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Pacific Mountain Bike Works offers fresh coffee with a full service bike shop

Kyle Thompson, the owner of Pacific Mountain Bike Works, located in the Alta Sierra Business Center.
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

Bike riders looking for a nice cup of organic blend coffee with their standard bike tune-up, look no further. Pacific Mountain Bike Works, a new full-service bike shop and espresso cafe located in the Alta Sierra Business Center, recently opened.

“I have a passion for both,” owner Kyle Thompson said. “I love coffee and I love bikes, so for me, it was a perfect fit. A lot of bikers love coffee, and are very sophisticated coffee drinkers, and I don’t know why necessarily that is, but coffee is a great stimulant before a ride to get the blood flowing.”

Thompson, 49, grew up in Alta Sierra and got into bike racing while going to college in Humboldt County, also working in a bike repair shop as a student.



“When mountain bikes came about and (became) popular, I was backpacking a lot at the time,” Thompson said. “It just seemed like the right way to get out in the woods. So I’ve been riding ever since.”

With an extensive background in business and financial planning, Thompson has worked for Tri Counties Bank, and most recently for Nevada County as a program manager for their housing division. When Thompson lost his job three years ago, he opened a bike repair shop out of his garage. To stay on top of the technology and trends of bike riding, Thompson took courses and graduated from the Barnett Bicycle Institute in Colorado.




“I was just going to focus on doing hand-built wheels and hand-built custom brands and then this location became available,” Thompson said. “It seemed like the right time for it, and to combine it with coffee, I think it’s a great model to have gourmet espresso cafe with a bike shop, and I’ve always had an interest in coffee.”

Thompson acquired the lease for the Johnson Place retail space close to a year ago, and began working on the construction and decor of the shop, using repurposed materials from old redwood decks, and cherr wood desks. The shop and cafe officially opened on Aug. 16.

“It’s really geared toward our local riding, which are our trails in Nevada County and Downieville,” Thompson said. “There are a lot of riders in Alta Sierra, and of course we’d like to attract people from South County and other areas.”

Thompson said his business includes bike parts, adjustments, and maintenance.

“You should be coming in on a regular basis to maintain the bike to have working parts, and we have everything riders need to maintain that,” he said. “We have a pretty wide range of products.”

Pacific Mountain Bike Works’ coffee comes from DOMA Coffee, a roasting company in Northern Idaho.

While customers are welcome to enter Thompson’s establishment for a quick cup or bike repair, he also offers everything through a drive-thru window that operates six days a week.

“In our drive-thru, we’ll sell chain lube and tubes and parts and stuff, for the drive up to Downieville for riders,” Thompson said. “But they can also come to the drive-thru and get a cup of coffee and a few extra parts and be on their way.”

Tyler Jones, 27, recently moved to Alta Sierra and said Pacific Mountain Bike Works offers a different flair from your regular coffee shop.

“I love independent private businesses so I came in here and I got a cup of coffee, and it was wonderful,” Jones said. “Kyle told me the story about his bike shop and where the coffee comes from and I’ve been coming back ever since. Every time I have a free morning I’m always here, and I’ll always be here. It’s excellent here.”

Thompson said the business will also be offering events for riders of all experiences.

“We’re not intimidated by people knowing how to work on bikes themselves,” Thompson said. “We’re going to be doing some ladies’ events, where they can come out and they’ll be able to learn how to do some basic maintenance on their bikes. … If they break a chain and they’re miles out, how they can get back in, little things like that, we’ll hold trainings on.”

Thompson’s shop also offers a wheel center with various bike rims, hubs, and spokes.

“I also build custom-made, hand-built wheels, so if somebody’s interested in that, we can accommodate them,” Thompson said. “We want to take the whole mystique away of building your own wheels, and for people to be able to enjoy the benefits of hand-built wheels.”

Thompson said what makes his shop unique from others is its atmosphere.

“It’s a really fun place to be, we’ve got kind of a different approach,” Thompson said. “We welcome all riders, we want everybody that comes in to feel welcome to come in and ask questions and look at things and not feel like a question they’re asking seems dumb. You don’t have to be a racer to come in and talk bikes. We like talking bikes with anyone, and everyone’s welcome.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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