Support your local bike mechanic. But get to know ’em first. Allow us to introduce one of Vermont’s newest bike mechanic shop owners…
Like so many transplants to Vermont, Ryan McGuire and his wife Maggie moved here to pursue the active, recreation based lifestyle we all love. As a longtime ski/bike industry worker, Ryan had been chasing powder and single track through New England for years. But when a rare job opportunity for Maggie opened up in Vermont (who works for Uncle Sam), they jumped at the possibility of living in our region’s recreation Mecca. For Ryan, Maggie’s opportunity also meant the possibility of working at some of the best ski and bike shops on the east coast.
Ryan already had plenty of experience with 15 years of outdoor retail chops. His resume lists big names like Barnett Bicycle Institute, REI and Spokes Etc. with titles like technician and service manager. But what sets him apart is a unique set of experiences working in both very rural and urban shops. Few techs have tackled the challenge of adapting bikes for use by amputee service men and woman at Walter Reed Hospital. Even fewer can say they supervised maintenance of the Secret Services’ mountain bike fleet. These experiences, and many more have given him a unique set of skills for any shop.
Where you from? I was born in Rhode Island, but we moved around a little bit. Lived in MO, outside of St. Louis, but graduated high school in Mass.
VT home? Waterbury (well technically Moretown, but with a Waterbury zip code).
Years in the industry? I had to think about this one, 17.
Spirit animal? Wasn’t sure so I found an online quiz, according to the Internet I’m a Wolverine. And we all know that everything on the Internet is true.
Chamois or callused commando? delicate and chamoised.
Riding rituals? Got any? I’m a little particular about tire pressure, so I always check that.
Worked on bikes for the secret service? Huh?! Care to explain? If you tell us do you have to kill us? Working in the DC area you get some unique opportunities, one of those was fixing bikes that patrolled the White House and the Capital.
Why were their bikes in such disrepair? (Caleb mentioned super-manning over the bars to tackle commies?) Most of us don’t think about intentional high speed dismounts (for bad guy tackling), but it involves a ghost riding technique that apparently takes a lot of practice and several rear derailleurs to master.
OK, you’re on death row because the secret service heard you blabbed about fixing their top secret bikes, they’ve framed you for a murder and espionage and you’ve been granted one last ride, drink, and meal before getting juiced. What’s it gonna be? Bike? Meal? Beverage? Any ride as long as it’s Singletrack, for a bike, I’m going 15 year old me’s dream bike: Gary Fischer hoo koo e koo, with those sweet tan wall tires. I’m a sucker for a good Manhattan, and I love Mexican food!
What might set Ryan apart more than anything though is his attitude. Many shop techs, especially the long tenured ones have a reputation as grumpy, fastidious types. Ryan is far from that stigma. Despite his years of experience, he’s maintained a cheerful attitude and a driving passion for sports. The outdoorsman is just as happy helping a kid pick out a new bell as building a set of $2000 custom wheels for a good customer. It all goes together.
This level of service is what brought him in touch with the crew forming Waterbury Sports last year. Old friend and Waterbury Sports co-founder Chuck Hughson, (with whom he had worked years ago at an REI), came knocking with an opportunity that was tough to say no to. Mcguire jumped at the chance to not only work at a shop near his home, but also own a piece of it. As many things and life just happen to work out, he was a perfect fit for Hughson and Caleb Magoon who had the front end and business skills covered.
Caleb and Ryan on a field test
Happy mechanic, happy bike
Classic Campfire Trail run on Perry Hill just a short jaunt from the shop
Thanks for the ride and talk Ryan! Thanks to Caleb and Chuck for lending us your mechanic!
Stop by and say hi to Ryan at Waterbury Sports on Main Street in Waterbury next to the cop shop. Check out Waterbury Sports online at www.waterburysportsvt.com
Check out the riding in Waterbury. Info on Perry Hill trails and the Waterbury Area Trails Alliance can be found at www.waterburytrails.com