PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : Cool Shops: Dirt Bean Halй

Cool Shops: Dirt Bean Halй
In tiny, secluded Marlinton, West Virginia, proprietors Kristy and Chad Mantz have created a gem of a concept: a bike shop/coffee shop/fitness studio/pool/bed and breakfast, all smack dab in the middle of some of the best riding you could ever find. Dirt Bean Halй has everything and then some.

Halй is Hawaiian for house, and as it is described, offers a lifestyle. Dirtbean is a bike shop, coffee shop/cafй, fitness & coaching facility, and an Inn. Chad and Kristy have put together the perfect getaway for the health conscious or for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, fitness, good coffee and a good hangout.

The depths of winter in West Virginia do not seem exactly like the perfect time for training, but a clinic was arranged and Jacob Fetty of was brought into rural Marlinton to give a hands-on clinic over the weekend, allowing 'campers' to enjoy not only top notch coaching services over three days, but also to experience the incredible concept of Dirt Bean, as well as the incredible mountains surrounding the town. The preseason camp was set up to maximize off-season work, focusing on the use of powermeters and training with power, but also not forgetting the old mainstay of heart rate.

One of two stoplights in Marlinton.

Although West Virginia is widely known for its' coal mining, the chief industry in wild and wonderful West Virginia is tourism - and there's good reason for that. Marlinton is barely a blip on the map, a tiny little town in eastern West Virginia, 20 miles from the winter playground of Snowshoe - in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. Normally, January in West Virginia is a rather chilly time with temperatures rarely above freezing, but fortunately for all, a warm spell was had, and temperatures jumped to nearly 50.

The training grounds in this area are like tiny paved roller-coasters, where you're more likely to see stray livestock than a car. You're only a kick ass descent away from West Virginia's Scenic Highway, which might arguably be the most beautiful and difficult stretch of road around.

The shop itself is an experience. You walk through the front door and you see tables in front of you, a coffee bar to your left, and bike shop paraphernalia along the right. It's a perfect combination for a bike rider - food, coffee, and bike stuff. It's more though, the basic set-up is sound, but it is further helped by the knowledgeable staff and colorful locals that provide a perfect blend of Mayberry meets Paul Sherwen.

The menu is diverse and delicious, the coffee even better, as Dirt Bean offers their own house blend of coffee. There's also a seemingly trivial addition in the shop as well - wireless internet. When you realize where you're at in West Virginia though, it's about as amazing as an 80 degree day in Winter.

Moving back through the shop, you come towards the business end. There's a CompuTrainer, an indoor swimming Endless Pool, so you can swim like hell and go nary an inch forward. There are spin bikes aplenty, treadmills, workout area, everything you can ask for is right there.

The shop is very active in bringing people in, offering weekly spin classes, an indoor triathlon and duathlon series, as well as Friday Night Movies.

The CompuTrainer in the shop makes it possible for different fitness testing to be done, which further helps a training weekend, and allows someone like Jacob Fetty to better advise the attendees on what their next course of action in terms of training should be. You get a good concept of where you're at, what you need to do, and where you're going.

When you're done with a hard day either working out at the shop, enjoying the secluded roads, or tearing up unbelievable single-track trails, you head to the Inn, and extremely comfortable living arrangements at unbelievable prices.

You can do a room a night for 55 dollars, or rent out all four rooms for 150 a night.

At the Inn, you'll notice you're in a one of a kind arrangement - not just bike rider friendly, but welcoming with open arms. The dynamics of this establishment make it an ideal place to bring a team, club, or group of friends to do a training camp, training seminar, or just for a weekend getaway to a quieter, simpler place.

Starting your training day with an awesome meal at the inn doesn't hurt things.

For more information on this unique idea, feel free to contact Kristy Mantz at Dirtbean or Jacob Fetty.


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