The Source: Area Mountain Bike Outfitters


Dennis Baldwin of the Ellicottville Bike Shop

One-on-One with the Owners/Riders of Ellicottville Bike Shop, Gear UP at HoliMont and Just Riding Along Bike Shop

Have you ever noticed that trying to be the source for everything to all people is a losing battle? Competition is good for both the customer and the business - it keeps everyone on their toes and brings more people to an area with different perspectives, products and services.

Ellicottville Bike Shop has been serving the area for six years and has found a niche in the custom-build and high-end mountain bike sales and service. Find out more about EBS and owner Dennis Baldwin’s motto, boutique style service and favorite local trail, in the interview to follow.

Gear UP at HoliMont has been in business for 3 years and caters to the family mountain biking experience, offering on-site demos, rentals and plenty of parking to accommodate on-mountain access. Enjoy another interview below with Indrek Kongats, manager of Gear UP.

Our final interview is with the illustrious Pete D Just Riding Along Bike Shop in Bradford, Pa., highlighting refreshingly simple joys, possible building expansion and titles like “Actual Bike Rider.”


30 Washington Street, Ellicottville, NY 14731


What would you say separates your shop from others in the area?

We sell all types of bicycles and encourage all forms of cycling.  I have found a niche in the high-end and custom builds, a more boutique style experience.

I race mountain bikes a lot and participate in the local trail work with WNYMBA; this has helped to gain the trust of the riders in the high-end market.  I actually have customers as far away as Buffalo, Toronto and Ohio that bring their bikes only to EBS for service.

More than anything we want to ride bikes and get more people to ride bikes. I feel that riding is good for the body and the soul. Our passion for the sport and meticulous detail for a properly working bicycle keeps us a notch above the competition.

Any sort of motto that you go by in the shop that customers can expect to learn or feel as a new or repeat customer?

We Ride!

Your personal vision for EBS … any plans for the future that are exciting?

I have a vision for sure :) … For now let's just say we look to 'Keep it Real'.

Rides or races you want to plug? Anything new about the shop or in the shop?

Our good buddy Mack at promotes cool races in the area … poke around on the for some race info and keep an eye out for Roots, Rocks ‘n Ridges later this summer. I am also working on the Holiday Valley Race Series for the summer.

As for the shop, keep on the lookout for our soon-to-come facebook page.  We’ll keep you updated on rides, trail conditions and races. We also plan to get some skillz clinics going to help improve, always learning something new. We also have a new shop set-up to optimize your retail and service experience … stop by and check us out!

What's your favorite trail locally?

Oh boy! That depends on the day. As much as I like to go fast on the flowing stuff like Buzzards' Breath or Eagle, I like the rough stuff.  Get me out towards Little Rock City so I can ride the rocky trails! Like Bent Rim and Rim.

What trail is the coolest and doesn't get the press it deserves?

HaHa! Dead Scout Loop for sure (you're going to have to know someone) and 4 Rock.

Did we miss anything?

We would love to have your readers join us on our Monday Shop Ride. 

What do you need? 

A properly working Mountain bike, helmet, water and the ability to ride up and down single track trails.  You do not need to be a 'hammer head' … just don't make it your first Mountain bike ride. for more info.


Gear Up store at HoliMont

6921 Route 242, Ellicottville, NY 14731


What sets you apart from other shops in the area?

We have plenty of parking. You can park and access all WNYMBA trails from our parking lot. We carry a great brand of bikes called Rocky Mountain and offer high performance rentals and demos you can try on-site. You can also rent or demo full suspension or hard tail mountain bikes; in this area the most efficient bikes to ride are hard tails and it will be a bit more bumpy. Features and benefits of both full suspension and hard tail bikes are discussed in our 101 clinic. We are a destination experience and your kids are safe running around the shop; traffic is minimal. 

Do you specialize in a particular area? Any sort of motto that you go by in the shop that customers can expect to learn or feel as a new or repeat customer?

