Learn More ABOUT THE STAFF
Joe is fairly new (within the last 15 years) to Whitefish, having arrived fresh-faced and chipper from Northville, Michigan. Joe burst into song on something like his second day on the job, confirming that we had made the right choice in hiring our new mechanic. As you might imagine coming from such a crooner, Joe is also a multi-instrumentalist. Joe likes snowboarding, cellos, coming up with new soup recipes, and can pretend to speak 30 different languages.
Joe, being multifaceted, likes day long singletrack rides as well as short and sweet hammerfests, both of which he shreds on a Vassago VerHauen. Rigid. With a 29+ front tire. Which is kind of like a little suspension, but not really. Recently, Joe has raced a few solo 24 hour races, which, I’ve heard is not unlike going clubbing in Germany.
Raser hails from the far away climes of Martin City. Which isn’t really a city, and is only about 15 miles from Whitefish. A young energetic college kid, Raser prefers the outdoors to the indoors and seemingly enjoys almost every activity that our lovely valley has to offer.
When he’s not in the shop at Glacier Cyclery, dialing in your sweet rental bike, you might find Raser fishing, or paddling rapids, or under his truck, or snowboarding, or skiing, or sitting on a peak contemplating his fine life. Most likely though, you’ll find Raser enjoying the deep woods astride his Kona Process 153 (long travel 29er bliss) or embracing the law of gravity aboard his Kona Operator. Go speed Raser, Go!
Vanessa Gailey came to Whitefish by way of Crested Butte, CO, where she learned to shred on the legendary singletrack. Vanessa worked in Glacier National Park in ’91 and, apparently, it made an impression on her. We’re quite glad she returned as she is a welcome, good-natured addition to Glacier Cyclery’s staff. Vanessa last worked at a local endurance nutrition company and it took us a year to convince her that cold pizza and PB&J sandwiches are acceptable riding fuel. She also has a rad husband named Chuck who happens to be the main reason that Vanessa will ride a road bike, although she recently got rid of anything with skinny tires, (with the exception of Chuck) and is first and foremost a lover of dirt. Vanessa’s stable includes a Surly Krampus with 3″ tires (for bikepacking, which is like bike touring except that the route is harder, you never, ever shower, and it’s probably going to rain), a Juliana Joplin 29er mountain bike just to prove that short girls can love 29″ wheels, a Kona Wo fat bike, a Fairdale steel-is-real townie bike and a 1970 Raleigh 3-speed.
Michael came to Glacier Cyclery in 1997 from Oregon in hopes of trading rain for snow. Mike enjoys cooking, riding slow, snowboarding, procrastination, weight fluctuations, controlled explosions and bicycle tours on dirt which, apparently, is called bikepacking (it’s like bike touring except you only have one chamois, you don’t bring enough food, and your map is wrong). Mike dislikes telemarketers, politicians, and haircuts. Mike leads a contented life and lives with his lovely wife, two boys and a couple of ill-behaved pets. When Mike isn’t turning wrenches on customers bikes at Glacier Cyclery, he’s busy putting off maintenance on his own bikes: a Burley Hudson touring bike on which he’s slayed a deer, an ’87 Fat Chance which he should sell but believes is worth more than it actually is, a Surly Krampus mid-fat for all-day(s) in the saddle, a Kona Wo fat bike, and a Santa Cruz Bronson which, if you haven’t heard, is an ‘enduro’ bike.
Tyler hails from Wisconsin and has been a Glacier Cyclery fixture since 2001. Tyler, his wife Brandy, and son Tiptin live up near Canada which helps in explaining Tyler’s obsession with the procurement of firewood. Tyler’s other obsessions include the gathering of huckleberries, the storage of huckleberries, and cooking with huckleberries. Tyler also enjoys snow removal, Coca-Cola, ultra-violent video games, and cycle commuting 40 miles a day which he frequently does aboard either his steel Kona Rove gravel grinder or his Kona Big Kahuna depending on whether he craves tarmac/dirt road mix or soil on his ultra-endurance commute. When shredding singletrack, Tyler pilots a Kona Satori with it’s HUGE 29″ wheels. Old school. Old’s cool.
Carrie moved to Whitefish in ’96, the big snow year that I missed that all of the old-timers still talk about. That year, she XC skied to Safeway and probably thought that she’d get to do it every winter. Carrie is a newer addition to our sales staff and during the school year she teaches Special Ed. in Columbia Falls, our neighbors to the east. Carrie also coaches for Special Olympics and a few years back she completed a solo bike trip across the U.S. on her Trek 520, on which she still racks up the miles. Carrie recently acquired a Jamis Dragon 29er on which she’ll pursue many dirt oriented adventures. Carrie is a telemark skier and we hope to clue her in on the great advancements in Alpine Touring gear.
