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 the 90s 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 has more than her fair share of gel, protein powder and electrolyte pills. She also has a rad husband named Chuck who happens to be the main reason that Vanessa will ride a road bike, being first and foremost a lover of dirt. Vanessa’s stable includes a Surly Krampus with 3″ tires (for bikepacking!), a Kona Process 134 29er mountain bike just to prove that short girls can love 29″ wheels, a Kona Wo fat bike, a Fairdale Weekender steel is real commuter and a 1970 Raleigh 3-speed.
Michael came to Glacier Cyclery in 1998 from Oregon in hopes of trading rain for snow. Mike enjoys cooking, riding slow, snowboarding, procrastination, weight fluctuations, controlled explosions and short bicycle tours. 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. In his garage, Mike has 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 Kona Wo fattie, a Surly Krampus, and a Santa Cruz Megatower which he purchased based solely on color.
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 Process X 29er with it’s HUGE 29″ wheels.
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.
We begged Kim to work for us for a couple years and FINALLY she joined the team. She moved from Bend, OR four years ago and quickly became a key member of our local cycling community. Kim and her husband Bryan are local mountain bike instructors, assisted by their ridiculously adorable puppy Rupert. And in her spare time, because you know you have lots of spare time with two jobs and a puppy, Kim is on the board of the Flathead Area Mountain Bikers. What does she do for fun? Ride. Beer. Sleep. Repeat.
Inventor of the Krampug, Gabe joined the team in Spring 2021. He’s been migrating north from Arizona for several years now, and when the Canadian border shut down in 2020, he found he could go no further (and do no better) than Whitefish, MT. To his delight, it is much cooler here than in Arizona and the riding is just as good. The Krampug, you might ask? A glorious modification of a Surly Pugsley with Krampus-like plus wheels, and just the animal to ride on bikepacking weekends through Montana’s backcountry. And for traveling fast and a bit lighter, he’s riding a Santa Cruz 5010.
Ron & Jan Brunk
Ron & Jan started Glacier Cyclery in 1982 and have been going strong ever since. 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 combined. The Brunks enjoy tandeming (conjoined cycling), XC skiing, and working on their days off (running a successful business). 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, and scores of ‘Cino’ bikes (which we used to refer to as “old ten-speeds”).
Raser hails from the far away climes of Martin City which isn’t really a city and is only about 15 miles from Whitefish. Some say he is a dog whisperer. Currently a 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, 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, or maybe writing a beautiful verse of poetry concerning the beauty of a pine cone, or possibly at school, studying the nuances of brewing a frothy quaff. Most likely though, you’ll find Raser enjoying the deep woods embracing the laws of gravity aboard his Kona Process 153 or disappearing amongst his beloved lichen on his Kona Unit X. Go speed Raser, Go!
We suspect that this man with no address is also using an alias, but who cares if he is great to work with and even more fun to ride with. Zac has a few miles under his belt after riding the Great Divide bikepacking route in 2018. And yes, this makes him strong on a bike (perhaps it’s the carbon hardtail he is riding?). Oh, and if you need something retrieved from the bottom of the lake, Zac is the guy. He’s a certified scuba instructor who has taught folks to swim with the fishes in the Honduras and Australia. Does this make him qualified to help you choose a bike, swap your pedals and make tire recommendations? Yes, yes it does.
Alex Ueltschi comes to Glacier Cyclery from Switzerland by way of Ohio. We’ll skip the Ohio part, but here’s an interesting fact: During her four years in Switzerland, not once did she work on a farm, nor did she tend goats. This might seem odd being that everyone knows that Switzerland is the epicenter of modern goat breeding. She did, however, ski and instruct others to ski, a skill she continues to utilize on the Big Mountain during the winter months. Alex rides a vintage road bike that she restored and painted herself, and an ever evolving Santa Cruz Bronson, which she enjoys piloting down flow trails or high mountain singletrack, dodging the occasional bell-wearing goat.
Loud heavy metal and random bike parts. That’s what Pete eats for breakfast. Then he jumps on his ebike/edirtbike and gets to work in 0.3 seconds. All of this while the rest of us are still asleep. So yea, we are more than psyched to have Pete on our service team (after a slight 17-year detour managing ski and bike departments at a local sporting goods institution). In his free time, he takes perfectly good bikes and adds motors to them. Not one to waste time sleeping, Pete also helps his lovely patient wife Heather remodel antique campers. His bike of choice: it’s electric, baby!