JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A Johnstown bike shop owner is hoping to reintroduce people to the city he loves from the seat of a bicycle.
It’s a vantage point that Jarrod Bunk said enables people to see Johnstown’s natural Allegheny Mountains beauty and unique offerings – an experience he’s sharing each week through 10-mile group tours he dubbed “Chilleur Rides.”
“Johnstown looks a lot different by bike, and our goal is to show people what we have going on in the city,” said Bunk, who founded Hope Cyclery in 2019.
The 10-mile tours can change from week to week, but have included rides along the Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail, the Honan Avenue Trail and through downtown Johnstown.
Several area trails, including the Path of the Flood Trail, the Ghost Town Trail and the International Mountain Biking Association-certified Inclined Plane downhill trails – already draw cyclists from outside the area. But Bunk said he organized his weekly tours to show riders a bigger, broader picture of Greater Johnstown and its outdoor offerings.
Recent rides have included trips to Johnstown’s historic Cambria City neighborhood and the cut-stone Roxbury Bandshell, the 55-foot-tall Great Depression-era concert pavilion that is among the last of its kind in America.
“When people from Pittsburgh come in and see how you can ride through (wooded) trails right into the heart of the city, they love it,” Bunk said. “It’s a different experience you can’t find everywhere else.”
He hosted his first ride in March and has been continuing them every Friday since. The group gathers outside his 647 Railroad St. shop at 6 p.m. and departs at 6:30 p.m., he said.
Johnstown City Manager Ethan Imhoff praised Bunk for using his passion for cycling as an outlet to promote the community.
“Jarrod is always full of great ideas – and this is just another one,” Imhoff said.
Community leaders continue to develop and market Johnstown’s recreation economy, and efforts such as Bunk’s can go hand-in-hand with that work, Imhoff said.
“There’s a lot to see by foot and by bicycle in Johnstown,” the city manager said, “and by creating opportunities for people to experience that … it’s enabling us to change the narrative regarding what Johnstown is about.”