Braxton Citizens' News, Community

First Elk River Rails to Trails business opens in Gassaway

The first supporting business in Braxton County to open in conjunction with the newly constructed Elk River “Rails to Trails” system is now open for business. The Gassaway Area Improvement Committee (GAIC) hosted the ribbon cutting the Bigfoot Braxxie’s Bikes last Saturday. In attendance were several local leaders such as Gassaway Mayor Richie Roach and Delegate Lori Dittman of the West Virginia House of Delegates. “New businesses like the bike shop show the positive economic impact the Rails to Trails is having on the future of Gassaway,” said Mayor Roach.

Bigfoot Braxxie’s Bikes has received a grant from Advantage Valley FASTER WV program to help further the commitment owners Nik and Beth Salvo have made in their new venture. The FASTER WV program supports business development in West Virginia through free entrepreneurship classes and mini grants.

“There’s a clear need for a bicycle shop here.” Nik Salvo said, citing there are no shops for cyclists in Braxton County along the Rails to Trails foot and bike path. The shop rents E-bikes and mountain bikes; is available for repairs and sells new and used bicycles. Soon a dealership for new bicycles with TREK Bikes will be added to the shop. Bigfoot Braxxie’s buys used bicycles and takes bikes as donations, wanting bikes not to go to trash or scrap yards as part of their environmental re-purposing program. Also, the business is developing a program to refurbish used bikes to donate to children. No donations of bikes and parts are turned away, all are refurbished or recycled.

The bicycle shop also rents kayaks for use in area waters such as Sutton Lake and Elk River. Braxxie’s will be offering paired packages such as “Paddle Down, Pedal Up” which would give a round trip day activity to customers… paddling down the Elk River and cycling back via the Rails to Trails path along the river. “We want to help tourists feel at home in our neck of the woods”, says owner Beth Salvo, who shows her dedication to visitors by making the shop more than just for cyclists, it’s a comfort station with clean public bathrooms, snacks, and information about the local area. Future plans are to expand to more of an outdoor shop for enthusiasts, hikers and hunters.

For more information contact: The Gassaway Area Improvement Council, GAIC Rocky Nutter, 304-590-7680; Gassaway Mayor’s Office, 304-364-5111; Advantage Valley FASTER WV, Tyler Brandstetter, 304-352-1165; Bigfoot Braxxie’s Bikes, Nik & Beth Salvo, 304-853-0002.