When hitting the trails, having a bike you can rely on is one of the major components to having a fun and more importantly, safe experience. If you are new to mountain biking and do not yet have your own equipment, that is totally fine as we offer bike and equipment rentals for the whole family. Our fleet is built out with bikes from some of the top manufactures in the industry such as Trek and Scott, all of which are tuned and maintained daily by our very experienced bike tech, Anthony ‘Tone’ Ferradino. Tone has been in the industry for as long as he can remember, from learning about the basics in his early days to eventually owning his own Bicycle Shop in Saratoga Springs, Tone has continued to submerge himself into the bike-world and we are extremely grateful to now have him on our team here at the Stratton Bike Park.
What is your position at Stratton?
I am the Mountain Bike Fleet Mechanic in the summer and fall and a Ski Technician in the winter and spring.
What does your summer/fall position entail?
I am in charge of maintaining our whole bike fleet and I also supervise what is going on in the shop in pertinence to equipment rentals. Aside from that, I maintain our instructors, patrollers, and other various employee bikes. We have a couple of returning customers, but generally I am working on bikes owned by guests or employees who are out riding at our bike park. If they have an issue out on the trails, they can bring their bike to me and I will do my best to get them back out there.
How long have you been working on bikes?
30 years, give or take. I have been doing it full-time since 2008.
Where did you start working on bikes?
My friend Chris owns a shop called Elevate Cycles and he was the person who really took me aside and got me working on bikes full-time. Before that there was a shop called Paradox and then a couple shops out in Colorado that I did part-time stuff at. I went on to open my own shop that I had for about 8 1/2 years in Saratoga Springs.
What brought you to Stratton?
I was a Ski Instructor initially and hadn’t worked in the industry for a long time. Out of the blue my resume got pinged on some site and it was literally like every ski area in Vermont hit it. Stratton made the most sense because it was the easiest commute so I took the job here. I worked as a ski instructor for a season and Tony Bailey, who is a Seasonal Program Manager in the winter and the Bike Park Manager in the summer, offered me the Bike Mechanic position after hearing about my experience.
What are some services you find yourself offering most as Bike Mechanic?
Flat tires, adjusting how bikes shift, and brakes. Lots of brakes. A lot of our guests don’t realize how much they’ll be braking here, and they’ll burn through their pads super quick or come with pads that are already burnt so yeah… lots of brakes.
Most essential component to have dialed in on your bike?
You want to be sure your wheels are dialed in because traction is obviously very important, but your suspension helps with traction as well. Having your suspension properly adjusted is key. Guests will come in with their bike and tell me they haven’t put air in their shock in years and after assessing and correcting, their riding quality increases greatly. Braking is obviously important because, well trees hurt. Shifting is important, though not as much here due to it being primarily down-hill riding. Most importantly I like to keep our bikes maintained and clean. How are you supposed to tell why it’s not working right if it’s not clean?
What is your favorite part about working in the mountain bike industry?
The happy and inclusive mountain bike community. If you show up at the Bike Park, there is going to be somebody who is willing to take you out and show you a good time. When a guest comes in after a day of riding, they are almost always stoked. It’s a great industry and community to be a part of.
Published by Harley Smith