Cartecay Bike Shopwas started in 1989. We are a full-service bicycle shop located in the North Georgia mountains not far from the Tennessee and North Carolina borders. We are surrounded by parks, rivers, hiking trails, challenging road rides and 55+ mountain bike trails. With over 45 years of experience, we make sure that whatever you need – bikes, repair & maintenance, rentals, accessories, group rides, bike fit or trail advice – we have it with guaranteed GREAT SERVICE!
Mike Palmeri (aka "Big Dawg")
Mike's bike career began early as a extraordinarily tall and mustached 13 year old riding for the Schwinn Racing Team and doing research and development. From dirt to road to track, his cycling escapades carried him throughout the US and into Europe. He has more certifications than we have room to print. In his parallel life he serves the City of Atlanta as a firefighter. To this day, bikes have remained a source of inspiration and happiness for Mike. Many of the people in Mike’s life have entered on the seats of bicycles. He continues to share his passion with the community and southeastern region by promoting various forms of cycling and the well-being that bikes set in motion.
Dondi Fontenot (aka "D")
Dondi grew up in Cajun country racing BMX bikes in full checkered-pink-80s-style regalia in southern Louisiana. Dondi's the design, marketing and photography guy whose career stars have occasionally aligned with biking, granting him stints working in the outdoor industry, including RockShox. 18 years ago, Dondi met his wife through a Cartecay Bike Shop group ride at Bear Creek. Dondi admits he would have never had any sort of social life without bikes. You'll recognize Dondi by being the most vertically challenged in the shop, but thankfully, Ben is 6'2" and can reach stuff on the top shelf.
Ben Schlosser (aka"Big Ben")
Ben is our California-raised mechanic and all-around bike expert with a wicked sense of humor. Ben is a graduate of Barnett's Bicycle Institute of Colorado Springs and is certified in bicycle mechanics - specializing in suspension service, wheel building and truing. From maintenance to repairs, he will keep you happily on the road and trails. Some may know Ben best for his sadistic racing on a single-speed full-rigid 29er. Ben hates when we say this, but he is our resident 'hipster' with his vast knowledge of libations and extensive beard grooming.
David Lack (aka "Dave")
As far as Dave can look back, he's spent his entire life on and around bikes. In 1979 at age 16, he started working at a bike shop in Winter Haven, Florida. His parents bought the bike shop and eventually opened a second location. After Dave's parents retired in 1997, Dave owned and operated The Winter Haven Bike Shop locations, meeting many locals and travelers in Central Florida. Dave ran the shop until 2013 when he sold it and relocated to North Georgia, bringing his multitude of bike knowledge and mechanic experience to Ellijay. Dave has been taking mountain bike trips to the North Georgia mountains for over 25 years and knows our local trails as well as we do. He leads many of our Saturday rides along with his ultimate trail dog, Lucy Liu - and she's faster than anyone on the single track!