inn, it was called Campus Bike & Toy. Farrell was a WW II bomber pilot and started the State Street Merchants Association. Fission, fusion, and name changes to the business are too many to recount, but the upshot, DeWight says, is that the expanded Wheels in Motion is the largest bike shop in town. It also sponsors the bravest bike event in town: the Worst Day of the Year ride on the third week of January. DeWight and Vickie's children are both part of the business too, though they have other talents. Son Travis, twenty-six, designed and made the overhead light fixtures just inside the entrance--out of bike wheels, of course. And daughter Chelsie, twenty-eight, is a licensed commercial pilot: "She got the bug from her grandfather," says DeWight.
The recent building remodel gutted the former bowling alley, poured a new concrete floor (stained and polished to a shiny mahogany), and tore out the ceiling, exposing the original Gabriel Steel beams.
Wheels in Motion, 3402 Washtenaw, 971-2121. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m. wheelsinmotion.us
[Originally published in October, 2013.]