Legg’s built to ride
There are two types of people in the world, according to Andrew Legg – the type who grew up with a bike and the type who grew up on a bike.Legg is the second type.”I grew up on a bike,” Legg said. “My passion is riding.”Legg has built his life around that passion. He rides 10-15 hours a week. It’s not enough, he says.”I would like to get out more. I’m just too busy,” he says in a casual southern accent, through a thick reddish-blond beard.Legg, 30, grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., and moved to Silt with his family when he was 11. He almost always wears a hat over his shaved head and keeps a selection of baseball caps scattered around the workshop in his store.Legg owns Colorado Custom Cycles, a small bike shop in the basement of a building on Railroad Avenue in downtown Rifle. He’s been selling, fixing and building bikes there for eight years.His favorite part of the business is building bikes. He said some customers want a lot of customizing and some just want a few new gadgets added to their old bikes.”When I get to build a bike, that’s the candy, right there,” Legg said.He started the business in his garage in Silt when he was 21. “Then I moved it in here and turned it into the miniature empire it is today.”When Legg says “miniature,” he’s referring to the physical size of the shop. The basement room is small, and Legg uses every bit of space. Bikes are stacked along the walls and hang on a rack in the middle of the room. He carved out a space in the rear of the room just big enough for a bike and space for Legg to move around it, examine it, and clean and work on it.”This place was such a dive when I moved in here. The walls are all stone,” Legg said. “It does have a lot of character, this place. I’ve tried to maintain that character.”At the same time, he’s done some things to improve the place and open it up more. He took down the wooden barrier between the stairs and the rest of the room and replaced it with chain link instead.”It’s much better now. Those stairs were so dark and creaky. I don’t know why anyone ever came down here,” Legg said.Legg hasn’t spent a lot of time away from Colorado since he moved here with his family.He studied business for about a year and a half at Tennessee Trinity University, a small Christian school in Chattanooga. He didn’t stay to finish his degree.”It’s funny that I went back there,” Legg said. “Chattanooga is, by far, the dirtiest city I’ve ever seen. I felt like a fish out water, even though it’s where I’m from. Guess I’m just a good ol’ country boy. I’m a Coloradan.” He’s close to family here. His parents still live in Silt and his older sister lives in Parachute. She has three boys and a daughter.”They all sport some pretty cool bikes,” Legg said. He hooked them up with the bikes they ride. “They’re pretty much growing up on their bikes,” Legg said. “They’re rallying.”He said he tries to ride with them sometimes. Legg usually tries to ride with someone when he goes out, he said. “If I go out by myself it’s usually because I want to just hammer it,” Legg said, using the bicycle racers’ term for pedaling hard and fast.Legg mountain bikes on the JQS Trail north of Rifle and on the Flat Tops in the summers. He competes in mountain bike races and rides regularly between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction on his road bike.Legg’s bikes get just as much wear as his baseball caps. He has nine different bikes – two one-speed mountain bikes he rides when he’s in the mood for a challenge, two multiple-geared mountain bikes, one hard-tailed mountain bike (no rear shocks), a dirt-jumping bike, a BMX bike, a road bike and two commuter bikes he rides from his house in Silt to the shop in Rifle.”I ride them all pretty consistently,” Legg said. “It just depends on what kind of mood I’m in.”In addition to running the shop and riding in his every spare moment, Legg teaches a couple of clinics in the spring and summer. The Rifle Parks and Recreation Department sponsors a maintenance clinic Legg teaches on Tuesday nights throughout May. He shows people how to change their own tires, patch them up and do the basic things they need to know in order to get going again if they run into trouble on the trail.He’s going to offer his own mountain bike clinic this summer as well. He’ll teach people how to care for their bikes and also take people out to show them how to ride a mountain bike.Legg spends most of his time on bikes or working on bikes.”Some guy came in here the other day and told me I was a hermit. I’ve got the beard and everything. He said, ‘Dude, you are such a hermit. You hang out in a hole with no windows and all you do is ride bikes.’ Yeah. It’s working out great for me.”Contact Amanda Holt Miller, 625-3245, ext. email@example.com
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.