Shepherdstown Pedal & Paddle
Of course Eddie Sampson first arrived in Shepherdstown on a bicycle. He’s now been riding back and forth to DC for 17 years — often completing the round trip in a day. Eddie knew he wanted to live in Shepherdstown the first day he peddled down German Street. He also knew that he eventually wanted to open a bike shop when he retired. Those two ideas ended up coming together sooner than he could have imagined. After buying a building on German Street, his initial plan was to rent the storefront and stay in the apartment above. But the retail tenant didn’t last and Eddie’s brother, a bike mechanic, volunteered to join forces to open the bike shop Eddie had envisioned. The commute from DC didn’t work out for his brother, but Eddie himself seemed to lack any reverse gear, so he kept on going. He hired his first employee, a Shepherd student, as a mechanic and together they “pieced it together and ran with it” as Eddie recalled.
“Shepherdstown has become a destination for cyclists,” Eddie explained. “Especially with the opening of the Great Allegheny Passage trail connecting to the C&O Towpath trail, I see a lot more riders, both casual and serious. Last year there was a day when I had riders from five different countries in the shop at the same time.” With the good winter gear that’s available now, he sees the cycling season as pretty much year round.
Water season runs from April through October. With the pandemic “we’re not driving people in vans, but we’re arranging combo trips where you can cycle to Snyder’s Landing and we’ll bring you a kayak or canoe so you can paddle back to town. We also have a lot of people who use the Shepherdstown boat ramp — we’ll drop off and pick up the boats at the ramp, so the guests just need to walk down by themselves. It makes it easy to get a family out on the water for an afternoon. We’ll also rent float tubes if you want to drive yourself to put in on the Potomac or in Antietam Creek. It’s nice on the water up here because it’s not so crowded.”Staff Contributor