Many moons ago I was looking for a place to park my car as a shuttle vehicle in Salida before the beginning of the second DFL the Divide trip when a friend suggested, “See if you can park at Oveja Negra.” A few Instagram messages later and I had secured a parking spot behind their shop in downtown Salida, CO. When we returned at the end of the trip – unkempt and raucous – we were nonetheless treated to showers and a tour by the incomparable Lane. Her tour was full of ghost stories and other fun histories of their historic building. Coming back so many years later to similar open arms is truly a lovely thing.
If you stop in at Absolute Bikes, a bike shop in the mountain town of Salida, Colorado, Shawn Gillis, with his welcoming grin under a distinct ginger mustache, will likely be there to greet you. Whether you need a flat fixed on your commuter or the brightest bike light money can buy in order to finish the 2,745-mile Tour Divide, Gillis will lend a hand and have you riding again in no time.
But what he really loves is setting someone up on their first mountain bike, hearing about the adventures they want to tackle, and giving them tips about which local trails to start on.