From Darkness To Light

9 Nov 2013

Velorution Cycles’ bike shop owner rips people shuttling downhill trails with enduro bikes

Posted by Adam Howell

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“Shuttle riding sucks, and so do wannabe downhillers “racing” on multi-use, 2-way trails.  Earn your turns, ride your bike!”

IMG_0968Those were the words of Joey Ernst, owner of Velorution Cycles, in Durango, Colorado on the home page of his web site.

This blogger paid a visit to his shop on Main Avenue to ask him about this statement that was made towards the participants of freeride mountain bike culture in Durango.

“For me, pedal power is what it’s about–not driving somewhere to ride,” said Ernst.

“I’ll see people park at the Horse Gulch trailhead, and they live downtown,” said Ernst. “You know, a drive from here to Horse Gulch, that’s a little ridiculous.”

“And the whole thing with enduro bikes is that they’re meant to be ridden more than just downhill,” said Ernst. “Like true downhill bikes–you can’t ride those up the hill. So if you’re in to downhill as a true downhill sport, and you want to be–which we don’t have much of in Durango. You have to shuttle or take lifts or what not. But enduro bikes are perfect for riding up hill; that’s what they’re intended to do, but people just don’t, and I just think it’s kind of silly. I think the bikes are sweet.”

“I think the whole culture that’s been built up around them is a little silly, but you know, it’s one man’s opinon; that’s why I put it on my website,” said Ernst.

Looking for some extra riding partners to visit bike parks at Winter Park Resort (Trestle), Angel Fire and to shuttle Middle Mountain Trail.

Often times people riding on smaller mountain bikes will join more experienced riders with downhill or freeride-specific bikes so they can get a taste of hitting some features. At that point, they may know whether they even enjoy the sport before investing in a longer-travel bike. Others simply cannot afford to purchase both a downhill bike and an all-mountain trail bike, so they choose to only ride their trail bike, which can serve multiple functions for them.

This blogger: So what do you think about people shuttling Log Chutes?

Ernst: “Completely unnecessary.”

“Unless they are on an 8 inch travel bike, which is completely unnecessary at Log Chutes, you know there’s no reason to have to drive up there,” said Ernst. “Riding to the top of Log Chutes doesn’t take very long.”

“I thought we were all about riding bikes. Isn’t that why we ride bikes, is because we like to ride bikes?” I don’t know, I guess I don’t know where you are coming from, I guess. It’s not meant to be super controversial.”

This blogger: I saw pictures of you on your website riding Black Hawk. Do you shuttle Black Hawk?

Ernst: No, I generally ride Black Hawk from town. I ride all kinds of stuff from town, man. But if my wife and I want to do Black Hawk, we’ll drive to the north end of Black Hawk and do a loop. That means that we’re driving probably 40 miles one way, and we do it as a loop, or whatever. It’s not like, for example, shuttling Champion Venture, where you have a hundred miles of dirt-road driving for 20 miles of trail.”

Shuttles are for astronauts

This is a shirt that’s for sale at Velorution Cycles’ website.

“I’m not telling anybody what to do,” said Ernst. “People that look at my website, generally know where I’m coming from, and that’s our customer base. I’m not one to generally hide behind pr. I say what I think–if you don’t like it, don’t dig it man. It’s totally cool, whatever.”

“I just think that we would be better off if we as a cycling culture in this country rode our bikes more instead of  ‘A’, talking about it, or ‘B’, driving to ride. Generally my rule of thumb, for me, personally, and obviously it’s a personal rule, or whatever, is if I’m going to drive somewhere to ride, I’m going to ride for at least as long as I’ve been in the car. So, if I drive to Tuscon and do 24 hours of Old Pueblo, that’s an 18-hour drive round trip–I’m doing a 24-hour race.  If I’m getting a shuttle back and forth to Denver for doing the Colorado Trail race, well yeah, I spent 80 hours on my bike to get to Denver. So the 16-hour drive kind of pales in comparison. That’s a personal thing, it’s not like I expect anybody else to.”

“I literally rode to Denver earlier this year on the CT–completely self supported. Did it a few years ago. Just got off a week-long tour of Colorado back roads, self supported again.”

“That’s what I’m all about.”

“I understand that most people aren’t going to do those types of rides. That’s totally fine, I don’t expect those people to. I just think to reduce the bicycle to just a play thing, to just a toy–totally misses the point.”

“You know, bikes are fun, they’re also the most efficient vehicle ever created for turning any given unit of energy into forward motion, the bicycle is more efficient than anything else out there.”

“There’s nothing wrong with going downhill. I love going downhill. I subscribe to an earn you turns mentality, really,” said Ernst. “America is a car culture.”

An excerpt from the home page of Velorution Cycles' home page, with red-circled text added by this blogger to highlight where Ernst rips on freeride mountain bike culture.

An excerpt from the home page of Velorution Cycles’ home page, with red paint added around text by this blogger to highlight where owner Joey Ernst rips on people who shuttle.

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9 Responses to “Velorution Cycles’ bike shop owner rips people shuttling downhill trails with enduro bikes”

  1. For Joey:

    Finding it nigh-impossible to bite my tongue on this. Great, bikes are awesome – and they might be your tool for revolution, but that does not apply to everyone. That is not the bike culture in Durango. If want big city fixies rule hipster wannabee culture, take you and your handlebar ‘stache and argyle socks and move to a real city where you can enjoy huge critical mass rides and sport the latest cars r coffins garb. IMO opinion, zealots like that suck more than shuttle riders. But hey, that’s just me.

    And earn your turns is the best you can come up with? I earn my turns: I work every damn day – I get to decide how I enjoy my turns, not some hipster shop owner with an axe to grind. Why not pick out a real issue like the sanitation of trails, the lack of tech, and the unspoken underground movement to turn all trails in to pristine ribbons of glowing single track without bumps, that you can enjoy whilst cruising your cross bike or trendy fixie…. ugh.

    I suppose when you ride the whole enchilada, you ride all the way up to Burro Pass too. Or at Downieville, you ride from town to the peak. I see you are quite the accomplished rider, so I’m sure these are only minor details to you. One day I would like to be such an accomplished cyclist. Well, not really. Actually I’m having the time of my life riding DH on a variety of bikes. I don’t own an “enduro” bike anyhow, what do those look like? I have not seen any for sale. Do they have handlebars so narrow that the grips almost touch the stem and come with striped socks? hmmmm, I’ll keep an eye out. Oh -wait! Yes, I have – why do you have to hate on Specialized? Is it because they are down the street from you at MBS? 🙂

    But hey, it’s all in good fun, right? I don’t need to subscribe to “earn your turns” anymore than you have to turn in your pipe, woolen cap & knickers. I’m courteous and conscientious on the trail, try to employ common sense and don’t run up on people at mach 7 or run them off the trail. I try to share and yield the right of way.

    It boils down to one thing basically – don’t be a d*ck. It’s really that simple. And have to say, I find your attitude towards shuttling closed minded and well, D*ckish…


    Jerry Hazard

  2. Amen Jerry!



  3. The bicycle should be used as one likes to use it. Fighting amongst our selves makes us look disorganized. Riders of all types should be united. For that matter support all trail users horse or dirt bike. It’s all about keeping the trails open to everybody. Haters need to stay home and stop hating.



  4. Count on Horse Gulch Blog to cover the successes, challenges, opportunities and haters of freeride mountain bike culture.

    Haters will hate, and people will continue to vote for what they believe in with their voices and where they do business.


    Adam Howell

  5. Well put AH.



  6. Its so frustrating to see the number of writers
    and SEO gurus who spread misinformation
    p.s Stay away from the Warrior Forums lol



  7. This is funny! Just saw this for the first time, happened to stumble on it. I feel compelled to comment simply because of how patently ridiculous it is. I stand by everything I said in our (unbeknownst to me) interview. And much thanks to the riders of Durango, who continue to, as mentioned above, vote with their business!

    Jerry: I’m sorry that you have no idea of what our shop is about, or what we stock, or what we ride. You should come in sometime to figure it out. Hipster? I have never heard that term applied to me before. Thanks, maybe? In any case, totally with you on trail sanitation, yadda yadda. I dislike that method of “trail maintenance”. For the record, I don’t ride fixies, never have… and I’ve never lived in a big city. Sorry to burst your bubbles. You’re free to think what you like, I suppose, no matter how incorrect it is. I sure do wish I had a pipe, woolen cap, and knickers, though – that would be sweet.

    Russ: Agreed. Doesn’t mean I can’t express my opinion on my own shop’s website. Not my problem if a blogger with lots of personal vendettas and (apparently) hidden recorders wants to take offense to a note appended to a blog post. Certainly seems that most people I talk to don’t think I’m a hater – just a guy who digs riding bikes, not driving them around. That’s all.

    Adam: Sorry that you’re so angry, my friend. I’d encourage you not to read our humble shop blog in the future – we do tend to say what we mean on there, even if it isn’t current-bike-culture PC. No personal offense intended – do what you like! You will anyway.


    Joey Ernst

  8. Joey, when I first spoke with you in your shop, I said that I read your website, that I write for Horse Gulch Blog and that my readers deserved an explanation as to why you had criticized shuttle riders.

    In the recording, I made it pretty obvious from my introduction–“Hi my name is Adam. I’m a writer and a blogger. I write for Horse Gulch Blog. I basically just want to ask you about something on your website.”

    And I made it clear, if you’d like to review my recording where I stated that what you said had novelty.

    “It seems a little newsworthy to me just because you’re a bike shop owner, and here you are ripping on people who shuttle ride,” I said.

    While talking to you in your store, I had a notepad and a recorder in my hand, and that was pretty damn obvious, but if you want to accuse me of being undercover, then that’s your right to attack me as a journalist. Should I wear a suit and tie, with a name tag on stating who I write for, just to help you prepare yourself for the responses that you’d like to provide?

    You certainly won’t be the last person that I interview who’s got a grudge against people who shuttle Log Chutes.

    I will most certainly continue to expose your hatred of shuttle riding as you take pride in on your website with your most recent post about your new tshirts that state that “Shuttles are for space programs. Ride your bike.”

    I suppose you think that Durango Devo’s Durango Flyer downhill team sucks for shuttling Log Chutes, as well? Maybe you could give the freeride community an idea for how you think their time would be better spent, since you have an elitist idea of what’s better for them/us.

    You can keep attacking the culture of freeride, and I will continue to defend it.


    Adam Howell

  9. Must have missed the handheld recorder. Of course, I was trying to run my very busy shop singlehandedly while fending off questions from a random guy I’d just met who was making much ado about nothing. And as I said, I stand by everything I did say off the cuff – because that’s what I meant!

    It’s a personal opinion, Adam. We all have ’em. You’re entitled to yours as well, as we’re all extremely well aware.

    For the record, the “shuttle” shirts have been exceptionally well-received. People think they’re funny, which is what they were intended to be! Finally, you can continue to “expose” whatever you’d like – just remember that you’re finding it on a public website in the first place. If I were interested in hiding my thoughts away, I wouldn’t post them, print them on shirts, etc. I’ve already “exposed” my own personal biases! Cheers, mate – enjoy your bike rides, no matter how they’re done.


    Joey Ernst

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