Best of the Boat: Best Bike Mechanic — Brock Webster, Orange Peel Bicycle Service
Steamboat Springs — If Brock Webster had his way, he’d stuff the business side of running Orange Peel Bicycle Services at 1136 Yampa Ave., in the closet and just tune and fix bikes all day. “If I could just be a bike mechanic I would,” says Webster, 41, a former U.S. Elite rider who founded Steamboat’s only bikes-only bike shop in 1999. “That’s definitely my favorite part of the whole operation.”
With half of his business repair and labor and half rental and retail, Webster rides herd on six other mechanics who keep the shop open seven days a week. When he’s not repairing or running the business, he’s juggling his kids, Olin, 8, and Torben, 3, along with wife, Keri Searls. And sometimes even that overlaps, like at this year’s science fair when he and Olin made a replica of Leonardo DaVinci’s first bicycle.
“I like fixing stuff,” he says. “It sounds easy, but in the bike world, it’s difficult because there’s no standardization throughout all the brands. Plus, the technology continues to change.”
If he had his choice as to what to work on — something from DaVinci’s day or the 2013 Bike Show — the less modern the better. Which is the sign of a true dyed-in-the-wool, Best of the Boat mechanic. “I like working on old stuff,” he says. “It’s so much more fun to work on a 1970s road bike — they’re simple and elegant, and you can really feel when you do a good job. With sealed bearings, you just put a new part in, and it’s done.”
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