… and good news as well.

From Bicycle Retailer:

APRIL 04, 2006 — SPRINGBORO, OH (BRAIN)–Cycles Gaansari, the boutique brand and retail store owned by Gary and Jean Boulanger, is closing its doors April 29 and shelving its Gaansari and Fisso brands indefinitely.

“We’ve given it our best, but realized the capital and resources needed to take our brands to the next level was out of reach for us at this time,” said Jean Boulanger. “We’ve enjoyed making a difference in the lives of a few thousand bicyclists, both here in Ohio and abroad, since 2002.”

In December 2005, Gary Boulanger traveled with Tom Ritchey to Rwanda, Africa, at the invitation of a humanitarian group. Boulanger and Ritchey chronicled their trip on their Servant Leaders Outreach blog, and have since created Wheels Of Mercy, a five-point plan to help redevelop Rwanda with bicycling. The Rwanda Project is one of the main reasons the Boulangers are turning their attention away from their own company, and toward Africa.

“As I saw in Rwanda, when there’s a true need, all else pales in comparison,” said Gary Boulanger. “I made the trek to QBP’s 2006 Frostbike and the recent Taipei Bicycle Show to discuss our expansion plans with industry folks, but we couldn’t make the numbers work. But the time spent in Minneapolis and Taipei was enlightening enough to prompt our decision to move forward with a better plan.”

The Boulangers have sold their Springboro property and are moving to San Francisco in late May, where Gary Boulanger will base his public relations, marketing and sales consulting business. Boulanger will be handling all public relations for Ritchey Design and Syncros. He will also head up the marketing and public relation efforts for Wheels of Mercy.

As I mentioned in an earlier missive on this blog, I have an immense amount of respect for Gary Boulanger. Gary has more integrity in his little finger than most people have in their entire bodies.

But while it’s sad that he has decided to close up shop, choosing to dedicate his life to Wheels of Mercy is certainly a worthwhile reason.