Vince graduated from Columbia Falls High School in 2012. Since then, Vince has attended United Bicycle Institute’s Mechanic School and Frame Building Class (in which he built the mountain trials frame that he now pilots), moved to San Diego, moved back, and joined Glacier Cyclery’s mechanical staff, the staff which gave him his new name, Shanko. Shanko is one of those guys who is “mechanically gifted”. No, he’s not bionic, he just knows how to fix things. And make things. And weld. And fabricate. And blow things up with Tannerite. Shanko was on the swim team for 13 years, likes to fish from his stand-up paddleboard, got pulled down the Whitefish River by a 14-pound carp on said paddleboard, and has a disdain for spiders, especially the huge Hobos which hide in the bike boxes in the basement. When he’s not MacGyvering various machines, Shanko pilots a Santa Cruz Heckler, and a Jamis Dragon 29 which he recently acquired from the scrap pile.
Mark Ambre (Hombre)
Growing up in what he calls “Babylon on the Potomac”, Mark discovered early on that bicycling was his favorite form of transportation – especially when the destination was a river to paddle, a cliff to climb, a mountain to ski, or a wave to surf. He mentions Jack Kerouac and Goran Kropp as influences. Mark has toured through 44 states, 5 provinces and a tiny bit of Mexico. He was the Izaak Walton Inn’s ski pro for 20 years and has spent a dozen summers surfing and working at bike shops in California. Currently Mark’s two-wheelers include a 1964 Schwinn Tiger, a Surly Cross Check that looks as old as the Schwinn, a folding Dahon that he thinks is cool because Amtrak counts it as carry-on baggage, and a Kona Unit single speed (soon to have gears and a Jones Bar) on which he embarks upon day long adventures of epic proportions.
Pete “The Puma” Siudara
Pete rode through Whitefish in 2003. He returned to work as a backcountry ranger in Glacier Park in 2005. Pete likes long walks on the beach, long rides across continents, electronic music, backcountry skiing, is an avid photographer and excels at bathing his subjects in light. Check out Pete’s awesome photo skills at Pete Siudara Photography on the Facebooks. The Puma is a highly skilled mechanic and shreds a (insert Pete’s current bike) whilst enjoying the dirt and rides one of those epic adventure Jones Bar-clad Surly Ogre bikes when enjoying bikepacking (it’s like bike touring except you never, ever touch pavement, 150 mile days are the norm, and every route goes through Polebridge). His favorite word is “route” and his favorite accessory is a National Forest map.
Martin and his wife, Megan, moved to Whitefish from Fort Collins, CO. Martin was tired of his 45-minute commute to work so he moved 1000 miles away so he could walk to work. Martin was once a Toyota mechanic, a skill which will more than likely be called into action around here more than once. Martin has a HUGE tool box which unfortunately, is locked. Martin likes target shooting, horses (not target shooting at horses, mind you), and riding one of the sweetest fat bikes in the Valley, his Surly Ice Cream Truck, with which he hopes to combine skiing, kayaking, and the like. Martin’s stable includes the aforementioned Surly, a Kona Process 153 29er (the newest super sweet whip in the stable), a Niner MCR9, and a couple of older road bikes which he will undoubtedly be encouraged to call ‘Cino bikes’. Martin is also master of a curious little pup named Nellie, aka Mace Windu.
Ron and Jan Brunk
Ron & Jan started Glacier Cyclery in 1982 and have been going strong ever since, although sightings of Jan are now less frequent than in the past 35 years. Ron was once a potter, bakes a delicious scone, and rolls in a ’72 MGB which he restored. As of late, he also seems to have developed a propensity for bikes we used to refer to as “old ten-speeds” (See ‘Cino’). Jan can ride a unicycle and can also play the accordion, two talents which seem best when combined. Jan keeps bees and is quite the gardner. The Brunks enjoy tandeming (conjoined cycling), and XC skiing. The Brunks are veterans of cycle touring and have pedaled a few enviable multiple-day rides. The Brunks’ garage contains an Ibis Cousin It tandem, a Miyata unicycle, a Kona Hei Hei DL 29er, a Kona Jake the Snake, a Giant Defy Advanced carbon road machine, a Santa Cruz 5010, a Jamis Nova, a Kona Wo, and scores of ‘Cino’ bikes (which we used to refer to as “old ten-speeds”)including, but not limited to, a Masi, a Cinelli, a Bottechia, and a Peugeot. Ron and Jan are now building ‘bikepacking’ (it’s like bike touring, but you wear the same clothes the whole time, sleep on pine boughs, and kill your own food) bikes on which they hope to enjoy the Great Divide mountain bike route this coming summer.