Eric is one of our bike shop mechanics, and to say that he has wide-ranging interests would be an understatement. Born and raised in the Upstate, Eric is an Army veteran who has lived in Oklahoma, Hawaii, and Korea. He is a martial artist with a second degree black belt in shotokan, avid rock-hound with a knack for finding raw gemstones and arrowheads, trail-runner, hiker, and awesome dad. Eric’s favorite places to mountain bike include Issaqueena, DuPont State Forest in NC, and Horse Pasture trails; he specializes in fully rigid single-speed extreme endurance races.
Jared is an adventure seeker with over 20 years of rock climbing experience. Jared continues to set new routes indoors and outdoors and has a passion for exploring new areas. Since 1992 he has climbed in 40 states and 6 countries and participated in over 200 first ascents. His favorite places to climb in the southeast are the Red River Gorge for sport climbing, the New River Gorge and Seneca Rocks for trad climbing, and Rumbling Bald, HP40, and Rock Town for bouldering. Jared also likes to mountain bike and has ridden nearly all of the local trails in South Carolina, North Carolina, and surrounding states. His favorite place to mountain bike is the Pisgah National Forest outside of Brevard, NC. Recently he has fallen in love with whitewater kayaking and is currently creating a video log of over 20 local rivers. He is an active member of the Foothills Paddling Club and his favorite rivers are the Chattooga and the Cheoah. When not paddling, climbing, biking, or hiking, he enjoys reading, traveling, snow-skiing, snowmobiling, and extreme bushwhacking. Jared is also the head route setter at the local climbing gym (Climb @ Blue Ridge). He and his wife Karla have a young daughter named Lucy and they love to hike to local waterfalls. Do not ask him a question about climbing, paddling, or mountain bike trails unless you want to hear a good story.
Jon G — the man, the myth, the legend — is our resident fix-it genie. As our all-around repair guy and craftsman he can design, fabricate, or repair just about anything, from shoes to boats to buildings; if you need boat repair, Birkenstock repair, or service for your bicycle, he’s your guy. Jon is a born-and-raised Travelers Rest native who studied automotive collision repair at Greenville Tech and spent 15 years working in local auto body shops. He’s been with Sunrift since 1997. His two brothers also worked at Sunrift in its early years, and his wife Debbie used to manage our bike shop. Jon likes mountain biking, road biking, metalworking, blacksmithing, and lately fly fishing with Debbie. He’s a treasure trove of TR knowledge too, and has worked to protect the biological treasure that is the bat population on Sunrift’s campus.
Originally hailing from southeastern Pennsylvania, Kelly made her way to South Carolina by way of five years in the Pacific Northwest. Her cycling background is rooted in year-round bike commuting and all-day road rides, but has grown to include a passion for the Upstate’s incredible mountain biking. She has served two terms on the volunteer board of Upstate SORBA (the local chapter of the Southeast’s nonprofit mountain biking association). Kelly and fellow Sunrifter Cat enjoy adventure racing, which combines trail running, mountain biking, kayaking, and orienteering over a 12-24 hour unannounced course. Kelly and her husband Chris live with their four beautifully second-hand dogs. (She would very much appreciate it if customers with puppies, even the ten-year-old kind, would please bring them into the bike shop for a visit.) One of Kelly’s goals is for women to feel at home in the cycling world and community. As confidence tends to ride the coattails of knowledge, she’s especially keen to help women learn the ins & outs of bikes and develop greater self-possession and independence in their cycling. Come visit her in the bike shop! And do bring your puppy.
Scout is a local high school student and a native to Greenville. She’s been rock climbing and mountain biking for as long as she can remember, and in addition to racing bikes for an East Coast gravity team, she helps coach the rock climbing team at a local gym. When Scout isn’t on the trails or at the crag, you can find her jamming to Jimmy Buffet, eating tacos, or running around town (literally).
