Ear to the ground:

“Take a Valium, I have to pee.”

– Judge Reinhold’s response to a female stalker outside the restrooms at the ACT

Different spokes

While bike-riding season never really ends in Durango, it’s safe to say spring brings with it the unofficial start to the fat-tire frenzy. And with it comes the annual mass migration of two-wheeled Durango Devo-tees to local trails.

However, the departure of Devo’s co-founder and head U19 boys coach Chad Cheeney last month let a little air out of some rider’s tires. But not to fear. After an exhaustive search of local bike shops, trails, pubs and polo fields, Devo has tapped the U19 boys assistant coach and Fort Lewis College cyclist Brendan Shafer to fill the denim cut-offs, so to speak.

Shafer, who will graduate this spring with a degree in Engineering and a minor in math, is no stranger to the local bike scene. As a Skyhawk, he has competed at the national level in cyclo, road and MTB events, and is a fixture on local trails, roads, tracks and anywhere else his two wheels can take him. He has served as the U19 assistant coach for the last three years.

A native of New England, Shafer started cycling at an early age and by 13 had joined a road development team. His roadie career continued through high school but he soon left the Northeast to pursue his true passion for dirt and fatties at FLC.

“I want to motivate these boys with that experience,” Shafer said of his new role. “As a cyclist this is what we love, the excitement of being a junior cyclist really shapes who you are.”

Although sometimes seen as a “man of mystery,” in a Q&A posted on the Devo website, Shafer proves he is only a riddle wrapped in an enigma. An abridged version of the hard-hitting questions follows:

Q: Are you the mystery man?  

A: Yes and no.

Q: What kind of things are you involved in outside of cycling?

A: I play the banjo and listen to heavy metal. I enjoy math, woodworking, skiing and American Civil War history. I hope to get better at water colors one day.

Q: How long can you hold a wheelie?

A: In high school I won a “wheelie-off” with a distance of 1.5 miles (the road ended). I believe the world record is around 22 miles (on a running track in France).

Q: What is your favorite bike part?

A: Peace sign cantilever brake hangers. Why? Who doesn’t like peace?

Q: Favorite moment on a bike? 

A: When I won a road race at 16 that I had been dropped at the year before. Its cool to win like that when you’re 16.

Q: Favorite local rides?

A: “Super Special Sauce” – start at La Plata Canyon, ride Sharkstooth to Bear Creek, up to Grindstone, along Indian Trail Ridge and for the icing on the cake, Kennebec home. Also love Sailing Hawks because it feels like the East Coast.

In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows