Race Pace Bikes, Owings Mills location.
Race Pace Bicycles, Owings Mills location.

Books are out; bikes are in.

That’s the trend in Towson, where a full-service bicycle shop is replacing Ukazoo Books at Dulaney Valley Shopping Center.

Race Pace Bicycles will open its sixth store in Maryland in a 10,900 square foot space that the bookstore has occupied for the last nine years. Ukazoo announced this week that it is moving to Parkville.

Race Pace is leasing Ukazoo’s space at 730 Dulaney Valley Road and aiming to open by mid- to late-March, according to John Russell, who will manage the Towson store.

Russell said Towson is underserved when it comes to bike shops, and residents typically have to travel to Mount Washington, Lutherville or Joppa Road for sales and repairs.

“It’s a prime market,” he said.

Founded in 1978 by Alex Obriecht and originally known as Cross Country Cycling Center, Race Pace has grown into one of the largest bike shops in the region, with locations in Columbia, Ellicott City, Owings Mills, Westminster and at 1414 Key Highway in South Baltimore.

Besides new bikes, it offers bike repair, bike fitting, bike rentals and custom bikes. It has more than 100 employees company-wide and carries Trek, Surly, Santa Cruz, Scott, Electra, Cannondale and other lines.

The Towson store will be one of the company’s largest, Russell said.

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.