Born in Colorado, Heather has spent many years traveling to her next adventure. From running a B&B in Glacier Natl. Park, operating ski lifts at Alpine Meadows in Tahoe, running a music venue/restaurant/bar in Albuquerque, bartending at one of Denver’s finest brewpubs, vending at music festivals/concert tours, ice climbing in Ouray, whitewater paddling in Denver area, snowboarding all over in Colorado, California, Oregon, Montana, Utah, New Mexico, West Virginia, and North Carolina, backpacking some of our nation’s most treasured parks and wildernesses, to dancing a hole into any rug/patch of dirt where the music moves her; Heather’s found her kicks. She’d lived in three of the four corners of the contiguous US, when she decided to check out the southern scene. Originally planning to do a fly-by of less than a year in Greenville on her way to SC’s coast, she met a swell feller and an amazing extended family at two of Greenville’s best ‘unkept secrets’, the Handlebar and Sunrift. She and her husband have three of the coolest kids you’ll ever meet, whom are all named after the outdoors. Her friends from around the country/world tease her because she hadn’t lived in one place for more than a year continuously during her ten years of traveling, and has now settled down for almost a decade in a town called Travelers Rest. Some of her favorite outdoor activities in this area include SUP boarding at Jocassee, biking the Swamp Rabbit trail, ice climbing (on the one day per year it’s cold enough to do so!) in western NC, backpacking in western NC, snowboarding in western NC, and of course boogieing down at music festivals. While Heather is versed in many of the fields featured here at Sunrift, she’s our specialist in the world of good-looking threads and technical clothes.
Thomas has been a part of Sunrift for all 21 years of his life. He basically grew up in the store, hiding in sleeping bags and scaring unsuspecting employees. Thomas has been snowboarding for 15 years, and has over 9 years of freestyle BMX and trials bike experience. He has been rock climbing since the age of 7. While this summer marked his first serious season of white water kayaking, he has been around boating almost his whole life. Thomas is constantly astonished by the amazing attitudes of the customers, and loves having the opportunity to work with them.
Emma is one of our local high school gals, born and raised in Travelers Rest, SC. She has been an adventurer since she could crawl. She loves Stand Up Paddle Boarding, hiking, and climbing with Claire when she is not in school or at work.
Favorite King of Pop flavor: Strawberries and Creme
Andy was born and raised north of Atlanta and the outdoors have always been a constant presence in his life. He developed skills and a passion for the outdoors as he earned his Eagle Scout rank and in high school when all his friends were heading for Panama City Beach, he went rock climbing for the week instead. He was an avid whitewater kayaker around the southeast. At Young Harris College in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and fell in love with fly fishing and after moving back to Atlanta, got his first outdoor retail job with Orvis where he worked for many years in the store and teaching casting classes.
The rivers continued to call Andy, and he left Orvis to become a rafting guide on the Nantahala River and developed a fly fishing program. After getting married, he accepted a job as the General Manager of an outfitter in Nashville. His wife, Jessie, missed her hometown of Travelers Rest and in 2014, they relocated with their 3 dogs to Greenville. They now reside in Travelers Rest with their dogs and 17 chickens. Next year, they hope to raise goats.
Current Kayak: Dagger Mamba
Ninja outdoor skill: Dutch oven cooking
Favorite KOP: Sunrift S’mores
Favorite campsite: Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, Crescent City, California
Favorite River: Nantahala River
Favorite Holiday: Halloween
Favorite Trail Food: Trail mix with extra raisins
Kristin is originally a Jersey girl who worked in social work for over 10 years brought to Greenville in search of friendly faces, bigger mountains and larger adventures after reading an article written in Outdoor magazine. Walking into Sunrift to get more information on local climbing areas she knew she found a special place of true outdoor lovers. Favorite ways to spend her free time includes rock climbing, exploring lesser known trails with her Boston Terrier Popeye, sleeping under the stars, sup boarding, and devouring spicy Indian food. Favorite sunset: Moab, Ut. Favorite climbing area: Northern Arizona. Favorite thing about SC: awesome people, boiled peanuts and abundance of nature waiting to be explored.
Favorite King of pops flavor: Thai Iced Tea