Last month, Simon Stewart and Joe Parkin took over as the owners of Boneshaker Cycles, bringing with them two lifetimes of working in the cycling world.
Parkin and Stewart’s acquisition of the East Main Street bike shop happened quickly, and began like many love affairs with Buena Vista, with a ride through the mountains east of town.
After the ride in June, he stopped into Boneshaker Cycles, where David Volpe, who learned from Stewart at the Sram Technical Institute in Colorado Springs, recognized him immediately.
“He was repairing a bike and fumbling with something and said, ‘I’m a pharmacist, not a bike mechanic! You want to buy a bike shop?” Stewart remembers.
He took the proposition seriously. Stewart had run bike tours through Colorado in the early 2000s.
Then the night before the riders would haul over Independence Pass down into ritzy Aspen on their way to the wineries south of Grand Junction and the hot springs near Durango, they would stay the night at the Best Western in rustic Buena Vista.
“There wasn’t a lot to it back then,” he said.
Now, Stewart said, his friends who guide those tours say BV is their favorite stop on the state-spanning trip.
Stewart brought in his friend Parkin as his partner in the endeavor. The two had met in Minneapolis and have shared experiences working at One-on-One Bike Studio when it was operating out of the basement of a massage parlor that was the frequent target of Minneapolis Police raids with owner Gene Oberpriller and a three-legged cat named Tripod.
Parkin was a professional cyclist in Belgium, editor-in-chief of Bike Magazine in California, a freelance cycling writer in Chicago, an author of two memoirs, but he always found himself drawn back to working in bike shops.
“I started in bike shops when I was 17,” Parkin said. “It’s a strange business, but somehow it can be quite cathartic.”
“When you ride bikes, your bike shop is your church,” Parkin said. “Every bike deserves to be fixed.”
Stewart said that Boneshaker will continue along the foundation that Volpe created over 5 years, focusing on “service, experience and the culture that comes with cycles.”
Reflecting Stewart’s history as a teacher of bike suspensions at Sram, as well as the importance of full suspensions while bouncing along rocky mountain singletrack, the shop will be creating a dedicated suspension repair station, he said.
Having both worked in the cycling media, Stewart and Parkin see immense possibility in bringing big cycling names to BV for press events and product launches as well.
“This place has absolutely everything to offer,” said Parkin.
For the future of Buena Vista, the new Boneshaker owners see an explosion of bike culture akin to what happened in Fruita and Moab, Ut., and they’re thrilled to be along for the ride.