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Baltimore bike shop joins REI's #OptOutside movement to close on Black Friday

Joe's Bike Shop posted this image to its Facebook page to announce that it will be closed on Black Friday. instead, the store is hosting a mountain bike ride at Loch Raven Reservoir.
Joe's Bike Shop posted this image to its Facebook page to announce that it will be closed on Black Friday. instead, the store is hosting a mountain bike ride at Loch Raven Reservoir.

Joe's Bike Shop, a Baltimore-area bicycle retailer, jumped on board with REI's #OptOutside decision to close for Black Friday and encourage customers to enjoy the outdoors.

REI, the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, announced Monday that it would close all 143 of its stores, including locations in Timonium and Columbia, on Black Friday, Nov. 27.

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"For 76 years, our co-op has been dedicated to one thing and one thing only: a life outdoors," wrote REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke. "We believe that being outside makes our lives better. And Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of this essential truth."

Black Friday is traditionally the kick-off of the holiday shopping season and many retailers launch sales and extend their hours to attract consumers. In recent years, the holiday has even bled into Thanskgiving Day itself with stores opening in the late afternoon or early evening.

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But jumping on REI's bandwagon was a no-brainer for Joe Traill, who owns the Joe's Bike Shop stores in Mount Washington and Fell's Point.

"We actually thought about closing for Black Friday last year, but we thought that was crazy, Black Friday is about retail," Traill said. "Then we saw REI doing it and, yeah, it's not so crazy."

He already closes the stores for Boxing Day, the day after Christmas.

"Holidays that special deserve a day of celebration and a day of recovery," Traill said.

Of course, Traill's idea of recovery doesn't involve relaxing on the couch and watching football. To encourage people to truly #OptOutside, the retailer plans to organize a mountain bike ride at Loch Raven Reservoir for Black Friday.

"We all just need to slow down a bit and enjoy the holiday," Traill said.

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