JR Rollins and Jen Toscano almost ended up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “We had plane tickets and were on our way to buy property there,” said JR. Then COVID hit and their flights were cancelled. A friend suggested they check out Groveland.
Within months, JR and Jen sold their home in Brentwood, Jen went remote with her high tech job, JR extracted himself from his Mac Tools business, they relocated to Pine Mountain Lake, and they haven’t looked back. Groveland appealed to their shared joy of bicycling and they immediately saw the opportunity to create a hub–a central meeting point–for bicycle enthusiasts, bikepackers, day trippers, family riders, and the community.
Soon after arriving, Trail Less Traveled partnered with Echo Adventure Coop, providing a fleet of rental bicycles available through Echo. “It was a good way to get our feet wet, said JR. “We needed time to get inventory ordered and to nail down the right location.” Little did they know what a challenge it would be to acquire the popular bicycle brands and styles needed for everyone from children to casual riders, shredders to true enthusiasts during the pandemic.
Now, at last, Trail Less Traveled Bike and Gear has INVENTORY! TLT is soft-opening this weekend with an impressive stock of BMX, children’s bikes, hard tail mountain bikes, cruisers, gravel bikes, scooters, and four different styles of e-bike. They also carry a wide range of accessories, like sporting helmets and hydration packs, clothing, gear, and everything you need to personalize your bicycle.
But wait, there’s more! Trail Less Traveled has full suspension carbon fiber frames and can custom-build a bike for you. An expert with tools and certified in bicycle repair and maintenance, JR made certain that Trail Less Traveled is fully-equipped for on-site repair, and he's ready to get your bicycle in shape for the upcoming riding season.
JR and Jen are advocates for the proper care of trails through our precious outdoor environment. Our unique location on the edge of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park is gaining in popularity with enthusiasts, and they want to be part of the preservation and conservation efforts while promoting Groveland as a major bicycling destination.
“Our trail system is young, and still developing,” JR confides. “But there’s so much great work going on with Groveland Trail Heads and other local area projects. It’s a priority of ours to work with them to make those projects successful, making Groveland even more appealing for bicyclists.”
Long before the Main Street shop was ready or inventory available, Trail Less Traveled had already become a hub of the downtown community. While JR worked to ready the shop, he, Jen, and their adorable Queensland Heeler pup, John Muir, hosted pop-up markets and Halloween Trick-or-Treat stations.
JR and Jen couldn’t be happier that they made the move to Groveland. Leaving behind the four-hours-a-day commutes has given them more time together to enjoy their lives and each other’s company. Jen sums it up:
“We came here to improve our quality of life,” said Jen. “And we realize it every day.”
Sorry about that, Chattanooga.
Trail Less Traveled is located at 18743 Main Street in the historic Gookin house (next to Firefall Coffee). Their soft opening is Saturday, January 29 from 11 am - 5pm and Sunday, January 30 from 11 am - 3 pm. TLT will begin their normal winter hours Thursday, February 3 at 11 am.