Our target audience is families, who are new to the sport and want to ride together or those who are new to the area! We want to make the sport accessible to anyone who is interested. Every Saturday we offer a Mountain Bike 101 Clinic from how to shift and other important basics and education specific to safety, types of bikes and how to get the most from your time riding. Please call ahead to register; cost is only $10 and free with a bike rental. We believe if kids get into the sport early, they will stick with it and benefit from the sport long-term, just like skiing.

What visions do you have for the future of Gear UP at HoliMont? Any exciting plans for mountain biking at HoliMont? Rides or races you want to plug? 

We would love to get lift access and an all around mountain bike facility so we could be a downhill mountain bike destination like Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Canada. Justin Latimer, our head of safety manager, is a great ambassador and we hope to have him test the first downhill mountain bike trail. Though we are excited about that possibility, it’s a little ways off on the HoliMont timeline. We also host the WNYMBA in August and contribute prizes; it’s in the works to have more races and possibly some multi-sport events on the property.

Anything else we missed that you want people to know about Gear UP at HoliMont?

We also carry the new 29-inch wheel bikes and are transitioning our rental fleet now that more affordable versions are available so people can have the experience with the latest technology. We sell our rental fleets at the end of the year so if you are looking for a great 
deal on a pre-owned bike, talk to us. We carry lots of accessories, energy food, cold beverages … so if you forget something at home we have you covered, and if you are out on a long ride you can refuel at our mountainside location. We want people to know we are working to grow and contribute to the sport, the lifestyle and getting kids and adults on bikes!


Going for a ride starting at Just Riding Along in Bradford, PA

48 Mechanic Street, Bradford, PA 16701


Alright PD, what would you say separates your shop from others in the area?

I would say that we separate ourselves from other shops by stocking a lot of hard-to-find parts, and never turning away a repair. We also cater to a lot of people that are new to cycling, or haven't ridden since they were a kid ... In a sense, we do a lot of teaching.

The heart of the business is our knowledge of all the technical aspects of bicycles and translating that into something the average person can understand. Whether it's diagnosing a bike for repair or fitting a helmet, we have all the bases covered.

Do you specialize in a particular area?

I would say that we specialize in not being specialized. We mostly cater to new riders and people getting back into the sport, but we also have a core group of locals that are avid riders.

One of the best things to see is a person that comes in starting from scratch, and seeing them progress into someone that rides regularly. Some folks get into competition, but my favorite thing to see is people just riding for utilitarian purposes. Cycling can be so much more than just a hobby. It's great to see people riding to work or the store and leaving the car at home.

Any sort of motto that you go by in the shop that customers can expect to learn or feel as a new or repeat customer?

My title is not owner, but ‘actual bike rider.’ I'm not just a salesman or a mechanic - I commute, ride trails, and ride the road and try out a lot of different bikes, so I can relate that experience first-hand to a customer instead of feeding them a bunch of marketing lines from a catalog ... I feel that most people appreciate it if you can cut though the BS and just give them honest opinions on how a product will work in the real world.

We can usually get a new customer pointed in the right direction pretty quickly as long as they are willing to trust our advice.

Your personal vision for JRA … any plans for the future that are exciting? Rides or races you want to plug? Favorite Trails?

I did buy some property adjacent to the building, and would like to expand the service area. It would be nice to hand over the shop to an energetic manager someday, and concentrate on getting more new people into the lifestyle of cycling. We're always coming up with new ideas and getting more followers, but I don't want to grow too much - I think people like dealing directly with the owner.

Favorite local trails to ride would be all of the Tuna Valley Trail Association Trails in and around Bradford, Trails in the Willow Creek area, and Morrison Trail near Rimrock.

We sponsor a lot of local races including the Willow Creek Triathlon, and the Raccoon Rally.

Come ride every week with Just Riding Along Bike Shop in Bradford on Tuesdays and Thursdays; meet at the shop at 6pm … check the website for more information.

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