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Shawn Gillis


Shawn Gillis started Absolute Bikes Salida in 1999 after moving from Arizona where he co-founded Absolute Bikes in Flagstaff. He is a staple both in the shop and in the community. He's a 20+ Leadville 100 Finisher - you can check out his impressive belt buckle collection in the shop! Shawn's favorite post-ride food is pizza, or a good carnitas burrito. 

Dena Gillis


Dena is the reason Shawn moved to CO from AZ to start the Salida shop. A former ski shop owner, she now gets to play with bikes. After fun adventure on wheels or skis, Dena enjoys a nice cold glass of Pinot Grigio and a gluten-free cookie. If your kid has been in AYC, they've tasted Dena's famous brownies. 

Mike Franco

General Manager

Mike left the hustle and bustle of the Front Range to come to the Ark Valley. You can catch Mike shredding the locals trails or grinding up pow as an expert splitboarder. Mike is an accomplished endurance racer and also the director for the Vapor Trail and Salida Enduro Series. 

Cody Wilkens

Service Manager

Cody has done the mountain town shuffle with time in Durango, Bend and Fayetteville AR. He and his family relocated to the Ark Valley to enjoy the sunshine and the many miles of bike trails. He got into biking through bikepacking and has a side hobby of making his own bags. Cody's go to post ride food is tacos, pizza, burgers... and beer.

Marcel Slootheer

Service Technician

Marcel grew up just below sea level on the other side of the world, and somehow ended up in a town surrounded by 14-ers. He helped develop a few of the local trails, and if he's not in the shop he's pretty much always on his bike and taking photos as @thethreequartermechanic. Marcel's favorite post ride food is beer. Yes, it's a food group. 

Paul Hamilton

Sales Lead 

Paul enjoys walking, running, riding, sliding, and touring through hill and dale. When he's not soaking in cosmic rays and untangling his wind swept hair, you'll find him in the kitchen or on the river learning to channel his inner Spicoli. Paul is not picky on his post ride food: pizza, burrito, beer, fries all hit the spot.

Nate Feldman

Sales/ABA Coordinator

Nate has been coming to Salida to work and ride bikes since 2019. A Minneapolis native, he has worked for over 20yrs as a collegiate and pro tennis coach, all while diving headfirst into the bike industry. Nate has intimate knowledge of the local trails, loves to shuttle people and show them around, and can also give you advice on your forehand!

Paul Mickelbart

Service Technician

Paul spent most of 2020 doing #vanlife in the desert with his family, and decided Salida was rad enough to "settle down." A T-Gun pizza from Moonlight is what you'll find Paul eating after a big ride - really, who wouldn't want that! 

Todd Sieler

Service Writer and Technician

Todd hails from Omaha, NE. He decided to get out of flatland to come to Denver and then on to Salida. An industry veteran, he has significant experience wrenching and also managing local bike shops. Catch him out on"S" ripping around his Firebird!

Emily Skiles

Bike Fitting/Customer Service

Emily grew up on the west coast, has lived all over, and now feels the most at home in Colorado. She started racing bikes on the pavement about 8 years ago, lost a lot of skin but gained a wonderful community! Nowadays she spends most of the time on dirt, exploring new gravel roads, improving mtb skills, and a enjoying a fast descent! Her favorite post ride food is tailgate pb&j and a cold beer

Jessica Downing

AYC Coaching Director

Jessica landed in Salida in 2017 after "mountain town hopping" in Whitefish, MT and her hometown of Carbondale. A PMBIA-certified coach, she is the program director for Absolute Youth Cycling and coaches our women's clinics. Her  favorite post ride food is chips and salsa/guac.

Spencer Hereford


Spencer hails from Summit County and like most kids there, grew up with skis attached to his feet. Spencer teaches AIARE classes and is a powder expert. When he's not on the slopes or in the backcountry, you can catch him on his belowed Switchblade enjoying the local Salida trail network.