Cycling, skiing and stories will help celebrate life of Steamboat business owner Chris Johns |

Cycling, skiing and stories will help celebrate life of Steamboat business owner Chris Johns

Chris Johns moved his Wheels Bike Shop to Yampa Street in 2011.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Friends and family will come together this weekend in true Chris “Johnsie” Johns fashion with cycling events, skiing as well as time for telling stories.

The longtime Steamboat Springs resident and downtown business owner died unexpectedly March 6 at age 51. Friends and family suspect Johns’ death was related to the neurological disorder epilepsy, but the Routt County Coroner’s Office is awaiting toxicology tests before making an official determination.

Events this weekend offer a taste of everything that Johns loved in Steamboat.

“He had friends from all different activities,” said his twin brother Craig Johns.

The brothers grew up in Massachusetts.

“As kids we went on a couple ski trips to Colorado,” Craig Johns said. “He loved Colorado, and he ended up going to Colorado Mountain College.”

Johns then made Steamboat his home, and he owned Wheels Bike Shop, which he moved to Yampa Street in 2011.

“He was a proud guy, and at the end of the day, he got himself to be the professional business guy that he always wanted to be,” Craig Johns said.

The celebrate that love for cycling, friends are invited to show up at the shop at 11 a.m. Saturday.

One group will head out on road bikes and do the Emerald Loop. There will also be a more family-friendly ride that will head out River Road.

At 3:30 p.m., people are invited to again meet at the shop and participate in the bike parade to the Steamboat Springs Community Center for a celebration of life beginning at 4 p.m.

“There are a variety of folks that would like to speak and share stories,” said longtime friend Jeff Good.

People are encouraged to wear casual attire, including clothes from Wheels Bike Shop and Yeti Cycles.

Good got to know Chris Johns through skiing, and friends will meet at 11 a.m. Sunday at the top of the gondola for a day of skiing.

A fundraising page has been set up at to help pay for the weekend events.

Plans for excess funds include a memorial statue, bench and a Steamboat Springs High School scholarship in Chris Johns’ name.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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