Shop name: 805 Bicycles Location: Simi Valley, California Time in business: 1 Year
What made you buy a bike store recently? 805 Bicycles: The timing was perfect & we simply had an offer that we couldn't refuse. 805 Bicycles was already an established business with a previous owner for 6 years. As it was an already established Shop with great clientele, the opportunity made sense.
On the first day off in Bogotá the plan was to meet up with Hiroshi Euhara and the Palencia brothers to see what the local BMX freestyle scene had to offer. When Esteban and Sebastian told me there were at least 10 core BMX shops I was surprised to hear that. We first stopped at Fuel BMX Distribution. They import brands like Federal, Tallorder and Fiction BMX and have 'core products from several other brands available at their shop. Entering the shop it felt like a real BMX shop which offered only BMX Freestyle products. Fuel distro has been supporting the scene for many years and it was a good first stop of the day.
Up next was a shop called Stike, located at Cra 52a #45a-29sur in Bogota. Also here the feeling was
Shop name: Back Bone BMX Location: Belconnen, Canberra, Australia Years in business: 2021 is our 16th year! Best year yet: Every year is a good year Worst year yet: Last year was difficult and the most challenging, but I don’t know if we’ve had a ‘worst year’. We’ve had some tough years, but we don’t want to get stuck thinking about them too much.
What were your first thoughts on Covid-19 when it hit? Tyson Jones-Peni: COVID had been kicking around internationally, but we were always optimistic, and probably pretty naïve. We ran a local competition on March 22nd, which was meant to be the first event of a year full of events. We took all of the necessary COVID precautions and thought the event was a success – but literally, that night, the Prime Minister of Australia addressed the country and announced that lockdown would take place that very next day.
Shop name: The Secret BMX Shop Location: Murrieta, California (USA) Years in business: 11 Best year yet: 2010 and 2020 Worst year yet: I don't think we've ever had a bad year, but 2020 definitely spawned the most grey hairs.
For a while it looked like the USA wasn't taking Covid too seriously, what's the status now? Bryan Babbel: On a national level, it seems the media is still pumping a lot of fear into the population, but on a local level, it is very clear that most people aren't buying into the hype anymore and are ready to take their chances and move on with life. You wouldn't believe how grateful new customers are when they come in and realize we never have (and never will) require them to wear a mask. And our repeat customers love coming in knowing they can shop and breathe comfortably.
Did you take any action from the start with your shop or were you thinking this would be over in a few weeks? Bryan Babbel: As with many bike shops that chose not to shut down and/or limit themselves, we got crushed with an overwhelming amount of business immediately following the lockdown orders.
Shop name: RampFest Indoor Skate Park Location: Melbourne, Australia Years in business: 12 Best year yet: 2019 / 2020 Worst year yet: 2014. This really depends on how you measure - 2020 was crazy, but when we were open, business was really good. End of 19 / start of 2020 was our best period for visitors. 2021 should be the best yet, it’s started well.
What were your first thoughts on Covid-19 when it hit?
Shop name: People’s Store Location: Cologne, Germany Years in business: Since 2006 > 14 years Best year yet: 2008 Worst year yet: 2017-2018
2020 has been, well, different. When did Covid-19 turn up and start influencing your business? Harry Schmid: COVID really started effecting things when it arrived in mainland Europe around March of 2020. That’s when we first started seeing it effect things.