Absolute Bikes Adventures Guide Staff

Shawn Gillis, Owner and 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.


Andrew Sayers, Manager and Lead Guide

Native Texan, college educated, professionally trained by kids at summer camps, semi-pro mountain bike racer, student of life, proficient at brainstorming, expert listener, among other accolades.

Andrew is passionate about sharing cycling and outdoor experiences with others. With a background in education and outdoor recreation, specifically with kids, he has unlimited amounts of energy to help create amazing experiences. You can find him riding single speed mountain bikes on multi-day adventures, coaching youth programs, helping plan epic rides, or spending time with his lady and their puppy. He loves connecting with new riders and growing the community as well as riding with experienced riders pushing limits.

James Haarmeyer, Guide

Claim to fame: I’m not cool enough to be famous.

Favorite place to ride: Good scenery, good dirt, good people – wherever these things come together.

What you do when you’re not riding:  Spend time with my wife and daughter, work in the yard, read


Jessica Downing, Coaching

Jessica is the Program Director for the Absolute Youth Cycling program as well as our women’s programs, as well as an occasional guide. She holds her Level 1 Professional Mountain Bike Instructor certificate and loves getting people comfortable on their bikes. When not riding, she’s playing on the river or in the winter searching for fresh powder.