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Inside Dick Maul's Bike Shop

6/18/2010
Dick Maul's Bike Shop, exterior and interior. DMBS

Dick Maul's Bike Shop. If you're from New England and you ride BMX, there's no doubt you've heard of it, chances are, you've probably been. Open for over 20 years, Maul's has firmly grounded its roots in the New England BMX scene. What started as an after-work project by former truck driver and tinkerer Dick Maul is presently a full service bicycle shop run by Dick's son, John Maul and New England BMX legend, Tony Long. And while Dick Maul has retired from the bicycle business, his legacy still lives on.

Dick Maul's Bike Shop

Location: 167 Elm Street, Halifax, Massachusetts
Phone: 781-293-3665
Hours: Mon-Fri 9-8, Sat-Sun 9-6
Web: http://www.maulsbikeshop.com

Words of Wisdom: "Go ride bikes and have fun!"

For over 20 years, Maul's has firmly grounded its roots in the New England BMX scene. What started as an after-work project by former truck driver and tinkerer Dick Maul is presently a full service bicycle shop run by Dick's son, John Maul and New England BMX legend, Tony Long.

Going to Dick Maul's was one of the biggest treats for a teenager obsessed with BMX and to be honest I still get excited to go there. The bike shops I grew up on kept what little BMX they had to the back corner and Dick Maul's seemed to only sell BMX. And not just some crummy Redline 340's either. They had frames from Standard and S&M, companies that may as well have only existed as folklore in my hometown. There were no bike shop attitudes and there was and is an extraordinary amount of inventory. Plus, there was a huge mini-ramp out back with a piece of shin skin nailed to it. Dick Maul's Bike Shop is a suburban haven. That description only reiterated by the fact that it's in a Halifax, Massachusetts garage.

ESPN.com: If you were to describe the shop to someone, how would you do it?
Tony Long: Without getting to drawn out, DMBS is an honest, full-service bike shop with deep roots in New England's BMX community.
John Maul: We're a full service bike shop with a strong, strong emphasis on BMX, but we love all types of bikes, and the people who ride them. Come on by!

I need a knarp for my Odyssey Gyro, weirdly I need to make a fishing rack for my mountain bike, can you help me out?
John: Oh, you know we've got knarps, and we can hook your 30-year-old Huffy mountain bike up with some Wald baskets for a day of fishing on the Cape Cod Canal (don't forget that rear-mount kickstand so it doesn't fall over). We've been doing this for a long, long time and there's not a lot that we don't do at this point. I personally am proud of the fact that if you've got some kind of weird bike related problem, we're not going to blow you off. We're going to fix your problem, it's not going to take too long, and you're going to leave happy.

The shop seems to be a hub for most in the South Shore of Massachusetts. What are your thoughts?
Tony: The shop is and always was a good spot to hang out, meet up with people to go riding somewhere or ride the shop ramps. I feel like we're a hub for bike parts as well due to our large inventory.
John: Yeah, we get a lot of visitors here that sometimes will hang out at the shop literally all day, watching videos, talking smack, helping out, making pizza runs, decorating Christmas trees, sometimes even buying stuff. It keeps it pretty entertaining, I'm glad that people feel comfortable enough here to spend so much time at the shop. It's like my extended family, I love it! It's a good place to meet up and get psyched pre-shred.

In case someone reading this is trying to quit smoking, can you tell the story of how and why Dick Maul quit?
John: Ahhhh good story. Dick Maul smoked cigarettes for something like fifty years, maybe even longer. Like since he was a little kid. One day, he was out tending to his chickens while smoking a cigarette, and some ashes fell off onto the ground. One of the chickens tried to eat the ashes, but then kind of spit it out and gave him a weird look, and he quit smoking right there on the spot! Hasn't touched them since. He said, "John, I'm telling you, the way that chicken looked at me." It really got to him I guess, but hey, whatever it takes.

From fundraisers for skateparks to video premieres, there seems to be a lot of Maul's promotions going on lately. With the summer coming up, what can New England BMXers expect to look forward to this summer?
Tony: We do have a lot of stuff going on as of late. We are currently planning to have some jam/BBQ events at the shop throughout the summer. We are also planning another contest for later in the summer, we're trying to take one event at a time, but it I will say it will be a different style of contest. Last but not least an Old School jam for the old timers for late in the summer/early fall. Check back with us though because there's always gonna be something brewing!

What I admire about shops like yours is that, color choice not withstanding, you wouldn't sell something that you potentially wouldn't run yourself. I know there are a lot of choices out there, how do you guys curate the shop's inventory?
Tony: That is a tough one to answer. With so many choices on the market these days we like to sell products you can stand behind. If a product we bring in has a number of issues, we don't carry it anymore or we give the disclaimer, "This has been a problem in the past, etc." As for what we carry, we all are constantly checking stuff out. If something looks like it's cool, different, or well made we bring it in. If it sells and there are no problems with it then it becomes a "stock" item. I feel we have a pretty open mind about stuff, it just has to hold up. Although we will gladly special order anything and who knows if it's not something we usually stock and it looks good it may be something we reorder. That actually happens.

I know there's no official team, but I do know there is a shop video in the works. With all the great riders closely affiliated with the shop I'm sure it will be great. Who can we expect to see in the video? And will it be an actual DVD or a Web joint?
Tony: The shop video is something that has been talked about for as long as I can remember and I figured it was about time since we have a talented bunch of riders that wanna be apart of it. The video will be in DVD format for sale, sorry no Web edits here. As of right now we have Sean Burns, Shajn "Ferbert" Raines, Brandon Christie, Mike Pomerleau, Tim Roxburgh, Greg Doliber and Rocco Quinttiliani to name a few for full parts. We're shooting for a winter release, should be rad.
John: This is something completely new to us, so we're not expecting anything crazy, just a good, fun representation of who we all are. Everybody seems real psyched on the idea so hopefully it will come together, who knows when. I'm hoping for an actual DVD that we can put out for either real cheap or maybe even for free. Web edits are just so temporary. I really don't want it to be something like that. I know that when I watch a Web video, I usually forget about it five minutes later. I mean, they're entertaining and all, it just seems like it would be a lot cooler to have a physical product though.

Sorry, I sound like the people that ask about him all day, can you give the readers a good Dick Maul's story?

John: I know a good one! There was this time I showed up at the shop and Dick Maul had pretty much just severed the end of his thumb with a table saw. This was before everybody had a cell phone, so he just closed up the shop and patiently waited for me to get there so I could drive him to the hospital. It was bleeding like crazy but he was just like, "Can you give me a ride to the hospital?" I think he was afraid he was gonna pass out if he drove himself. I think there's still blood on the ceiling somewhere inside the shop if you look hard enough. One of our friends, Kevin Botsch, his favorite Dick Maul story is this time when he walked into the shop and just randomly said, "Well, I just had to kill a chicken." I guess one of his chickens was deathly ill and had to be offed, but it was definitely not what Kevin was expecting to hear.

Wow, Dick Maul. Living legend. Thanks for giving the world a little insight into one of the best bike shops. Do you have any last words or thanks?
Tony: I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of the DMBS family over the years and I'd like to say keep your eyes open. We're making some moves of our own!
John: Thanks for the opportunity to do so! I gotta thank anyone and everyone who has supported the shop in any way at all in our 22 years and made what we do here possible. I'm not too big on last words, go ride bikes and have fun!