Owen Gue is president of The Cycling House, an all-inclusive training destination for cyclists and triathletes. Owen is from Missoula, MT where he spends the summer and fall then migrates south to Tucson, AZ where he operates The Cycling House. Owen was introduced to cycling at a young age through his dad. They would ride mountain bikes in the mountains near their home in Missoula, MT. Although his main focus when he was younger was skiing, cycling was always a close second and soon took over the primary position in his athletic endeavors. For his 8th grade graduation gift his parents gave him his first road bike and Owen spent his life savings (a very meager amount) on fixing it up to be race worthy. From the age of 18 to 22 he raced road bikes at the elite level then decided to quit racing focus on pursuing his dreams of creating a business where he could be active, travel, have fun and help people achieve their athletic goals. He’s a college dropout who likes to surf and be outside.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on the upcoming season at The Cycling House. Our first camp starts in the beginning of January and we’ll be going non-stop until the end of April. It’s really exciting because every camp brings new challenges and I try to prepare for what’s to come. We just finished up the final touches of our new website which has been great but also takes time to work out all of the kinks. I’m also working on planning great backcountry skiing trip in Montana that I’m going on during Christmas.
3 Trends that excite you?
Fitness, Outdoor and Food.
First of all, the fitness trend is something that excites me because it’s such a great thing for so many reasons. More people then ever are out running, cycling, hiking, swimming, or just walking. It’s been great for myself and my business but also great for our country as a whole. I think that people are happier and less stressed when they exercise or just get outside and breathe. I want to help perpetuate this trend
The outdoor trend is also very exciting for me. It directly relates to my business in basically every area. Outdoor equipment, apparel and tools always seem to be evolving which is really cool to see. I think outdoor vacation getaways are something that we’ll see a lot more of in the future too. I feel that there are some many good people in the outdoor industry and it’s been good for me to be able to surround my self with such solid folks who want to do good in the world.
This is no new trend that’s for sure but I love good food and I think that most people out there feel the same way. Health and wellness is a direct result of what we put in our bodies and I’ve put a real emphasis on this at The Cycling House. In Montana, I grew up with garden fresh vegetables, clean and lean red meat from elk, deer and buffalo, eggs from my moms chickens, etc. I think that it’s important for people to know that eating a healthy, balanced diet doesn’t mean you have to be a vegan monk, but it can be really tasty.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think most of my ideas have come to be while being outside doing something active. My mind is 10 times sharper when I’m not cooped up inside an office. If I’m really excited about this idea then I’ll start writing down notes because I usually come up with so many different scenarios my head can’t handle all of it at once. I have really great mentors in my life and I then take the idea to them to get their take on it. If I know that the people that I really respect in my life are behind me then I’ll take it to the next step. I try to be methodical about any new ideas I pursue. A pros and cons list is always helpful. I think the most important thing that I need when bringing an idea to life is be excited about it… Feeling stoked. If you have some serious motivation then there really isn’t anything that can stop you.
Is your background in business or have you ever had any other businesses?
Well, I dropped out of the University of Montana when I was 20. I had started a fair trade, organic coffee company with a close friend and was also working on the creation of The Cycling House. I was in school in hopes of getting an MBA but I found out pretty quickly that I wanted to do things right then, and not wait for a piece of paper. I think higher education is so important but it has to be for the right reasons. When I was 11, my brother and I (with the help of my parents) started a sno-cone business. We drove around a old mail jeep and sold sno-cones to kids in the neighborhood for $1. I could actually see myself going back to do that today. (laugh)
What are you into other then working on your business?
I’m pretty happy because sometimes I don’t know whether I’m working of playing. When I’m not working on Cycling House stuff I like being outside. In the summer, my friends and I will try to hike a peak a week in Montana. I love mountain biking too and trail running is something I’m getting into more and more. I learned how to surf when I was 18 while living on the island of Maui and that sport has really sucked me in. I go to California often and have taken trip to SE Asia and Central America. I like a good beer but a good cup of coffee is more important.
A great way to stay up to speed with what I’m doing is the news section of our site:
I can be contacted at [email protected]
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.