How long have you been in business? We have been open since 1990.
Can you explain how the idea for a store came to be? It started way back in 1985. Gordy, who was known by everyone for dropping the gate at the local BMX track, started seeing that there was a big lack of quality of BMX shops in the Phoenix area. So after fixing his son’s and all his son’s friends’ bikes, he decided to open up his own shop. And the rest is history.
Who owns the shop? Who works there? The shop is still owned by Gordy and his wife Nancy, but is now run by two of their kids, Kevin Bierworth and Kim Miller. Also working at the shop now is Jimmy Myers, Dean Watson, Justin Bayliss and Mark Cochran. Then we have part time bike builders, Mikey Robinson and Anthony Mitchell.
What events have you done at the shop in the past few years? We had two jams with Kink and Cinema last November. It was a big session on back-to-back Fridays. We had a box jump and an eight-foot quarter, plus a couple of up ledges and some flat rails. It was open to the public so any of the local kids that come into our shop got to ride with guys like Chase Dehart, Corey Martinez, Garrett Reynolds, KC Badger, Sean Sexton and many other pros. Plus we had the Demolition parts premier for ‘Last Chance’ and had a big turn out for that amazing video.
What changes have you noticed in the scene since the shop opened? We are seeing more and more kids started to ride and continue riding. The scene blew up in AZ around 2000, but after a few years a lot of those guys faded out, but now we have plenty of riders getting noticed and inspiring the next generation of kids to stick around and get better.
What does Gordy’s offer that mail order doesn’t? We offer hands on access to many of the latest parts and accessories. We understand that it is really hard to compete with the mail order companies but we try to have as many options for the everyday rider that comes in our doors, and we try to carry all the sizes available to fit any need. Plus you don’t have to wait for UPS to deliver your parts when you buy in our store.
Strangest experience selling an Animal product: Nothing too strange, but I have had to talk to some parents about their kids wanting to put some 25 tooth Vinnie Sprockets on their bikes that are still rocking a 16 tooth freewheel. The kids didn’t understand the whole hamster on a wheel comparison, but their parents did. But at least a couple of those parents just upgraded their wheels to a new animal complete that we had built up.
Why carry Animal? Animal products are some of the strongest and most reliable parts I’ve ever ridden. On top of that, you have some of the most influential riders being sponsored by Animal. I grew up watching Edwin, Vinnie and Bob over and over again before going out to ride.
What’s something you never expected to happen after opening the shop? I’m not sure if everyone knows, but Gordy actually ran Gordy’s until the summer of 1999. He was messing around with all the race kids at one of the parent’s house after a race, and ended up breaking his back on the trampoline. After the accident Kevin had to move back home to take care of his dad and start running the business. It was a lot of responsibility to take on at the drop of a hat, but Kevin and Kim (Kevin’s sister) have been running Gordy’s successively ever since.
Any future plans for the shop? We are planning on having more jams as well as some local contests to strengthen the scene. Hopefully have more teams come through for signings and more video premieres too. Also we are trying to branch out and make our mailorder bigger and better. You can order most stuff we carry in the shop, excluding frames and complete bikes, as of now.
How many trends have you seen come and go since you have been open? There have been many of changes in trends since we first opened up. Chrome was huge, and then it faded out to the all black bike and parts. Then everyone wanted anodized parts, especially from Animal, and then the crazy colors schemes started to come around. Now some companies are bringing back chrome, so it is a never-ending cycle of old trends becoming fresh again.
What is the best thing you gained or witnessed from owning/ starting the shop? Seeing kids and parents get to enjoy something together. It’s great to sell a bike to a family, race or freestyle, and then get to hear the parents gush about their kids at the track or at the park. Not many jobs give you that sort of satisfaction.
If you can have one BMX product that doesn’t exist yet what would it be? It would be more of a process than an actual product. The ability to have a 10-pound bike that can withstand the abuse of the typical and not so typical street rider. Freestyle bikes have changed so much since the 90’s, so it would be great to take the race technology and make it stronger and be able to take that punishment.
Where do you see the shop in ten years? In the digital revolution. Hopefully we will be fully online with our entire product inventoy, possibly have a couple of stores too. Maybe even have some sort of indoor park that we can run and manage that will keep the AZ scene going, especially in the summer months.
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Shop address: 4205 W Thunderbird Rd. Phx, AZ 85053
Hours: Mon – Fri: 10am – 6pm, Sat: 10am – 5pm, Sun: 11am – 3pm
Contact info: Phone: (602) 843-6490, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gordysbicycles.com