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Shish KaBikes is more than just a bike shop

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Photo by Tamie Meck Scott Shishim opened Shish KaBikes in Paonia this summer. Shishim offers parts and accessories, a full line of repair and customization services, and, of course, bikes.

"Shish KaBikes" may seem like an unusual name for a bike shop, but once you meet Scott Shishim, it makes perfect sense.

Shishim opened Shish KaBikes in Paonia this summer. Located at 202 Poplar Avenue, the shop offers bicycle parts and accessories and a full line of bicycle repair services and custom work. From fixing flats to complete overhauls, "I can pretty much fix it all, and if I don't know it, I can figure it out," he said.

Shishim, 36, moved to Paonia with wife Teresa and daughter Sonoro to be closer to family. Teresa, a graphic designer, owns Yoka Design.

His parents, Dave and Maggie Shishim, who have lived in Paonia for more than a decade, are avid cyclists and have competed in triathlons. When Scott was in fifth grade, "they got me this teeny little road bike," and he quickly learned to ride and to repair bikes.

He raced both road and mountain bikes from middle school through college, and has also been a cycling coach. While earning a bachelor's degree in exercise science at Fort Lewis College, he worked for Durango Cyclery, which opened more than three decades ago and specializes in recycled bikes.

During his three years at Durango Cyclery, Shishim said he repaired and recycled a lot of bikes, sharing space with professional racers and professional cyclists, some of whom were involved in the Tour de France and other high-profile races.

The store has a limited number of bikes in stock, including a unicycle, and a broad range of cycles can be special ordered. Shishim carries a pint-sized model with no pedals or gears, known as a balance or "Strider" bike. It's a great way for young children to learn to ride by learning balance and steering first while avoiding the bad habits of using training wheels, said Shishim. Once they master those skills, "it's easy to transition to a pedal bike."

Sonora, now 4, learned on one, said Shishim, and was riding a bike before she was 3 years old.

Shishim also makes good use of his degree in K-12 physical education. After graduation he taught P.E. at the Southern Ute Montessori Academy in Ignacio. When he isn't running the shop he is a substitute teacher for the Delta County School District.

Shishim said he sees a good future for cycling in the North Fork area. At a recent Monday morning Coffee Collider at The Hive, discussion focused on ideas for improving the enjoyment and accessibility of cycling and ways to use the sport to promote the area's beauty, its organic farms and wineries, hotels and dining establishments. He wants to promote bicycling for all ages and is a proponent of the Colorado Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School program.

Shishim said he will keep the store open until weather says otherwise. During winter he hopes to shift into high gear as a substitute teacher and do repairs and take orders by appointment until it's time to reopen next spring.

Shish KaBikes is open Tuesday through Saturday and can be reached at 527-4614.

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