Proteus Bicycles has been a College Park landmark for nearly 45 years. From January 2003 through July 2012, the shop was owned and managed by Jill DiMauro. As many of you know, Jill moved to New York state in August of 2012, and she sold the shop to long-time customer Laurie Lemieux, and long-time employee Ben Bassett. Laurie and Ben keep the shop’s friendly spirit and excellent selection and service going!
Proteus moved to its current location — a former upholstery and (possibly) auto repair shop — on Route 1 at Erie Street in College Park in the 1970s. In the early days, the shop built custom bikes and bicycle frames, including special orders for racers. Jill purchased the shop in 2003, bringing an enormous passion for everyday bicycling and long-distance riders. Jill specialized in bike fitting, the art and science of helping riders achieve the most comfortable and efficient riding position. A former community planner, she also made Proteus a second home and friendly hangout for many bike enthusiasts from all over the region.
Laurie is a women’s health nurse practitioner and was most recently employed as a professor of nursing at Catholic University. She earned her masters degree from the University of Maryland and her doctor of nursing practice degree from Johns Hopkins University.
Laurie is a regular on Proteus shop rides and is a role model for WABA’s Women & Bicycles program. She rides a Bianchi Infinito CV road bike on weekends, uses her Kona Rove for commuting, and rides a Kona Hei Hei 29er for mountain bike rides. She shares Jill’s passion for excellent bike selection and proper fitting — one of her goals for the shop is that a certified bike fitter is at the shop on every shift, as well as by appointment. (Laurie and Ben are both BikeFit certified fitters). She is especially interested in helping newer riders of all ages and abilities improve their fitness, avoid injury, and get riding every day!
Many DC area cyclists have ridden with Ben at one time or another. He regularly rides in local century (or longer) road rides and mountain bike events. He has been known to take 50+ mile rides on his unicycle, cargo bike, or vintage Wizard of Oz bike (and not get dropped)! If you haven’t met him on a ride or at the shop, he is one of the friendliest and most unassuming cyclists you will even meet. His knowledge of bikes and parts is encyclopedic.