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California retailer Dennis Uphoff dies at 69

Published February 3, 2021

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (BRAIN) — Longtime retailer Dennis Uphoff, the owner of The Off Ramp  — said to be the largest seller of bikes in NorCal for nearly 30 years — died Jan. 16th after sustaining an injury at home. He was 69.

Uphoff started at The Off Ramp in 1969 as a mechanic and was soon promoted to manager. He bought the store in 1972.

According to several industry colleagues and friends, by the mid-1970s Uphoff had made Off Ramp the largest seller of Schwinn Bikes in Northern California. In the late 1980s, the store switched to Specialized and continued to dominate regional sales for 20 more years. 

Jim Burrus, a former Schwinn sales representative, said, "Dennis would sell 100 units on weekends and often put together one, two or three thousand-unit buys ... and he was big enough to also buy containers direct from Merida."

Burrus continued, "in fact, in the 40 years Dennis ran the Off Ramp — he sold well over 150,000 bikes."

Gary Moore of Talbot's Cyclery in San Mateo said, "Dennis was respected by his competitors.

"He moved a ton of bikes through many events, sales and promotions. Competition aside, we enjoyed several fishing trips together and we shared good times with him and his wife Polly at many Raleigh Heron Council trips. We had a lot of fun together, he will be missed."

Don Shipman, a former Specialized & J&B sales rep, said, "Dennis was a class act, a tough customer but if you were good to him he would be very good to you. He liked to tell stories before getting down to business and his store was always well merchandised. And even after operating The Off Ramp for 50 years, Dennis had only positive stories to share. He loved the bike business."

Dennis is survived by his wife Polly and daughters Jessica and Jenny. No information on a memorial service was available.

Left to right: Dennis Uphoff, Gary Moore, Jim Burrus

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