Pittsburgh’s Wheel Mill Indoor Bike Park Announces Probable Closure in March

The Wheel Mill indoor bike park in Pittsburgh announces a probable closure in March due to economic pressures.

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The indoor Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania bike park known as The Wheel Mill will close down next month, owner Harry Geyer announced on Instagram this week.

“It is with great sadness that I have to announce that after nearly eleven years, The Wheel Mill will be closed permanently as of March 18, 2024. It has been my greatest honor to have the opportunity to create a place for everyone to ride and hang out with friends. Challenging (warm) weather and a challenging economy over the last few years has made continuing forward impossible.”

The park opened in 2012 under Geyer and with the direction of experienced ramp builders Mike and Mark Potoczny and quickly turned into a community haven for kids bike camps, BMXers and mountain bikers alike.

“The work and sweat that the builders have put into the park is nothing short of remarkable, and Harry Geyer’s tenacity to keep searching year after year until he found a home is admirable at the very least. What began as a dream during a drive on the Ohio Turnpike became a reality in a warehouse, much to the joy of the Pittsburgh riding community,” wrote Brett Rothmeyer in a 2020 piece on Singletracks.

In another post, The Wheel Mill said they were in a similar position eight years ago and found investors who helped them sustain the operations, but the pandemic ultimately made things more challenging.

“We lost a ton of money (along with so many other businesses) and went way into debt.”

Geyer noted how since the pandemic, operational costs have only increased while revenue has either declined or been stagnant, making it challenging for a business with “razor thin margins” to succeed.

“If you want to know how to save a bike park the answer is: Go visit and pay to ride there. Buy your parts and bikes there. Bring your friends there. On that day where you might not be totally feeling it, make the trip anyway. Buy a membership or season pass. Go to the jams. Tell your friends about it.”

Portland’s Lumberyard indoor bike park closed in 2022 after the pandemic complicated economic factors like rent, labor costs, insurance, taxes and more. The owners also reached out to investors but ultimately could not find a way to continue.

Like the Lumberyard, The Wheel Mill received an outpouring of support from riders.

On Tuesday, Geyer said on Instagram, “Your support has shaken some trees. We’ve been put in contact with a ton of great people and organizations that want to do anything they can to help us keep going. I want you all to know that I haven’t given up and have been working day and night on some legitimate possibilities for keeping the doors open. You know it’s not over til it’s over, and nothing is set in stone yet, but we didn’t get this far just to watch things fall apart without trying our damnedest. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is Thank You, and there is a good spark of hope that we are fanning into a flame(and then we’re going to jump our bikes over it!).”