About the Absolute Bikes Adventure Cycling Guides
Shawn Gillis, Owner and Head Guide
Shawn founded Absolute Bikes in Salida in 1999 after falling in love and moving here from Flagstaff, Arizona. He found a valley of empty perfect trails and set about creating one of the best bike shops in Colorado.
Don’t let his quiet nature fool you, this man lives for cycling. Shawn has completed the Ironman in Kona, ridden the Leadville 100 ten times and owns one of the big buckles, created and suffered through the infamous Vapor Trail 125 and finished the Ruta de Conquistadores in Costa Rica twice. He has his eyes on the TransAndes race next, partnering with hard man Jim Gibson.
More importantly, Shawn has gone out of his way to support nearly every cycling endeavor in Salida. This includes children’s program, cycling programs with the county, trail clean up events, the fabulous Salida Mountain Trails, local pump tracks for kids and much more. He is obsessed with cycling.
As an ABA guide, Shawn’s number one concern is to create the best possible riding experience for his guests.
Earl Walker, Southern Gentleman & Go-To Guy
Veteran bike racer and closet aspiring writer Earl Walker moved from Leadville to Salida to thaw out, ride more and ski less.
After 29 years of racing, the two-time Georgia State Mountain Bike Champ’s current motto is “just ride and have fun.” Among some of Earl’s most notable results are 14th and 21st place World Cup finishes and a 46th place in World Championships.
Since moving here in May of 2011 and joining the staff of Absolute Bikes Adventures, Earl-Bob (you know, it’s a Southern thing) has earned MVP for being the go-to guy.
Now riding: Yeti Big Top 29er
In the garage: 3 rides – Yeti, Roubaix, Crossroads
Favorite place to ride: Greens Creek Trail
Currently playing: Any blues, especially John Lee Hooker, Keb Mo, Otis Taylor . . .
A career man at the local US Forest Service office, Mike knows the local trails and mountains by heart. Recently retired, Mike has turned his focus to working on the Salida Mountain Trails project and riding as many trails as possible. If you are interested in learning a lot about the plants and animals along the ride, Mike is your man. You can thank Mike and his posse for that sweet new bridge across Starvation Creek.