Last night I noticed a sticker on the side of my toolbox (which I’ve had since the ’80s)… Rockville BMX. If you rode BMX in the 80s, Rockville was THE bike/mailorder shop, and its catalog was your bible. Twice a year I’d await the latest Rockville catalog to arrive in the mail, much as I would the latest Freestylin’ or BMX Action Magazine.
Rockville was the ultimate shop. Every summer the big companies like Haro, Hutch and GT would send out touring Freestyle teams, and I remember seeing photos from the demos at Rockville with seas of people. Just about every Pro rider backed Rockville, and couldn’t wait to do a show there. The DC suburb of Rockville, Maryland was like Mecca for BMX kids around the globe. The scene surrounding the shop bred eventual legends like the Alder Brothers and a scrawny kid working behind the counter who would ultimately take over Hollywood, Spike Jonze.
Staff moved on, more mailorders and local shops sprung up, and today, 817 Hugerford Drive, is home to a computer shop, a far cry from the thousands of screaming kids who’d crowd its parking lot every summer. Today there are a whole host of reputable endemic mailorders like Goods, Empire, Staff, Albe’s. Just about every large BMX scene has a decent shop, some of them rider owned and operated.
Fortunately, I held onto a Rockville catalog from 1984, the only one still in my collection. Later used moved onto color printing, but ’84 was black and white in all its glory. I’ve included some photos…