Vail High Country Character: Mark Bryant
VAIL, Colorado “-Mark Bryant used to wear suits and ties. These days he favors tie-dyed bandanas, black T-shirts and leather.
Bryant, 43, a former real estate broker and mortgage banker, is the owner of Maverick Motorcycle Adventures, a company that both rents motorcycles and sets up GPS-guided tours for clients. With snow on the ground and icy patches and gravel on roads up and down the valley, Bryant is working as the afternoon/evening manager at the Route 6 Cafe in Eagle-Vail with friend and partner Ollie Holdstock.
He took some time recently to answer a few questions.
Vail Daily: How long have you lived in the valley? 15 years.
Mark Bryant: What brought you to Vail? I was in Kansas City and wanted to come back to Colorado, where my family’s home is. I went to work for Vail Resorts acquiring short-term rentals.
VD: What got you out of real estate and into motorcycles?
MB: The death of my wife a couple years ago. When something dramatic happens like that, you look at your own life and how precious and fragile it is. I asked myself if I was having fun with what took up most of my effort. I took the tragedy of losing my best friend and tried to make something out of it.
After 13 years in the valley, I wanted to get back to something I’d always enjoyed. I wanted to fill a niche, and wanted it to be something different.
VD: What do you do when you’re not on a bike?
MB: We’re looking at the big picture. Renting bikes six months out of the year won’t keep the doors open, so pairing with the cafe was always a part of the plan.
Our ultimate plan ” a couple of years from now ” is to rebuild the cafe into something more modern, and add a six-bedroom inn on top. This is such a great gathering place for riders, and in the winter six extra rooms is always a good thing. It’s going to be a full-service roadhouse.
So now I’m learning the restaurant business, broadening my horizons.
VD: How do you like the restaurant business?
MB: I love the Route 6. It’s such a great crowd, and it’s a real privilege to have a partner like Ollie. Although I’m a little rougher-looking than the usual customer!
VD: When’s the last time you were on a motorcycle?
MB: It was probably December, before it really started snowing.
VD: If you could trailer a bike someplace warm and ride for a while, what would you take and where would you go?
MB: I’d probably take one of the BMWs (there are a couple of “dual sport” BMW GS1200s in the Maverick fleet) and drive to Phoenix. I’d park the truck, then take the bike south into Copper Canyon in Mexico.