Scott and Jannine next to Kraig Smith's clunker in WTB's showroom during their visit.
Scott and Jannine get it. With a deep belief in all things bike, all types of bikes, and bikes uniting healthy communities, they've made it happen. Choosing the lifestyle path over that of big business and corporate, Scott started the little bike shop next to the brewery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 6,000 square feet later, things switched to the little brewery next to the bike shop.
But that's not it, take a look at the trails teeming atop Teton Pass and you get a quick understanding of what's possible when those that care patiently work with a government agency. Yes, a movie was made about this. Yes, you better believe the Fitzgerald's crew is deeply involved with this one of a kind trail stewardship and yes, you can talk about sending it and Teton Pass comfortably within the same sentence.
The Fitzies are smart peeps. They think of all facets and levels of the bike industry. Employing endurance superhero Jay Petervary, owning a successful shop that has grown by leaps and bounds, having been based in tourism mecca Jackson Hole, and now promoting Teton Valley, Idaho through endurance races, bikepacking, fat biking, gravity, gravel, guided tours, and bicycle advocacy, the Fitzgeralds know a lot about a lot. So what have they done with all that knowledge? They've created AXLPATH.
AXLPATH creates rider-driven gear lists that are specific to ride, region, race, sport, or category that allow other viewers to interact with it while also seeing the rationale behind that product choice. Feel a particular way about a part or product? You can Like or Boo each choice, things can be shared on various social media platforms, and you can also gain an understanding of the ride and rider(s.) It doesn't take long to understand how this can easily expand beyond the ride - where to stay, a travel company, a guide company, where to grab a beer, what else to do, it's pretty limitless. Then there's the professional and brand side of things, AXLPATH provides technology and metrics for athletes and brands to easily track effectiveness. Now, before anyone gets their feelings hurt, realize this is for all of cycling (and other sports too) - retailers, distributors, travel companies, events, pros, brands, it's about connecting and supporting all in a tech savvy fashion. In today's world of smart dollars spent and accounted for, this is huge. It's almost like you get an individual breakdown of every nuance with rationale that you can search based on your own affinity for, well, anything, then interact with and affect. Smart.
And beyond smart, they rip, care about getting others to rip, and expanding their community in a positive manner. Pretty sure that makes them rad too. So enjoy their responses. They're good people.
Name: Scott “Fitzy” Fitzgerald
Jannine “J9” Fitzgerald
Home Shop and City: Fitzgerald’s Bicycles - Teton Valley, ID
The Fitzgerald's crew: Fitzy, JayP, Lloyd, J9, and Billy keeping it real at the shop.
Favorite WTB or Freedom product:
Fitzy: WTB Vigilante 27.5
J9: WTB Devo Saddle. I have one on every bike.
Singletrack sandwich? Yes please. Scott takin' care of business, putting the Vigilante to good work.
Fitzy: Pole Canyon to Mike Harris, Teton Valley, ID
J9: South Fork of Horseshoe to Mahogany, Teton Valley, ID.
Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?
Fitzy: My childhood was defined by my Huffy BMX bike. Driveway cinder block jumps, secret neighborhood trails, and the feeling of independence that was like a drug to a little kid. What keeps me going with it now is what bikes do. Bicycles transform individuals, Bicycles transform communities, Bicycles can transform the World.
J9: My friend Polly got me into MTB when I moved to Jackson, WY in 1996. Quickly I became addicted and it became my primary activity. Years later I would go on the hunt for single bike shop owner to help feed the addiction...hence, now I am a Fitzy.
Take a stellar bike shop, add delicious coffee, and... what more could you want in life? That's right, nothing. Fine espresso alongside fine frames, foolproof.
Tube or Tubeless, why?
Fitzy: Tubeless at the beginning of the season and then tube for the rest of the season after I get my first flat - too busy to deal!
J9: Ditto Fitzy!
3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?
Fitzy: Friends, a Tram bar, and a cooler of beer.
J9: Arm Coolers (Great to dip in a cool stream before putting on on a hot day of riding), Honey Stinger Waffles, zip ties.
Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?
Fitzy: When riding down a technical trail I stopped to wait for a friend behind me. Instead of watching him descend, I heard a blood curdling scream from up above. I ran up to him as fast as I could only to find him rolling on the ground screaming “Bear Spray, Bear Spray in my eyes!” I don’t know why, but I started laughing hysterically - I think I was expecting a broken femur or an actual bear attack. The realization that he’d be fine after a little agony gave me a huge release of laughter! Turns out he flipped over the bars and the bear canister exploded on a rock and into his face.
J9: Fitzy brought a 3 piece fly rod on one of our adventures rides and actually caught a fish. I guess the crazy part was riding behind him the whole way out with a fish flopping around in the back pocket of his jersey. Yummy, dinner.
Little rider, big trees.
Most important lesson to teach the groms?
Fitzy: You can’t learn to ride a wheelie unless you practice everyday… seriously… everyday kids.
J9: How to drink copious amounts of coffee and still stay in control when talking to customers.
Left my wallet in… (fill it in):
Fitzy: My sailboat
J9: my sons cubby at school…..or anywhere else in Teton Valley!
Success! Even ominous clouds can't keep the Fitzies from their Tam pilgrimage.
Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?
Fitzy: Two Things!
1. If you are reading this, you are someone that should be involved with bike advocacy. We need every one of us who love to ride bikes, and especially those of us who work in the bike industry, to be active champions for cycling. Join People For Bikes, belong to IMBA, speak to those around you about how important bikes are, and call your elected leaders and offer to take them on a bike ride.
2. Come to Teton Valley, ID and ride! We have incredible singletrack, and endless gravel roads without anybody around! If you need some guiding around check out our travel company - The BikeTender
J9: Bicycles = Community. If you love your community then get behind the bike. We want our people to be healthy and happy and riding bikes is a great way to accomplish this. Teton Valley is incredibly beautiful and also very engaged as a community. We would love to show you around!