Since 2013 Erie Canalway Trail travelers passing through Hulberton are treated to the ultimate trailside amenity – Trailside Bicycles. This full-service bicycle shop offers repairs, sells used and new bikes, and bike accessories that benefit short- and long-distance riders, all directly adjacent to the trail. During peak riding season, most of the Trailside’s customers arrive via the Erie Canalway Trail.
Trailside’s owner Chris VanDusen not only understands the bike shop industry, but he also understands the needs of long-distance trail travelers. Prior to opening trailside he worked in a bike shop in Brockport and also spent several years as a guide for the bike touring company Classic Adventures. He led tours of Europe and North America, including some tours along the Erie Canalway Trail.
While it may seem like a smart business move to locate a bike shop along a trail that receives 1.6 million annual visits, Chris also chose his trailside location because as someone who grew up along the Canal, he has always been drawn to it and spent his time daydreaming about opening a bike shop along the Erie Canalway Trail. As an Erie Canalway bike tour guide he enjoyed stopping in Hulberton for a snack break because of the beautiful canalside scenery in that area. One day, through a serendipitous turn of events, Chris’ bought the house that hosts Trailside from a friend.
Now going into his fourth season, Chris says he’s looking forward to meeting the people from around the world that stop by Trailside Bicycles. As a testament to his commitment to serving as a local trail ambassador, he periodically posts stories about these Erie Canalway Trail Travelers he encounters on his website.