Psyched About Bikes

A teacher with a passion for mountain biking becomes a partial owner of a local bike shop.


Photo Courtesy of Ezra Stafford

Ezra Stafford drops off a rock while braving a mountain biking trail.

Sandpoint is a great place to enjoy the outdoors, especially on a bike. Mountain biking is a great way to get outside and experience all of the trails Sandpoint has to offer.

In addition to being an art teacher, Ezra Stafford has recently partaken in being a one-third owner of a local bike shop, Bonner County Bikes.

Stafford said he has had past experiences working in bike shops in college, yet this is his first time being an official part-time owner. Both his dad and uncle have owned a bike shop so he was influenced by biking growing up.

“I love to be in nature, and have a real connection with being outside in the woods,” Stafford said when referring to his love of the sport of mountain biking. 

Stafford has worked at Bonner County Bikes since he moved back to Sandpoint 15 years ago, so he has since built a great relationship with the other owners — Tim Piehl and Dan Shook. Stafford’s dad also helped Bonner County Bikes originally get started with just a cabinet, some bike stands, and a few bikes.

Now that Stafford is a one-third owner, he has his own ideas for the future. He explained that his main goal is “ to start creating a lot of trail production, always trying to make more and more trails.”

This is not Stafford’s first contribution to the trail building at Sandpoint. He is also a board member of the mountain biking club, Pend Oreille Pedalers.

The local bike shop, Bonner County Bikes, rents out used bikes to the community to get people involved with mountain biking. (Photo Courtesy of Ezra Stafford)

Pend Oreille Pedalers is a great club for highschool students who enjoy mountain biking. The club was able to build trails at Schweitzer, and Pine Street Woods.

“We would love to have more highschoolers involved with building trails,” Stafford said.

Pend Oreille Pedalers meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school and work to ride the trails around 5 pm. It is a great opportunity for high schoolers to get involved in Sandpoint’s biking community, and pick up a new hobby.

Plus, to help decrease the cost for one to get involved with mountain biking, Bonner County Bikes only sells used bikes, making them affordable to high schoolers and the public. Bonner County Bikes are also dealers of Rad Power Bikes and  Kona, which are fat-tire bikes.

“Our niche is to create affordable and quality bikes for the community,” Stafford said.

With this in mind, Stafford, as well as his co-workers, plan on only expanding the involvement of the biking community in Sandpoint.

“The feel of biking on real dirt trails, rather than unnatural pavement has a whole different effect,” Stafford said about the thrill of mountain biking.

Sandpoint is a great place for mountain bikers of all extremes to get out and experience this effect. Whether it’s a nice, easy quick loop at Pine Street Woods or the downhill at Schweitzer, Sandpoint has a wide variety of trails and opportunities for one to easily get involved in the biking community.