Easy Rider

The Easy Rider crew at the new location on 124 East Pacific Ave. (Photo by Justin Criado/Telluride Daily Planet)

Easy Rider Bike & Sport has been a fixture in Telluride for 22 years, with locals and tourists alike coming to the store to rent mountain bike equipment for outdoor adventures. In the winter, Easy Rider staff tune, repair and rent ski and snowboard equipment. Now well-established, the independently, locally-owned bike shop recently relocated from its locale on Pine Street to larger quarters. The new store is located at 124 E. Pacific Ave., in the Pacific House building. Owner Jon Haas is excited about the expansion.

“It’s been a really nice change. It’s almost like we moved to a different town,” Haas said. “We were popping out of the seams” at the other place.

Previously, Easy Rider had been located underground, without any windows. The move brings not only more space, but better light. “It’s a better work environment,” Haas said.

Easy Rider is one of several outdoor rental and retail businesses located in and around Telluride. Even so, in a town with an economy that relies largely on outdoor recreation, there is enough demand for all the retailers to coexist. Mountain biking, for example, is increasingly popular in the box canyon, as more riders try out the technical mountain terrain around the area. “Mountain biking tourism has really blown up, so we’ve done a lot of rentals,” said Haas.

The new Telluride Bike Park that opened this summer increased available downhill terrain. Since downhill biking is relatively new in the area, many riders do not have the recommended gear — including full face helmets, gloves, knee, and elbow pads — that riders should wear when launching from jumps and other technical features. That is where local rental shops, such as Easy Rider, come in. Easy Rider actually opened in its new location on the same weekend as the bike park’s debut.

“We did beef up our full suspension line [for the bike park],” said Haas.

Two big mountain bike races came through town this summer, the Telluride 100 and a BME stage race. Although riders come prepared with their own equipment, Easy Rider was busy with tune-ups. “We did a lot of work for local riders who were racing,” said Nate Pleshek, manager and “partner in crime,” as Haas referred to him, at Easy Rider.

Both locals and visitors appreciate Easy Rider’s friendly and experienced staff. The shop does a variety of repairs. Easy Rider employees are also able to offer advice on trails and updates on local riding conditions.

“Not only did Easy Rider hook us up with some top of the line hard tails, they did it at a fraction of the cost of other outfitters in town and gave us great beta on the local trails and bike park. Definitely visit these guys for your biking needs,” visitor Kristin Evans wrote in a review when she rented from Easy Rider last year.

Even with the new expansion, Easy Rider will continue to have the same three employes: Haas, Pleshek, and Grayson Fertig, the other co-owner.

“Grayson has been a huge part of the move,” said Haas. Fertig also repairs hockey and lacrosse equipment through Easy Rider.

Mountain biking looks at if it is here to stay in Telluride: New trails are in the works, and demand keeps growing. “Generally, it’s been good for us and the community,” Haas said of Easy Rider’s new digs. “It gives us more opportunities to grow. We’ve been feeling the extra business.”