Wednesday, August 04, 2021
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Best Bicycle Shop - Great Northern Cycle & Ski

by HEIDI DESCH
Whitefish Pilot | July 7, 2021 1:00 AM

For the last five years Willie and Stella Hobbs have quietly been working to make sure that every customer who walks through the doors of Great Northern Cycle & Ski is provided with the best service.

Willie grew up riding single track of the Flathead Valley and Stella grew up enjoying days on Nordic skis. They both worked at the shop in the summers during college, then after graduation returned eventually purchasing the business from the original owner.

“We’ve been doing the work and letting people discover us,” Stella says. “When people realize what we have going on they become our customers for a long time.”

Great Northern Cycle & Ski was named the Best Bicycle Shop in the annual Best of Whitefish contest.

Since taking over ownership, they’ve focused on providing great products to their customers and doubled the square footage of their building at the south end of Central Avenue. They spend a great deal of time making sure their employees they hire are also passionate about the outdoors too.

“Our work is what we love,” Willie said. “There’s no faking it — we’re cyclists and skiers. There’s always more learning and experience to get with new technology, but we want people to feel confident in their purchase because we learn about what’s new.”

Many customers who walk through the door are experienced riders, but just as many are first-timers.

“We want anyone to feel comfortable coming in and feel approachable,” Stella says. “Even if this is your first time riding, we want you to succeed.”

As more people have gotten outdoors in the last year, they’ve worked to keep the store stocked.

“We want to keep people riding,” Willie says. “It’s important for physical and mental health, especially this year.”