Q&A: SHAD JOHNSON / GOODS BMX

We caught up with Portland’s Shad Johnson to discuss all things GOODS BMX, which just turned 15!

Click below for the Q&A.

What’s up, Shad! GOODS just turned 15. Congrats on that!

 Thanks man! It’s definitely weird. It’s the longest job I have ever had!

I’m sure its no small feat to keep a BMX specific bike shop open for this long. What’s the key to making it work all these years in your opinion?

I have found the key for me is just trying make the shop a reflection on how I enjoy BMX. I used to stress on wanting to be the best and coolest, but I have found making the shop something I’m excited to go to and be at makes things roll easier for me.

Does GOODS sell more in-store or online, or is it a fair split? How does your business roughly breakdown?

I would say its close to 50/50. We are lucky to have a big scene in Portland so that keeps the foot traffic coming in and everyday I’m shipping odds and ends out.

How do you determine what you stock? Is it product you’re into, or product that you think people will buy even if you’re not into it?

That something I’ve had to change the way I look at things as I have had the shop. In the early days when I was in my 20’s, I knew what myself and riders that are on the younger end of the spectrum talked about and wanted. Now that I’m 43, I want different things from BMX than someone who is young. So I do like to ask around. I do order things now that I may not personally be into, but it is freestyle and its always changing. As a shop owner I am not here to push what I think BMX is on someone, but to give them the opportunity to find ways to express themselves with their own style.

KD’s Bike

What’s the most random thing you’ve had to order for a customer?

We have had a few random things. In the summer we get a lot of soap box derby guys, we also have sold a few incredibly rare bikes from an 84′ Powerlite freestyle F&F to complete FMF race bikes from 76′. The wildest thing we have done though is make BMX bikes for Nike as gifts for Kevin Durant & Lebron James.

Given your affinity for mid-school BMX stuff, do you get hit up a lot from people trying to source certain things, or to see if you have it personally?

I would say I’m more of an old school collector, but we could get into how people break down old school and mid school but that is another topic for another day. But yeah, that has become a thing that we are known for and I love it! We always have a good amount of old and mid school in stock and charge finders fee’s if you are looking for a certain item. I love that in doing that I can have a dad & son come in the shop and both of them are excited about what is there!

What’s the raddest thing you’ve see come into shop?

The raddest is when random pros or retired pros swing by! They are the reason BMX is rad and that always makes a day at the shop awesome!

Mark Lewman’s Bike

What’s your most prized BMX possession in the shop?

I’ll run through a few. My Wilkerson Airlines that I got from NOS from Japan like 10 years ago. I built it as an exact replica as my bike when I was 17. I have Vic Murphy’s Dirt Bros from the 1 foot table top photo. I almost have that rebuilt. I have Dave Osato’s prototype Schwinn. I also have Mark Lewman’s last Redline RL22 with a flight tag with Wizard publications on it.

Every shop has that classic customer who pops in all the time to chill or drive you crazy. Who’s yours?

Ours would be this dude Melvin who would buy a cruiser from us about every six months that he would tow lawnmowers around with and cut people grass. He was loud, crazy, always looked like he had been in a fight the day before but always treated the shop with respect so I loved listening to his stories.

Have you seen any effect from this Covid-19 outbreak, if so, how are you adjusting?

I personally don’t know anyone who has it, but talking with friends from back East it sounds frightening. Portland is shut down and boarded up. I am lucky/maybe unlucky that the shop can stay open. As of right now I am doing food delivery before and after work to make up for the lost revenue.

Besides the Covid-19 situation, how’s the scene in Portland these days?

It’s great. Lots of new younger riders. Lots of parks. We are even doing a GOODS race team this year so we are hoping to get more involved in racing to help bridge the gap between race and freestyle kids!

Give us a funny shop related story.

One morning Snotty was in early building wheels and he heard someone messing with one of our sliding windows. He opened the door from the back room and caught someone crawling through the window and proceeded to punch him in the face a few times while he was stuck in the window. Damian Lillard came in once to break a 100 dollar bill. That was cool!

Thanks Shad. Anything to add before we wrap this up?

BMX is whatever you want it to be. If it’s going and killing yourself mentally and physically riding or just riding down the street jumping off curbs on your way to get coffee or a beer. It’s all BMX. Don’t judge the way another enjoys his act of expressing himself on a BMX bike.

Jared Souney Pic

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