Longtime cyclists in Southwest Colorado may see a familiar face behind the wrench at Pedal the Peaks bicycle shop in downtown Durango.
David Howard, who owned the shop from its opening until 2004, is back from a stint as a parts and service manager for a Subaru dealership in Plano, Texas.
Howard had sold the shop to an employee, Cliff Pinto, in 2004 when he left to lead bicycle tours in Hawaii, Canada and the national parks of Utah. From there, he migrated to an auto dealership in suburban Dallas.
“I’ve always preferred bicycles to cars. Cars just paid the bills,” he said Monday as he took a break from remodeling the shop.
Howard and his wife, Allyson, have painted, put on a new roof, remodeled the bathrooms and added metal wall sculptures of mountains to spruce up the old bicycle-repair cavern familiar to many Southwest Colorado cyclists.
“It’s an old, two-car garage, and we wanted to give it a face-lift,” Howard said.
He plans to keep the three employees currently working at the shop.
The bicycle business has changed since Howard left in 2004, and now, in the age of Amazon, Howard says Pedal the Peaks will emphasize bicycle repair and maintenance while still offering some sales. In addition, the shop will offer bicycle rentals to tourists.
Howard also plans to begin picking up bicycles for repair and returning them to customers fixed.
Howard originally came to Southwest Colorado in 1992, when he opened a bicycle rental operation in Pagosa Springs, and that business eventually morphed into Pedal the Peaks at its current location at 598 Main Ave., Suite B, in 1995.
The mountains, cycling and small-town vibe originally attracted Howard to Southwest Colorado, a place he became familiar with as a favorite summer vacation spot of his parents.
“I was into cycling, and then mountain biking came along, and I just fell in love with it,” he said.
When Howard sold his business in 2004, he always intended to return.
“I kept property here, a house in Bayfield.”
Since his 2004 departure, Howard now has a wife and two daughters, Brynn, 6, and Blake, 5, to help fill the house in Bayfield and the bicycle shop on Main Avenue.