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North Bend mountain bike shop wants more people riding the trails
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North Bend mountain bike shop wants more people riding the trails

North Bend mountain bike shop wants more people riding the trails

The Line Bike Experience along North Bend Way opened this past weekend.

Whether it’s access to equipment, perceptions of risk or even just knowing where to go, there are more than a few hurdles that keep potential mountain bikers off the trails.

But whatever the obstacle, owners at The Line Bike Experience in North Bend want to clear them.

Biking gives you freedom, said Michael Kunz, one of the store’s owners — and mountain biking gives you even more.

“When you look at the mountain biking community, it’s not very diverse,” he said. “We need a lot more people who can come out and enjoy this and building the courage and getting self-confidence when you ride a bike.”

Through a two-step approach, The Line, a new mountain bike shop and training center, is aiming to do just that.

The new bike shop and training center celebrated its grand opening on March 18, alongside the SnoValley Chamber. Its facility on East North Bend Way, the renovated former home of Michael’s Automotive Center, will serve as its home base of operations.

“One of the great things they did was taking a piece of underutilized space and bringing it back into the community,” North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland said at The Line’s grand opening. “We hope to see so many businesses like this take advantage of the millions — literary millions — of acres of outdoor space around us.”

Inside its large backyard, filled with ramps, boardwalks and other obstacles, Kunz said the team will teach riders the technical side of mountain biking in an “observed environment” before they head to the trails.

North Bend mountain bike shop wants more people riding the trails

An obstacle in the backyard of the Line Bike Experience in North Bend.

Step two, perhaps the more grandiose part of the plan, is to bring the bikes to the trails. Kunz said they plan to bring and manage 20-bike modules to parks, resorts and schools where riders will be able to rent bikes near riding opportunities.

Kunz said they are in discussions about setting up the first of their modules at Snoqualmie Point Park and Tennant Trailhead Park in North Bend and hope to set up bike module locations nationwide.

“Now we can get people who could never bike before because of transporting a bike, taking care of a bike, or buying a bike,” he said.

Correction: A pervious version of this story misidentified store owner Steve Murakami in a photo caption. We regret the erorr.

Photos by Conor Wilson / Valley Record
An obstacle in the backyard of the Line Bike Experience in North Bend.

Photos by Conor Wilson / Valley Record
An obstacle in the backyard of the Line Bike Experience in North Bend.

Owners of The Line Bike Experience at their grand opening on March 18. From left: Michael Kunz, Alex Kunz, Sheryl Tullis, James Skinner and Steve Murakami. Photo Conor Wilson/Valley Record.

Owners of The Line Bike Experience at their grand opening on March 18. From left: Michael Kunz, Alex Kunz, Sheryl Tullis, James Skinner and Steve Murakami. Photo Conor Wilson/Valley Record.