SHERIDAN — It started with a BMX bike in middle school. The cycling seed was planted for Jordan LeDuc in seventh grade, and it’s blossomed over many years into what now sits as the Sheridan Bicycle Company.
The Sheridan Bicycle Company was established in 2014, but it was more of a culmination for LeDuc’s lifelong passion for fixing up and riding bikes. Even if you ask him what he likes to do outside of his time at the shop, he’ll hesitate before eventually stumbling back onto something bicycle related.
“My life is pretty consumed of bicycles,” he said with a laugh.
You may even hear a rumor around town that LeDuc bikes to Sheridan from Story every day — rain, snow, sunshine or otherwise.
The early BMX competitions turned LeDuc into what he called a “shop rat.” He spent his time hanging out in bike shops, fixing flat tires and tinkering with bikes. He lent a hand to two shops in Spearfish, South Dakota — odd jobs, mostly — before moving to Sheridan in 2001.
LeDuc worked at Back Country Bicycles under owner and good buddy Alan Mason, and Mason actually sent LeDuc to the United Bicycle Institute in Oregon, where LeDuc became a certified mechanic.
He spent five years fixing bikes in Sheridan, a few more doing the same in Bozeman, Montana, and ended up back in Sheridan in 2011.
Eventually, though, just as he had done on the BMX tracks back in middle school, LeDuc craved some competition. He had an inkling that Sheridan was growing in the outdoor recreation department and thought opening a second bike shop in town was in his best interest.
“I think options are good; I think competition is good,” LeDuc said. “People always ask me, ‘Is Sheridan big enough for two stores?’ Absolutely, yes. There’s more than one bar in Sheridan. Competition is good.”
It’s the untapped potential of the area that entices the young shop owner the most, though.
The growing trail systems — both through town and in the mountains — are bringing more and more people to the area on bicycles. LeDuc works with the Sheridan Community Land Trust to develop trail systems and helped bring the MS Bike Wyoming to Sheridan this summer.
As people continue to flock to the Bighorn Mountains on ATVs and dirt bikes, LeDuc sees growth amongst non-motorized recreation in the mountains, as well.
“The Bighorns are untapped,” he said. “There’s tons of motorized stuff in the Bighorns, which is great. I’m all for that, but there’s just not a ton of non-motorized. And we just have the landscape, and there’s so much potential in the Bighorns.”
Sheridan Travel and Tourism executive director Shawn Parker is good buddies with LeDuc and sees the benefits of LeDuc’s work within the Sheridan community.
“Sheridan is home to miles of excellent trails — Soldier Ridge, up at Red Grade, and then on into the Bighorn Mountains. We have potential to become a major mountain biking destination, and our bike shops are leading the way.”
Aside from attracting cyclists to the area, Parker added that LeDuc brings tremendous value to Sheridan from a business standpoint, especially for his age.
“It’s incredibly important for the community to support young business owners — fostering and encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit allows Sheridan to diversify its economy, add new jobs in new fields and make our town and businesses attractive to new investment and new talent.”
It’s LeDuc’s passion for biking and desire to share that passion with others that make his job easy. He’s consumed by it because he loves it.
“I’m not just selling bicycles,” he said. “I sell myself. I sell my attitude, my commitment to the sports, making things better in the Bighorns. “
That commitment to the sport and to the community has resonated with Sheridanites like Parker.
“Jordan’s passion for his work and his industry is inspiring,” Parker said. “His shop’s customer service is top-notch, and he’s always available to answer questions about new bikes, great local trails or secret rides.”
LeDuc will even send you down to the other shop in town if he can’t get you what you’re looking for. It’s all about tapping into the potential of cycling in the community, and he’s all in.