Photo by Melinda Dudley
Dave Fisher takes a seat at South Routt Velosport, which reopened in May at a new location on Sharp Street.
If you go
What: South Routt Velosport
Where: 208 S. Sharp St., Oak Creek
When: Noon to 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; Noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Call: 819-1101 or visit www.southrouttvel...>
Oak Creek After a one-year hiatus, South Routt Velosport is back in business in Oak Creek, solving flats for local cycling enthusiasts and outfitting riders with everything from beach cruisers to top-of-the-line road and mountain bikes.
The reopening couldn't come at a better time, said owner Dave Fisher, as biking in the community has only become more popular.
"Now, every day you see people on bikes in Oak Creek, which is really a change for the better," he said. "The other day at the police forum, someone was complaining that they need to crack down on bikes speeding on Main Street."
The new location of South Routt Velosport, the onetime home of the Palace Market, dates back to 1911. Most recently, the Sharp Street building sat vacant for five years. Its new owners have taken pains to restore it but also give it a new flair - the bike shop's stereo sits proudly atop an old-fashioned oven in the center of the store.
"When we bought the building, all the original shelving was still in it," co-owner Jennifer Sliney said, as she helped prep the space for Saturday's open house and barbecue with the community. The shelving was removed for restoration but eventually will return to the showroom as a "parking rack" for South Routt Velosport's inventory.
"The whole project isn't just about the bike shop. It's about restoring the history of Oak Creek," Fisher said. "This building was sliding into decay, and we're bringing it back to vitality."
In addition to selling top-of-the-line cycles for the spandex-wearing crowd, Fisher also kept the community in mind and said he is happy that local kids can get a "dirt-jumper" out the door for less than $200.
Fisher established South Routt Velosport in 2005, though after only two summers he was seeking new digs to expand it. The bike shop missed out on the 2007 season but reopened in May as soon as the space was ready.
However, South Routt Velosport's hiatus doesn't seem to have hurt its customer base.
"It's pretty much nonstop," Fisher said, as he fixed tires and adjusted shocks for customers Saturday afternoon. "They're psyched that we're here and that we're back. People are happy that they don't have to drive to Steamboat anymore."
South Routt Velosport also gets to act as a home for some of Fisher's collectible and vintage bikes, which are displayed in the windows along with creations by Bike Furniture Design, including chairs crafted from old bicycle rims and tires.
"I always try to have something in the window to catch people's eyes," Fisher said.
Custom bike restorations and networking with other collectible bicycle enthusiasts keep Fisher busy in the winter, as do local trail-building efforts. Saturday's open house included raffle sales benefiting Happy Trails of South Routt, with prizes to be drawn at the Taste of South Routt on June 21.
"The advocacy is something I'd be involved in whether or not I owned a shop," Fisher said. "It's about promoting a healthy lifestyle."