22. JIM & DINY SWEITZER: WEST HILL’S SHEPHERDS
Jim and Diny Sweitzer had big shoes to fill when they took over the West Hill Shop in Putney in 2004. The shopwas founded by four families in the Brattleboro area, including Neil Quinn and Olympic Nordic ski racer Bob Gray. It quickly made a name in the cycling and Nordic skiing worlds. West Hill hosted the Tour de Valley and an annual cyclocross race. It hired employees such as Jim Langley and Don Cuerdon who went on to be editors at Bicycling Magazine and attracted clients that ranged from top racers to author John Irving.
The Sweitzers maintained that pedigree and grew the annual West Hill Cyclocross Race (which would have celebrated its 30th year in 2020) into an event that drew riders from around the country. They added new events, such as the four-gap West Hill Grinder (one of four rides). While the Sweitzers respected the history of the old shop, they upgraded the plumbing and added a new building that, thanks to a solar array, is net negative
In 2020, when it came time for the couple to retire, they shepherded the shop to new owners they knew would carry on its legacy: Nordic ski experts Zach and Amy Caldwell.