Tukee Talk Diana Martinez

After ownership change, a slashing of four locations and a slight hiatus, locally-owned Cactus Bike is back in Ahwatukee, the community that started it all.

The shop’s first location opened its doors in 2003 in Ahwatukee before expanding out to a Chandler location among others. The new shop, near 48th Street and Elliot Road, is back home in the same retail strip where it started, just on the other side.

“Ahwatukee was where the Cactus Bikes started, it just makes sense to come back to this area,” said C.J. Culley, the new owner of Cactus Bike.

While the shop already had its “soft opening” last Monday, Culley plans on having a grand opening in early October, once the season for biking picks up.

“I think we’ll do really well, there’s a big road and mountain bike community here,” said Culley of Ahwatukee.

“That’s what the shop is primarily built for, is mountain biking,” she added.

The previous Ahwatukee location closed last August after Culley’s successor decided to shut down four out of five of his locations. He kept the Chandler location open, which he then sold to Culley in September. Since then, she knew she wanted to expand back out to the Ahwatukee Foothills area.

“We want people to know that Cactus Bike is better than it used to be, if not just the same with more components,” Culley said.

The Ahwatukee shop, with its high, exposed ceilings and hardwood floors, is pretty much fully stocked with adult and children mountain bikes, cruisers, fixed-gear bikes, and accessories. The small but skilled staff specializes in repairs, knowledge of each bike, and aims to please customers.

Still at the end of the day, it comes down to a true love for the bikes.

“All of the guys are riders too,” said Culley, who admits she loves bikes herself. “I want to take over the world on two wheels.”

While the shop is still easing into its new digs, and Culley said the community has already shared its support and excitement, Cactus Bike seems to be getting off on the right pedal.

For more information about Cactus Bike’s new Ahwatukee location, call (480) 785-7433 or visit www.cactusbike.com/home.

• Diana Martinez is freelancing this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Reach her at thedianamartinez@gmail.com.

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