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.
Q. Where did you learn your love of bikes? I was lucky enough to ride to school when I was growing up. The only way to get around during High School was by foot or by bike. I did my own work which included building wheels and matching up various parts to get better ranges on drivetrains. In 1985 I was introduced to mountain bikes and started doing all kinds of single track rides in Flagstaff AZ where I was going to Northern Arizona University.
Q. How many bikes and what do you have? That changes by the day...Two different bikes a season of our current lines to understand the linkages and updates. Plus a garage full of townie/cruiser bikes!
Q. What is your favorite local trail? Many times it is the latest trail that is finished and then becomes my favorite trail until the next one rolls out.
Long term it is Frontside because of the time spent building the trail. We worked on the trail about 8 Saturdays in a row, we could see the progress from looking out the back of Absolute. Trail progress moved forward in sections and when it was all finished it was great and I still enjoy riding and running on it.
Q. What is your favorite trail outside of Salida? Probably the Black Canyon Trail off I-17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix. It always rides great and usually the rides take place on the way to some place really fun. If we are actually out riding the trail it usually means it is snowy and cold back in Colorado
Q. What is your favorite post-ride food? Pizza is always a great solution after a ride.