Sometimes the greatest ideas are so painfully obvious they go unrealized for years.
In a town like Breckenridge, where the economy is predominantly driven by tourism, visitors can access a variety of services from mountain tours in the winter to guided fly-fishing trips in the summer.
Last year, while on a month-long visit to California, Breckenridge professional cyclists Nick Truitt, 33, and Sydney Fox, 27, asked themselves, why not bikes?
“We were so tired of looking for good rides,” Fox said. “It got frustrating because we started down trails that seemed promising only to have them end five minutes later.
“The concept (of starting a bike guide business) struck us because we kept saying how much easier it would have been to pay someone who knew the area to take us on some really good rides.”
Beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Truitt and Fox will host a grand opening of their new shop, Breck Bike Guides at 114 Lincoln Ave. Although the store will feature a robust line of bike products for sale and demo and a full service repair shop, the heart of the business will be geared toward providing tours of the town of Breckenridge trail system.
“We started the business because we felt there was something missing in town,” Truitt said. “There’s a bunch of places where you can buy a bike, get a tune or find parts, but nobody was focusing on the rider and the riding experience.”
Both Truitt and Fox teach skiing at Breckenridge during the winter where they learned the value of the customer service experience. They plan to build off those experiences in developing their niche with Breck Bike Guides.
“Not everyone who signs up for a (ski) lesson wants one,” Truitt said. “Sometimes people take a lesson just to have someone to ski with who knows the mountain, which is exactly what we’re offering for riders.”
The couple thinks their idea will take off considering the vast system of single-, double- and dirt-track roads in and around Breckenridge, many of which were first constructed during Breck’s mining days, Fox said. Some of the town’s most popular trails were flumes, or roads used to transport water to the mines.
“I really like that our trails came to be because of Breck’s mining history,” Fox said. “The town deserves a shout out too because they are dedicated to constructing well-built, high-quality trails that flow. We’re lucky to have a lot of high-alpine terrain because most riders around the country don’t get the chance to ride a trail through the trees that lasts for hours on end.”
Breck’s system of interconnecting flumes and modern trails may attract visitors from all over the country, but it also can sour a trip for even the most seasoned rider. Maps were a necessity for anyone riding Breck’s trails for the first time, Fox said, until now.
“We have some of the best trails in the world, but nobody wants to stop every five minutes to look at a map to see where they need to turn next,” Fox said. “The local knowledge is key to what we offer.”
As of right now Truitt and Fox are permitted to take clients on the town of Breckenridge trail system, but the couple are working on gaining access to the rest of Summit County. Tour pricing starts at $30 an hour for the first rider plus $10 an hour for each additional rider. Groups are capped at five riders.
For more information about Saturday’s grand opening or to schedule a tour, call 846-0921 or visit www.cyclebreck.com.