Tamuning, GU 96913
By Akina Chargualaf
Cycling has been a huge part of Derek Horton’s life since he was a teenager. Driven by his passion, Horton and his wife, Monessa, opened Bike Fix in 2014 to share their love for cycling with the community. The shop, located behind the Oka Pay-Less Supermarket in Tamuning, provides bike-related equipment and services while engaging local riders and promoting a sport that has been increasing in popularity worldwide.
How did the idea for Bike Fix come about, and what did you do prior?
I had worked at Hornet for 18 to 20 years. There were some things that happened with my parents medically that [caused me] to leave there. I didn’t know how long that was going to be, and when everything kind of stabilized, I thought, “What am I going to do now?” And why not do what we always wanted to do and try to open our own shop and do it my way — [something] small and personal, and everyone knows me already.
What inspired you to start a bike shop?
I’ve been doing it since I was 17 — raced bikes, worked on bikes, sold bikes … Everything revolved around cycling for more than half of my life. It was the [next] logical step, especially when, for years, people have been telling me I should open my own place and do my own thing.
What products and services does Bike Fix provide?
Pretty much everything that’s involved with our retail environment. We sell bikes and all parts and accessories associated with them with whatever brands we can get. We carry three brands: Scott, Pivot and Cervelo bicycles. For the most part, those are special orders [because] we don’t have the room to stock a whole lot of stuff.
We have a full repair shop, so we can service just about any type of bike. We have access to special order parts whenever we need to. I also help with coaching and training people, and we do bike fittings.
How do you actively engage with the sporting community?
In just about every way you can imagine. We show up for group rides. We invite people out. We take care of brand new riders; we take them out on friendly group rides so they don’t get too shocked by stuff. We do races. We put on races also.
What are the most popular items or services in your store?
The biggest part of our shop is our repairs. We’re heavy on repairs.
What challenges do you face in your business?
Actually running it right. The good thing is my wife is from a business legal background and she’s into so many different things. She’s a big part of keeping us on track because I don’t have a degree in business, so it’s harder that way, but we keep each other balanced. I know what needs to get done in the front, and she knows what needs to be done in the back.
What trends have you seen in Guam’s cycling community?
It’s been getting more and more popular throughout the years. We’ve been working with the Guam Cycling Federation and iBike group to increase motor vehicle awareness with the bikes on the roads. We’ve been seeing more and more people commuting and more people buying new bikes, used bikes and taking part in the fitness aspect of riding. I think people are just getting more aware of cyclists being on the road.
How do you think the industry has changed over the years?
It’s exploding. With the Lance Armstrong era, that just brought cycling to a whole new level. People just need a reason to start, but then when you start it, you do it for you. There are people who’d be like, “I got into cycling because of Lance Armstrong,” but it’s not really Lance Armstrong who got people into cycling, it’s what he did that got people into cycling. He showed cycling in a whole different way and he brought it to the world. It’s just getting more and more popular. The industry grows exponentially every year.
What plans do you have in the future for Bike Fix?
Just to continue doing what we’re doing. It’s something I’ve done for the past 20 years, and it’s something I want to keep doing for the next 20-plus years. We’ll expand eventually.