BY BRIDGETT HENWOOD
The idea for Bloomington’s newest mountain bike shop came straight from a broken wheel.
After helping a biker repair his wheel on a Brown County trail, David Bik, Josh Thurston, and Jerry Ramusack decided to direct their love for mountain bikes into opening Salt Creek Cycles in November. “We wanted to see if there was a niche for a shop that does a lot of mountain biking stuff,” says Bik. “And we definitely found that the niche is there,” adds Thurston.
At 4001 E. 3rd St., Salt Creek Cycles is just a 15-minute drive to the entrance of Brown County State Park, which has some of the best mountain biking in the Midwest. Thurston believes the shop’s location is key for attracting local and out-of-town bikers. “All the other shops are located downtown and parking can be kind of a hassle,” says Bik. “And there’s nothing else on the east side.”
A full-service shop, Salt Creek Cycles performs standard tune-ups and more complex customizations. The store offers bike rentals from a fleet of mountain bikes that can be picked up at the shop or delivered around Bloomington. GoPro helmet-mounted video cameras can also be rented. While mountain bikes by KHS, Surly, Niner, Rocky Mountain, and Kona are the store’s specialty, road bikes and commuters are also sold.
The 20-something owners, along with mechanic Alex Ferguson, share their biking passion with the community by offering discounts for local organizations such as the deCycles program, which has summer bike tours for teens and young adults, and the Bloomington Bicycle Club. Community bike-maintenance classes are held monthly to answer such questions as “What if your chain breaks or you get a flat tire on a trail?”
Children ages 12 to 17 are eligible to join Salt Creek Cycles’ junior mountain biking team. The club will teach mountain biking etiquette, plan casual group rides, and travel to competitions. “We want to get them in the shop, get their parents active in the program, and get them out to a few races,” says Ramusack.