END OF THE RIDE

Pi­o­neer­ing lo­cal BMX shop clos­ing its doors

StarMetro Edmonton - - Front Page - Sarah Hoyles

Af­ter more than a decade in Ed­mon­ton, Canada’s first BMX life­style bike shop is clos­ing its doors at the end of the month.

“It’s been a great ride,” said owner Bernie To­maszewski, who opened Tran­si­tion BMX in 2004.

When the shop first opened its doors in Ed­mon­ton’s South­side King Ed­ward neigh­bour­hood, it filled a gap for lo­cal cy­clists. It cre­ated a place for the BMX com­mu­nity to get parts, re­pairs and meet oth­ers in the sport.

To­maszewski ex­plains there was “a need for a niche shop that catered to­wards BMX. The na­ture of our sport is parts break and so you need good parts, you need good ser­vice, a good me­chanic and none of those things were be­ing done, in my mind, well in Ed­mon­ton.”

Long­time cus­tomer Kyle Pick­ers­gill told Metro that the shop was known for be­ing “run by riders, for riders.” He said it was the only place peo­ple in Ed­mon­ton could see bikes in per­son and not have to or­der from the United States.

“It was a feel good shop with BMX videos play­ing on the TV there and friendly staff,” he said.

“This is very sad news for Ed­mon­ton’s BMX scene and, un­for­tu­nately, there is not much we can do.”

While the shop and its clien­tele grew rapidly over the early years, To­maszewski said it couldn’t last.

“In the last three years, that’s kind of re­versed and gone the other way,” he said.

“There’s a lot of bike shops and shops that do a lot of other dis­ci­plines, other sports. Hockey and skis in the win­ter. In the sum­mer, bikes and lacrosse and foot­ball. My thing was I want to be the spe­cial­ist and fo­cus on that. We want to re­main true to our roots and what we’re pas­sion­ate about — and what we’re pas­sion­ate about is BMX.“

He points to the re­cent dip in the econ­omy and the wild fire in Fort Mac as part of the ex­pla­na­tion for the tough times the shop has been fac­ing.

“We used to have a huge cus­tomer base from Fort McMur­ray, where peo­ple would con­tin­u­ously buy new bikes. They would come into the store and we would mail or­der stuff, so the wild fires re­ally hurt, as well as the oil.”

To­maszewski made the of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment about the store’s clo­sure just be­fore the Labour Day long week­end.

“I’d rather close the store on my own terms than some­one else’s. I just don’t feel we’d be able to go through an­other win­ter.”

Since go­ing public with the news, “there’s been a lot of peo­ple com­ing down. Seen some faces who hadn’t been in the store for years. Shar­ing me­mories.”

Tran­si­tion BMX’s last day is on Oct. 1.

this is very sad news for ed­mon­ton’s BMX scene and, un­for­tu­nately, there is not much we can do. Kyle Pick­ers­gill

KEVIN TUONG FOR METRO

Bernie To­maszewski is the owner of Tran­si­tion BMX, the only BMX life­style shop in west­ern Canada, he says.

KevIn tuong/For Metro

bernie To­maszewski said that Tran­si­tion bMX was the only bMX life­style shop in west­ern Canada.

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