Adventure Sports Getting Boost In Rim Country

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Manzanita Cyclery is on the path to expanding Rim country residents' and visitors' options in adventure sports.

The business is expanding beyond the lines of bikes and boards it carries, to stock the supplies and equipment for such things as hiking, climbing, backpacking, swimming and more, according to owner Devin Wala.

"We're going to move to a new location because we're outgrowing the space we have here," Wala said of the shop at 321 E. Highway 260.

He said he plans to move the business to property on Beeline, but all the details have not been completed. Look for the move in the spring, when the name of Manzanita Cyclery will also be changed. The business will become known as Manzanita Adventure Sports.

"Actually that's already the name of the company, but it's doing business as Manzanita Cyclery," Wala said.

Wala and his family have been part of the Rim country for several years. For two or three years they had a vacation cabin in Forest Lakes. When they saw how good the people of Payson were to all their mountain neighbors during the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, Wala said they decided this was the place they wanted to be.

"This was the kind of community we wanted to live in and support," Wala said.

With big plans for the future, there is still a lot happening at Manzanita Cyclery in the Ponderosa Village.

To get ready for the move, Wala said they are trying to clear out some of the inventory, so the 50-percent off sale on the store's 2003 models is continuing.

Carveboards are still available exclusively at Manzanita Cyclery.

"I brought them in from Carlsbad, California," Wala said. "These boards actually emulate surfing, or ‘carving' as you go down a hill. All you need is a good hill."

Manzanita Cyclery's current specialty is its complete line of Giant and Free Agent bicycles, with a set of wheels for every age and every price range.

The REVIVE by Giant is truly a "one size, fits all" bicycle, he said.

"From its fully adjustable handlebars --hey move up and down, backward and forward --o its adjustable seat, this bike will fit any rider," Devin said.

Giant's full line of mountain bikes features rugged, lightweight designs for every style of riding.

For the mountain biker who likes to take extra gear along, Devin also carries the Xtracycle -- sort of a utility trailer for mountain bikes.

Manzanita Cyclery carries a large selection of children's bikes, from beginners to more advanced bikes.

Wala is trying to build a team of mountain bikers to participate in the Mountain Bikers Association of Arizona. The group has a series of eight races through the year and this year, in early April, one of those races will be in the Payson area.

"We're trying to pull together a team of people interested in racing," Wala said. "We want to recruit from junior high age and up. As many as want to participate can. You don't actually race as a team, but you do use team strategy. It's still an individual sport, but the larger and stronger your team, the better your advantage."

Bikers interested in just socializing with other riders have something to look forward to in the new year too.

"With the new year, we want to try for some social rides," Wala said.

It would be open to bikes of all kinds and involve about a 45 minute cruise, with a stop for brunch or lunch. He said he hopes to have the program on a regular basis.

For more information about the team, social ride or expanding inventory, call Wala at (928) 474-0744.

Stop by Manzanita Cyclery, 321 E. Highway 260. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday.

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