Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Leavenworth’s new Eastside Cycleworks finds its niche, offering specialized ski and mountain bike services

Pat Donahue, the owner of Eastside Cycleworks, stands in front of a pair of ready to mount skis.
Pat Donahue, the owner of Eastside Cycleworks, stands in front of a pair of ready to mount skis.
TAYLOR CALDWELL/WARD MEDIA
Posted

LEAVENWORTH – Leavenworth’s newest ski and bike shop, Eastside Cycleworks, is expanding the options for ski services in the Upper Valley.

Eastside Cycleworks opened in August of 2023, and announced its ski services in October. The shop specializes in ski and mountain bike services, as well as multi-day rentals on winter and summer activities.

“We've been totally buried in ski mounts for two months now. We've had a lot of boot fitting appointments. Cole can punch up on touring boots, which tend to be a little bit harder to work on because they're thinner,” said Donahue.

Eastside Cycleworks is unique to the Upper Valley in its ability to cater to backcountry skiers. In addition to boot-fitting, the shop can mount any type of binding such as tech (backcountry), alpine or telemark, as well as make binding adjustments to already mounted skis. Before Eastside Cycleworks, Arlberg Sports in Wenatchee was the only spot in the valley that could offer tech mounts, making it susceptible to a large backlog at peak times.

“People will drive to Pro Ski, like North Bend, to get things mounted or to get a boot fit, which is crazy to me. That's a four hour round trip…I saw a definite need for this for how big of a ski town this is, and like no one's really doing it,” said Patrick Donahue, owner of Eastside Cycleworks. 

Arlberg Sports, Eastside Cycleworks, and Cashmere’s Downtown Bike are all some of the Upper Valley’s offerings for ski and bike shops. While they have some overlap, such as ski tuning and bike repair, each has a slight difference that makes them unique to the area. Downtown Bike specializes in bike fitting and news and consigned bike sales, Arlberg has a large retail side in Wenatchee, and Eastside Cycleworks has found its niche with localized ski services and expansive rentals.

“Everyone's been pretty supportive, because I do think we're not necessarily super competitive with a lot of other shops, because we're not trying to sell stuff. We’re kind of service based, and then the rental thing makes us pretty different,” said Donahue.

Donahue offers multi-day rentals for nordic skis, alpine skis, and snowboards. Those who love to bike year round also have the option to rent bikes with wide tires called fat bikes, which are made for riding in the snow. 

Come spring and summer, the Eastside Cycleworks will transition back into a bike shop, offering bike repairs and builds. The shop offers online bike rentals, with options for riders of all levels, including e-bikes.

“I want to be inviting, [and] make sure that if you've never ridden a bike before that you could be comfortable coming in here and getting set up with A, a rental bike or B, we can talk to you about what's wrong with your bike without making you feel like a novice or like your stuff isn’t nice,” said Donahue.

Eastside Cycleworks is also becoming a welcoming place for events such as a Women’s Mechanic Night and an avalanche awareness class. The shop’s opening party doubled as a benefit for Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. 

“When I opened the business, I thought the tourism thing would be the key driver, but it's very much been the local community, which is awesome. We've received tons of positive feedback,” said Donahue.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or taylor@ward.media

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