I’m standing with Steve Mitchell in the basement of the house he has just purchased on the North Shore. It seems the basement is what he is most interested in. He is showing me his layout plans. Bike shop there…bike storage here, bike museum here. Bike shop…bike museum?
Steve is in his mid thirties and has bought his first home to start a family, house his business but more importantly, store the thousands of bike parts, frames and bikes he has amassed over the last fifteen years.
Steve Mitchell grew up on the North Shore in the 80’s and has been playing on bikes in the forest here since his early teens. His career has developed here too. He started out sweeping floors and breaking down boxes in a local bike shop, then found a job working for frame building legend, Paul Brodie, sanding welds and doing finish work on hand built frames. A stint in race and tech support led Steve into the sales business and he eventually formed his own agency. Now he is the B.C. rep for brands like Devinci, Maxxis, Surly and of course Chromag.
Steve has created an environment around himself that symbolizes his appreciation for mountain bike engineering and his love for biking in general. This was a story that needed to be shared and it seemed a perfect theme for our ‘hardtails-on-the-shore’ edit.
It's fitting that the first employee of ‘Mitchell Agencies’ would be a Mitchell Forbes, who moved out west from Ontario and became immersed in a lifestyle and career centered around bikes. Mitch is the shop mechanic here, on-road demo fleet handler and sub-rep for all things under the agencies’ umbrella. Not a bad job when you roll out onto the trails at the end of each day.
Dan Skogland grew up on the North Shore, but didn’t actually discover mountain biking here until 2000 when he took his first run down A-line. Since then, he’s put his time in at the bike shop, on the DH race tour, and as a trail builder. Bouncing between North Van, Pemberton and Whistler, he is a regular on our rides around the corridor.
It's three years later and Steve’s home and business have taken form just about exactly as he envisioned it. This place is a common start point for our rides on the Shore and perhaps, more importantly, a finish place featuring sauna, dunk pool, and fire pit. Not a bad place to have a few beers and wrap up a day's riding.
Photos/Video: Virtu Mediachromagbikes.com