Riopel Moving On


Local businessman and fitness advocate, Andre Riopel is moving onto other things. Riopel has sold his business, Velorution on Old Garden River Road and posted this announcement on Facebook Monday:


Andre Riopel
Andre Riopel

It’s with a mixture of sadness and happiness that I say goodbye to all my staff and customers who have made the “velorution” such a success over the past 9 years. As of January 1, 2015, Jan Roubal has officially become the new owner and I will move on to other ventures. When I opened the store in 2006, I never imagined how successful Velorution would become. Our “raison d’etre” was and will always be to nurture and encourage more people to cycle and ski more often.

We have accomplished so much since we opened our doors and we have so many more good things developing; the HUB Trail, the city’s first pump track and dirt park on our site, the first and only free cyclist campground that has over 1000 bike travelers, and just recently the opening of bike lanes on Queen Street. Most of all though, is the legion of “new” or returning cyclists who have joined the “velorution”.

On the horizon, we have the opening of the first asphalt pump track in Eastern Canada coming this summer at Esposito Park with a $15,000 donation from Velorution, the formation of a mountain bike committee which aims at doubling the number of MTB trails in the city in the next 5 years and the Lake Huron North Shore Bicycle route linking SSM to Sudbury. The year 2015 will be “the year of the bike” in SSM and expect the announcement of the expansion of the HUB Trail very soon.

Our success is due to the passionate and dedicated staff: Robbie, Danielle, Steve and Joel under the guidance of Jan who has been running the show for the past 6 years and taken the business to a new level. There is no way, I could have done this without them. Jan is by far the most knowledgeable person in the bicycle business in Sault Ste Marie and the very best mechanic. He has been able to attract and train the greatest staff. His passion is always to make sure that you have the proper equipment for your needs and to keep your equipment in tip top shape. He also wants you to learn the skills to become more proficient with on going shop rides, demos, training sessions all done on his own time. I am leaving the business if very good hands and I am sure of it’s on going success.

Even though I no longer own the shop, I intend to stay very involved in bike advocacy. Once again, thank you everyone for the best 9 years of my life and hope to see you on the road.


Andre Riopel

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Craig Huckerby is a seasoned broadcast and media professional with over 43 years in local media. Starting in television, Craig became known as "the weather guy" on local television before pioneering internet media in the Sault. Craig is credited for bringing local television back to the Sault via the internet in 2003 with LTVNEWS.COM and was instrumental in launching and Craig is happy to be part of the Sault's newest media team of ONNtv and Craig has also won numerous International Film awards for director of the documentary, "Was I Next?, The Sean Cribbin Story"