By Barry Wilcox
Hearn’s Cycling and Fitness is located in Asheville, NC, at 28 Asheland Ave in downtown Asheville. Hearn’s is the longest continuously run bicycle shop in the nation, having been established in 1896 by the Hearn’s family, and is now the oldest business is Asheville. Hearn’s is now run by Clark Hollins, a longtime cycling aficionado whose love and passion for all things cycling shows through in how he runs the shop and how he treats his customers. The last Hearn’s family owner was in the early 1990’s, with two more owners before 2003 when Clark became the latest owner.
Hearn’s is unique among Asheville bike shops. There are 10 bike shops in Asheville, each offering their own set of customer accommodations, but Hearn’s finds its niche by specializing in second hand bicycles and parts plus the excellent knowledge and experience of the shop employees. To the bargain hunters, penny pinchers, college students, those limited by tight budgets, or anyone who wants the best bang for their buck, second hand equipment is perfect.
Those walking into Hearn’s are met with an unusual sight: There are bikes everywhere, large bins of handlebars, stems, and seatposts near the checkout, and multiple display cases holding shifters, dérailleurs, cranks, cassettes, and anything else bike related one could think of. Often, the owner, Clark, is chatting amiably with a customer at the checkout register while there are people perusing the many asides of bicycles of all sorts, shop mechanics working behind the work counter, and overall a happy buzz of bicycles in the air. Hearn’s has supported Mars Hill Cycling since the very beginning, supplying the team with boxes of brand new water bottles every year, loaner bikes as needed, and plenty of solutions to last minute mechanical issues. Go visit Hearn’s, meet Clark and his employees, and have a great time!