END OF THE RIDE
Pioneering local BMX shop closing its doors
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
Bernie Tomaszewski is the owner of Transition BMX, the only BMX lifestyle shop in western Canada, he says.
bernie Tomaszewski said that Transition bMX was the only bMX lifestyle shop in western Canada.