The Magic Wheel Bike Shop

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This past week the MTBVT crew met up with David Lauzon from allezy.net and headed down to Millstone Trails near Barre. To our surprise we found that there is now a bike shop on site! The Magic Wheel is an eclectic shop nested in the old Granitville village general store that serves as the Millstone trails HQ. How more VT can you get?

Upon arrival we were pleased to meet Magic’s manager Darren and after a pleasant intro he agreed to fill us in on the shop.

Now, before we get into it, I have to tell you that Millstone has grown up in the past couple years. In addition to the on-site shop, the parking lot is now often packed full of VT and QC plates. And a number of trail expansion projects by owner Pierre, Kevin¬†Jacques, and the Millstone Trails Association crew have enhanced the network’s repertoire. Of particular note are the Harrington Ridge trails where advanced riders can test their skills on hundreds of feet of granite fins that run like rock-skinnies through the scrub pines. You need to ride it to believe it.

Now, a bit about Darren, owner Pavel Cherkasov and the Magic Wheel:

Darren you recently moved to Vermont from Oregon?

Darren: I moved to Vermont with my fiance so that we could be closer to her family. We visited Vermont a little over a year ago and talked about moving then. The whole process moving here has been very serendipitous and lots of great opportunities have aligned for us since coming here and continue to do so. We are so very happy to be in Barre, VT and look forward to being here for a long time.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Darren: I’m 34 years old and I love anything with two wheels and no motors. I’ve been involved in several cycling communities in my time in the industry. From Florida’s beginning free ride days to the road racing boom in Oregon. I was the team Mechanic for the last years Junior National Road Champion and also worked with the men’s senior national road champion. I have also worked with Tinker Juarez and now I am working with Pavel Cherkasov an ex- Tour De France and Olympic Athlete.

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You have been working in the cycling industry for some time now?

Darren: I have been working in the bicycle industry for the most part of 15 years. I’ve been fortunate to work for two of the industry leaders in bicycle retail with Erik’s Bike Shop in Minneapolis and Orange Cycle Works in Orlando, FL.

The Magic Wheel eh? Any significance behind the title?
Pavel: It started as a community bicycle shop and work bench. I think it’s more like the wheel of life more than anything. Not just a bicycle wheel, but the wheel of life and tied to reusing things and what comes around for one person goes around for another.

How long have you been in operation?
Darren: I’ve been working for Pavel for a couple of months now. The shop has been around Montpelier and Barre for 4 years.

Tell us a bit about the shop.

Darren: We are a service shop for sure. We are expanding our inventory and sell Rocky Mountain and KHS products. We also offer some limited consignments and used product. The shop has traditionally been a seasonally opened shop closing at the beginning of November.

Why headquarter in Millstone?

Pavel: We wanted to support the Millstone Trails Association. We wanted to see how it would work for the shop to be at the trails to support the growth of mountain biking in Barre. We wanted to partner with Millstone in helping make this happen.

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Well it certainly seems to be working! Anything coming up you’d like folks to know about?

Darren: The Klunker at this point is our main focus. We are also thinking of doing some kind of elimination style tournament in July. I can tease some ideas with regards to a Valparaiso style Enduro race. We’re kind of ambitious in trying to bridge the gap between avid cyclists and the local community in the Millstone Valley area by putting on interesting events. Something that will attract people who would not normally attend and then even perhaps get them to enter. Both Pavel and I are very community oriented and really like the idea of sharing our passions with our neighbors and hopefully our joy can be infectious.

Here’s a vid’ Darren made this spring to illustrate the riding out the back door of the shop…

Tell us about this video you made:

Darren: I have some friends in Oregon that I wanted to share what my commute was like. I have a history with film. I’ve participated in the bicycle Film Festival and also showed films at other film festivals. One night after work I just started filming with my iPhone. I actually filmed the whole thing with just my iPhone by myself. I would set the phone in some precarious spot and run back to the bike and ride the segment and then run back up and get the phone. It took about three days. I wasn’t worried about consistency or even polishing the look, just simply putting something together that showed this absolutely amazing hill I get to ride home on. It’s awakened a passion I had for filmmaking and I’m hoping to do a little more with some help of the Millstone Trails Association guys. That whole group of people have been absolutely amazing to work with and be around. I feel very lucky to be around such a great, grounded group of people.

Thanks to Darren, Pierre, and Pavel for your hospitality. See you all again soon.

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