Georgetown Cycle Sport opened their shop in Bethesda before I was interested in bikes, and I was intially very upset that they had displaced the local Baskin Robbins. The shop eventually drew me in with their skateboard selection. As a young skate rat circa 1977-78 I'd hang out in the shop and annoy the staff, but over time I became captivated by the bikes. I bought an all steel Nishiki Sport at that shop at the end of 6th grade (Spring 1979) with my $135 of lawn mowing and birthday money. I was in my first race in the spring of '80 at the IBM course (D class), about 1/2 mile from GTCS. By the fall of 1980 I had saved up for my first "good" bike which was an Ishiwata-tubed Trek touring frame (why?) with 600EX. It cost a staggering $500. By summer 1981, any possibly earlier, GTCS had set up a "machine shop" in Rockville. In the early 1982 season I was lucky enough to go on some epic-to-me training rides with Ed Slaughter of the Alpine Team, which was the semi-pro/pro team in the region (Other riders included Paul Pearson, Ian Jackson, Art McHugh, Danny Clark...). By that spring, Ed was on one of the first bikes made in Rockville. Later that summer I considered buying one of the Rockville Alpines, but decided instead to buy a Columbus SL/SP Trek from Larry Black (College Park Cycles). So, Alpine was building frames and GTCS was still running their Bethesda shop, in the late summer of 1982. In the summer or 1983 I think I discovered either beer or girls, or both, and I don't recall much riding. In the spring of 1984 I started my first bike shop job at the Bicycle Place, which had moved into the same location as Georgetown, and employed many of the same people, after GTCS folded. Around the time of the fold, Ned Carey and Fred Kelly had bought the Alpine operation. Alpines were the most popular frames among the local DC racers by 1987. I will hold off on any specific comments about the quality of those bikes.
Oh yes, one last thing. The Alpine badged mostly-English bikes, along with a certain amount of frame painting and repair were offered by GTCS going back much further than I can recall. Also, the Junior World's in Rock Creek Park enjoyed some tech support from GTCS, and if I recall correctly there were Alpine neutral support bikes.
Tom Dalton Bethlehem, PA (So close to that mysterious T-Town place where the Alpine guys would disappear to each summer)
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