GUILFORD, Vt. (BRAIN) — Neil Quinn, who founded West Hill Shop in Putney, an epicenter of the cycling community, died Thursday at age 78 after a short bout with cancer.
Quinn, who was born in Washington, D.C., was working as a book designer in the 1960s when he became interested in cycling and Nordic skiing while working on a book about cross-country skiing by John Caldwell.
According to a history of West Hill Shop written by Quinn, a group of four families pooled their resources to launch a shop, which was first called Snail Cycles and located in a garage in Brattleboro.
“The only bicycle distributor that would talk to us was Mel Pinto of Gitane, although in addition to the bikes he did have tubulars and accessories,” Quinn wrote. “We got some Campagnolo stuff from Jerry Baker in Seattle, some Cinelli stuff from Fritz Kuhn in Princeton (via Doug Dale), as well as Campy grouppos, frames, and bikes from Holdsworth in England. After sketching a Putney Bike Club jersey design with colored pencils, and submitting it for approval to the Amateur Bicycle League of America, we ordered them from England.”
Later, Snail Cycles shared space with an …read more