Rad People Who Ride: Shane Bresnyan and The Bike Peddler / NorCal Bike Sport Santa Rosa

13 January, 2014

There’s a certain ease about Shane that makes you comfortable at once when around him.  A warm, knowing smile greets you and care that is immediately apparent in his eyes.  Pleasant banter that isn’t forced – not a loud person, not a quiet person, about as far from a boastful person as possible without being one of those decidedly overly modest people who seem to have an underlying agenda of creating attention with self-inflicted under attention.  Shane just is and couldn’t be more content with how that is and how he lives his life, he’s thankful.

Shane manages The Bike Peddler, a stellar shop in Santa Rosa, CA carrying Santa Cruz, Yeti, Kona, Ibis, and a whole host of other trail brands with WTB on the walls and coming stock on the shred-ready brands.  The shop has built quite a reputation for itself, offering very comprehensive mechanical services and real product know how from trail riding – shop employees coordinate lunch rides, everyone rides, they see customers on singletrack a stone’s throw away at Annadel State Park, back at the shop they talk to those same customers about product that afternoon.  Foolproof.  In the words of John Goodman playing Walter in The Big Lebowski, “Swiss Watch, Dude.” 

Shane quit his construction career 5 years ago.  He was on Soulcraft’s alarmingly fast race team and Glenn Fant, one of NorCal Bike Sport’s owners (the famed parent shop just down the street to The Bike Peddler) offered Shane a job at NorCal so he’d have some cash in his pocket.  Then Glenn, a widely revered mechanic, generously offered to bestow some mechanical know how Shane’s way.  Under Glenn’s tutelage, the rest is history.

So, we went to ride with him.  Why?  Well, because we’re stupid.  Shane mused that no other reps ever take them up on lunch ride offers.  Hmmmm.  They must be like smart or something… Might as well hack it up in the presence of sheer and total greatness – total consciousness, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.  The very same ease that aptly describes Shane’s calm and warm demeanor translates directly to his riding.  Everything just looks easy when Shane rides it, easy peasy.  Forever unflustered.

There’s the cliché out there that with some people, bikes are an extension of them.  Shane and the bike are one, he can subtly command it beneath him with the slightest body inflection.  While climbing, we came to a beyond 90 degree singletrack turn.  Shane dropped his hip, the bike just perfectly tracked beneath him, I don’t think his tires touched a rock.  I huffed my way trying to emulate – enough sweat pouring into my eyeballs to fill an ocean (I looked like a deorderant commercial gone horribly wrong… wool was a bad choice,) and achieved nothing other than a strength test of my front wheel against every rock in the vicinity.  “That’s where those short chainstays are nice,” Shane offered back.  I don’t know what I grumbled but I think it was something about how my short stays must be broken.

Then the trails pointed downward and just like when you watch world cup dh riders seemingly floating through the roughest stuff around – I swear their wheels do not drop down into the in-betweens of rocks, Shane and bike glided along completely unagitated.  At a certain point, he just took off, it almost looked like he sat down and coasted out a paved section really building speed.  It was lava rock.  Lots.  They’re tall and camouflage.   Not fair.

 Shane riding the WTB Vigilante 2.3 29" TCS tires how they like to be ridden, fast.

A good friend and riding buddy tipped me off to Shane’s talents a long time ago.  It would always start with, “Duuuuuuuuude,” in a deep bellow that seemed to reverberate the cables on my frame beneath me.  We’d have come across some gnarled unpleasant wood misunderstanding tucked in the back eddies of bends of trail.  I’d then get to hear about how some dude named Shane could seamlessly hop in a floating manner, with bike mind you, over it and make it look like he hadn’t flinched a muscle.  It would always end with, “giffffted” methodically repeated assuredly over and over.

He was right, even if I didn’t know it and just wanted to walk over the slippery obstacle.  Shane is truly gifted on a bike.  It makes me happy that there are mountain bikes out there so people like Shane can ride them.  I’m even happier that I got a chance to see Shane ride one, even if it was from afar.  He doesn’t showboat, he kindly ensures that he doesn’t drop you, he just rides beautifully and with ease.

Enjoy Shane’s responses, he’s rad, and he sure does ride.

Name: Shane Bresnyan

Home Shop and City: The Bike Peddler Santa Rosa, Ca.

Scene of the crime.  Where it went from all smiles in the shop to still all smiles on the trails - just a lot of work to keep up with those smiles.

Favorite WTB or Freedom product: Really digging the new Vigilante tires on my Enduro 29er. I loved the old grease guard hubs and headsets.

Favorite Ride: Any ride with good friends is my favorite ride

Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?

A good friend bought a nice mountain bike and broke his leg shortly there after and let me use while he healed up. I went up to Annadel and did the Ring of Fire mtb race and knew from there that this was my sport and these were my people.

Tube or Tubeless, why?

Tubeless! Because I’m not a retro-grouch, and it adds so much in terms of performance and feel on the trail or road.

3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?

Safety kit, tube, and a pump

So how does Shane float through the rough stuff?  Well, just like that, by actually floating through it, airborne.

Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?

One time we were riding really early and we were above another trail looking down taking a break and saw a rather attractive runner woman coming up the lower trail. She stopped right below us, looked around, dropped her drawers and pulled off a no wiper!

Most important lesson to teach the groms?

That biking is fun, and we are not the only trail user

Left my wallet in… (fill it in):

Ask my wife, she always knows where it is…

Shane is one fast dude.  Everything else, well, just gets left in the dust.  The Vigilante 2.3 29" TCS tire likes Shane's speed.

Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?

Thanks to WTB for the tires and feature, I’m flattered that you’d think of me.

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