Most bike shops have a store front, shop location and shipping address. Powers BMX Shop does not. As part of the traveling race scene, Powers Bike Shop covers thousands of miles a year to serve people at any race they can hit. Through hard work and a whole lot of mileage, Chad Powers and his crew have been making their mark. Now six years deep, Power's Bike Shop has become a mainstay on the race scene. Recently, I caught up with Chad amid an intense travel schedule to ask him a few questions about the venture.
ESPN.com: First off, what are some pros and cons of running a mobile shop rather than a brick and mortar business?
Chad: Pros include being able to make my own hours and do more of what I want when I want to. I can go on trips, go ride trails or work till 1 AM if I feel like it. Cons are that I don't have a place where I'm always at so anyone can come at anytime to pick something. When I'm on the road, the locals suffer because I'm not here.
When and why did you decide to start PBS?
I decided to start about 6-7 years ago. I was working at the local shop and saw them ripping kids off and not really caring about BMX. I thought I could do a lot better of a job and so far, I believe I have. Now that local bike shop hates me.
Since you first started out of an 8-foot trailer, how has your business evolved?
The trailer and tents I used previously are now our team trailer and pits. I have upgraded to a 20-foot vending trailer, tour van and 30x30 tent. We now also now have an online store and a full race team.
Has running the shop gotten in the way of your riding at all?
Yeah it really has. I used to be fast and smooth. Now I'm slow and squirrelly. But I don't mind at all as long as I'm at a BMX race. I will always love riding, and I love working on bikes just as much. I ride whenever I can. It makes me appreciate it a lot more. And I don't take it for granted, which I think a lot of people do nowadays.
You support one of the better national teams. How did you get involved in that and what support do you offer out to your riders?
Kelli [Townsend] that owned Accel Racing and I just got together and decided to become one team and it has really taken off and done great. It's just one huge family that hangs out and has a lot of fun. We never really care about winning, even though it would be nice. And we don't ever promise anything we can't fulfill. I am at 90% of the races so if anything ever happens, I am there to fix it for any of the team riders.
What is the rundown for a typical National weekend? When do you pull into and out of town?
They are never normal but the plans usually are to roll in early Thursday morning, set up and then run around to see what kind of trouble we can find. Friday, races start happening around noon, and we work until around 9. Then we bum showers from someone's hotel room. Saturday, wake up 6 AM, open up shop, and work until we are done, which could be 6 or 7 and sometimes 10 PM. Sunday, wake up 6 AM and open up shop. Races on Sunday's are usually over around noon and we start packing up, we get all packed up and roll out around 4 or 5 PM. After the race, we either come straight home or go ride local parks or trails on the way home.
Any shout outs?
My parents, my girlfriend, Pat my mechanic. All of my team sponsors and everyone that has helped me out in the past seven years. Everyone that has brought me drinks or food at the races and everyone that lets me shower in there hotel rooms. Kelli Townsend for all the hard work with the team and being my second mom! Ray from Fly Racing, Rick and Jess at Standard, Mike at S&M. The NBL and ABA for letting me vend at Nationals, and anyone who has ever supported Powers.