THE END OF THE RIDE
It's with great sadness that after 52 Years, Gord's Ski and Bike has closed it's doors. It's in the hands of a receiver now. There will soon be a liquidation sale and eventually the signs will come off the building.
From it's humble beginings in the coat check in the Winnipeg Ski Club in 1961 to it's heritage location at 7 Donald to the glory days of three locations and over 30 staff in Winnipeg and in Banff, Gord's will live on in all our hearts as not only the place where we worked but where we shared our passions and where we gathered to pay tribute to the legacy of Gord Reid.
Through the testing, research, selection and subsequent selling of the right stuff to the right people, by showing them how to use it and inspiring you to get out there and enjoy it, we did our best to not only be relevant and important to this market but also to be profitable and sustainable. That last part we weren't too good at and it's from the bottom of our hearts that we're sorry we couldn't be with you for longer than 52 years.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who supported us through market changes and difficult times. Since 1961 we never once took our responsibilities lightly, we never once took your patronage for granted. We will all miss being there for you. We will all remain indebted to you for the trust you put in us, for the kindness you've showed us and for the smiles, handshakes and friendships we've collected along the way.
Gord used to say "Sometimes, when you play with the bull, you get the horns" While this is a difficult time for all of us associated with Gord's, allow us to categoricaly state that the ride was absoulutely worth it.
A friend wrote recently "In 2007 I was a 20 something year old kid who walked into the old Kenaston store and was "just looking". You took over an hour to talk with me and I walked out of there with the receipt in my hand for a $2500+ Jamis bike. When I came back the next day to pick it up from the other staff working, I was given the bike and nothing else - not a big deal to me. I remember after leaving the store that day you found a way to get me all the manuals that came with the bike, a shock pump and the little disc brake spacer. Such a tiny little thing - but something I still remember 6 years later.
Fast forward a couple years - I thought the Gord's bike club looked fantastic and hoped that I was a good enough rider to fit in. One trip to the Donald store to talk to you about it and I had a seat in the R350 to Eagle Head Lake for my first REAL mountain bike ride. To this day one of my most memorable rides.
I tried to get out as much as possible and whenever I could with the bike club after that - sometimes driving as much as an hour and a half one way just to make it to a Wednesday Night Ride.
Over one of the next off seasons I went out and bought a used bike as opposed to supporting the store of the club I loved so much. A purchase I always regretted... but you never once made a big deal out of it, instead I still always had a seat in your car for epic rides - and you only brought up the used bike with humour while joking about it whenever I was having problems!
I was always proud to wear a Gords decal on all my vehicles, or a Gords jersey when I was biking - and always told people I knew who were shopping for a bike to "go see the guys at the Donald store". I absolutely believed that the way I was treated at Gords is the way all customers should be treated. Not to mention the work you did with the bike club and videos and pictures was far from ordinary.
I could go on and on talking about my experience with Gords and you, but that's not the point of this message. The point of this message is to show you (even during a shit time like now) that there are guys like me (and I'm guessing lots of guys like me) that don't really know the behind the scenes working of Gords - but genuinely appreciate the work that you do, and have done. Thank you."
THAT is why we did what we did, why we'll continue to be who we are and why Gord's Bike Club will live on, that's why Gord's Triathon Club will carry on those values and why this is so hard for so many of us. Like another friend wrote: "the relationships one makes are much more important than bricks and mortar, that will be the legacy of Gord's." We don't know for certain that this is the end of the road for Gord's, these days you never know... But this is for certain: It's the end for now.
With much humility and gratitude: Happy trails.