Meet Your Merchant: Biking for a better community at Paco’s
July 9, 2012
TRUCKEE, Calif. – Paco’s Truckee Bike & Ski shop has been the go-to place in the region for road and mountain bikers, as well as cross-country skiers, for the better part of the past 30 years, and the store only plans to continue its success.Founder and owner Paco Lindsey began visiting the Truckee-Tahoe area in 1974 and has been hooked on the mountains and lake since. Several years later, he moved to Truckee, from Iowa, for good.”I fell in love,” Lindsey said. “Totally in love with this place. I would come here, then go back to Iowa, then come back out. I couldn’t resist the lure (of Tahoe).”A lifelong bicyclist, Lindsey has been involved in the bike industry in some form for as long as he can remember, whether it be racing, repairing bikes or advocating for cyclists.”I have an extensive road bike background,” Lindsey added. “I’ve always been part of the road bike scene.”And it shows.Paco’s Bike shop is well known for its vast selection of road bikes, along with service and repair. When Lindsey opened his own shop in 1982, after working out of his garage for three years, there were no other road bicycle shops in the Truckee area. Lindsey saw this as an opportunity and opened his first shop in downtown Truckee. In 1987 he made another move, into a bigger store. He shared the space with a ski shop in the winter and transformed it into a bike store during the summer.”I was there for five years and kept taking more space every year,” Lindsey explained.It wasn’t until 1992 that Lindsey opened up a year-round store. He moved into the Safeway center and opened a cross-country store for the winter months.”In 1992, Truckee no longer had a cross-country ski shop. I saw a big need,” Lindsey explained. “I saw a big business need … So I just rolled the dice, and the rest is history.”Paco’s XC shop has done so well, it has established itself as the largest specialty cross-country shop on the west coast. While the store services many locals, it also attracts visitors, as well as doing a lot of business online, often shipping goods across the country.Transitioning into a year-round business provided many challenges.”I had to create a whole new business,” Lindsey said. “The year before I started my ski shop was a drought year, like the winter we just had. It was a big roll of the dice. I thought ‘jeez, this could sink me.'”Luckily, 1992 was not a drought year, and Lindsey soon found he had attracted new clientele in the world of XC skiing. He added that his business is focused on two activities that he has always been involved in, making work both fun and interesting. It’s rewarding to own and run a shop as a part of the community, he said.”It’s fun to create a business as part of the community and to provide jobs for people,” he said. “I enjoy having the shop.”Lindsey moved his store this past fall, to a newer and bigger shop, on Donner Pass Road in the Bank Plaza. The new store is approximately 2,000 square feet larger than the old one and features energy-efficient lights and roomy displays.”It’s bigger. The landlord is local,” Lindsey said. “We love it here. Everything is brand new.”He added that the location of the new shop is perfect for cyclists to start their ride, as they can park the car at the shop and head around Donner Lake and Donner Summit. The area has access to both road and mountain bike rides.Paco’s Bike shop sells both mountain and road bikes, along with any equipment a cyclist could possibly need – from socks and riding gear to chains and handlebars. The shop also boasts a full service bike repair shop, and offers rentals for visitors and locals alike. In the winter, the store offers a wide selection of cross-country skis and gear, along with a tune and repair shop.Shannon Rahlves visits Paco’s in both the summer and winter, stopping by for anything she may need for her bikes or skis.”They are very professional, honest, friendly, efficient and quick to help me with anything I need,” Rahlves said of the store and its employees. “Paco is very dedicated to creating a great relationship between people, the shop, the community, Caltrans and bikes.”While Lindsey is known for his shop, he is actively involved in advocating for cyclists, and recruiting more people to join the sport. His shop sponsors races and events in both the summer and winter, and has plans in the works for a demo day. Lindsey is personally involved in the Truckee Trails Foundation, a group focused on the development of local trails and bikeways.”A big part of my give back (to the community) is bike advocacy both on and off roads,” Lindsey explained.Lindsey looks forward to continuing being a part of the Truckee-Tahoe community and helping cyclists and cross-country skiers alike.