New Bristol shop offers outdoor gear & services

CHRIS AND SAMANTHA MORRISSEY, owners of Cool Motion Outdoor Sports, are putting the final touches on their 900-square-foot bike and ski shop, which is located in the Rockydale neighborhood of Bristol, just east of Hogback Mountain Brewery. In addition to providing rental and repair services, the couple hope to create a community-focused outdoor adventure center. Independent photo/Christopher Ross

Cool Motion Outdoor Sports, which offers bicycle, ski and snowboard services in Bristol, will hold its grand opening Sept. 26-27. The business, which began last year as a mobile bike-repair service, now has a permanent home at 400 Rockydale Road. Independent photo/Christopher Ross

BRISTOL — Growing up in Bristol, Chris Morrissey got into BMX culture — ramps, half pipes — and tinkering with bikes.

“We used to order parts from BMX magazines,” Morrissey told the Independent. “And we would get really excited when we saw the UPS truck driving around.”

He bought his first mountain bike at age 13 and would “ooh” and “ah” when the Vermont Bike Tours (VBT) van passed by, he said. Knowing he eventually wanted to work with bikes and skis, he spent his high school Senior Career Day at Middlebury Bike & Ski (now Frog Hollow Bikes).

Eventually, Morrissey landed a job in VBT’s tech shop, then other shops. And he still has that first mountain bike, which he brings to camps and clinics to show kids how long a bicycle can last with proper care.

Now, along with his wife, Samantha, Morrissey is bringing his 30-plus years of bike and ski experience together to open Cool Motion Outdoor Sports (CMOS) at 400 Rockydale Road, just east of Hogback Mountain Brewery.

CMOS will offer bicycle sales, service and rentals during the warmer part of the year, then shift to skis and snowboards for winter.

“We want to be a space where the 5-Town community can come together over a love of the outdoors,” said Samantha.

Cool Motion Outdoor Sports was actually founded last year.

“I was working out of my truck,” Chris said. “And I had a workshop in our basement.”

He’s also been working with the Bristol Recreation Department.

“(We have) been working with CMOS all summer with our mountain bike camps,” Bristol Rec Director Meridith McFarland said in an email. “Chris has been our bike mechanic for our campers’ bike check.”

CMOS also helped out with the town’s community bike library program, helping order the bikes, building them and maintaining them.

A snow sport and bike shop is a perfect fit for the community, McFarland said.

“Bristol is an outdoorsy kind of place with rock climbing, kayaking, mountain/road biking, and having five ski/snowboard resorts located within an hour in all directions,” she said. “Now people can drop off their gear to get tuned after a great day of skiing or riding at Sugarbush, Mad River Glen, Bolton, Cocrans or Middlebury Snowbowl.”

The CMOS logo, which Chris designed, reflects the region’s outdoor treasures: Deer Leap and South Mountain, Holley Hall, maple trees with sap buckets and the New Haven River emptying into Lake Champlain.

The arrival of the coronavirus has slowed down the Morrisseys’ plans a bit, but now they’re ready to hold their grand opening.

CMOS will officially open the weekend of Sept. 26-27 with a socially distant gear swap.

The Rec Department will set up ramps from the Skate Park, there will be music in the afternoon and a tent will feature used bikes, skis, snowboards and other hard gear for sale.

Gear drop-offs are happening now.

Anyone looking to sell or swap can drop by the shop between now and Sept. 24, where the CMOS team will help evaluate their gear and suggest prices.

Part of the proceeds from the swap will go to benefit the Three-Day Stampede Towards the Cure for Cystic Fibrosis.

CMOS will be building its lines of new gear gradually.

The pandemic is still disrupting global bicycle manufacturing supply chains, so brand-new bikes can be hard to come by at the moment, but skis are looking more promising, Samantha said.

In the meantime, CMOS is offering a variety of bicycle service packages by appointment, from check-ups to tune-ups to full-on overhauls.

Looking ahead to winter, CMOS plans to carry Liberty skis and Arbor snowboards, along with convenience goods like gloves and hats, Samantha said.

To learn more about CMOS, visit For information about next weekend’s gear swap, visit

Reach Christopher Ross at

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