South county’s underground treasure
Tucked into a building it shares with the gas station/mini-mart on the corner of Highway 49 and Wolf Road, Sub Underground Ride Shop is easy to miss. I drove past it twice before being directed to the business and I was looking for it! But finding this little gem is well worth the hunt.
The shop’s location was one of its selling points when Lily Buck bought the business from a former neighbor, who left the area to promote his son’s motocross career. “I thought it was a really good opportunity because it’s in a great spot,” Buck said.
Business partner Shannon Fox, who used to own Roseville’s Suburban Underground store with her husband, Aaron, soon joined forces with Buck, combining inventory and vision to create a unique shop filled with trendy and often hard-to-find merchandise.
That inventory includes clothing, hats, boots, shoes, skateboards, accessories, posters, DVDs, CDs, stickers, jewelry Ð just about anything you might need for motocross, skateboarding and extreme sports, with popular logos like FOX, Draven, SRH, NorCal, and names such as Ricky Carmichael and James “Bubba” Stewart.
“A lot of people have come in and said, ‘Oh wow, we can only get this stuff on the Internet’,” Fox said, “and they’re excited that they can come and actually try something on, rather than ordering it and then receiving it and it being the wrong size or something that they really don’t like.” And if you don’t find what you want in stock, Fox says they can order just about anything a customer requests.
The shop also accepts consignments; I spotted a pair of used children’s motocross boots on a shelf with a decent price tag that included “OBO”. (I may have to go back and get those for my grandson.)
“We’re also going to be adding much younger kid’s clothes,” Buck said, expanding a clothing inventory that is nearly all adult-sized apparel now, except for the “Skin” clothing line for infants and a limited line of kid-sized merchandise.
Buck is planning to add water sports supplies, such as tow ropes, so people using local waterways won’t have to drive “down the hill” for equipment. “I ran over my husband’s tow rope last season and I know what it’s like to go get another one,” she said with a laugh. “I figured that would be a good thing to carry.”
Another reason Buck bought the business was the shop’s clientele. “I liked that kids were hanging out here,” said this mom, who has a couple of teenagers of her own at home. “Kids around here don’t really have anyplace to go, unless they get in a car or bus or something,” Buck added. Her shop provides those kids with a safe, family-oriented place to hang out and socialize with fellow skaters, motocross riders and extreme sports enthusiasts while checking out the newest merchandise and music.
Those customers are like a family, Fox’s husband Aaron says, with members stretching across the country, including Southern California and New York. Bands such as KingSpade and the Kottonmouth Kings often stop by and hang out at the shop and at least a dozen musicians, including KingSpade, were at an in-store autograph session last April. The Kottonmouth Kings may come up for a visit in July, Buck says, when the band performs in Sacramento.
Sub Underground Ride Shop also sponsored a free-style motocross contest in April, with food and drink sales benefiting the United Way Children’s Foundation. Grass Valley’s Jesse Olson, Collin “Scummy” Morrison and the rest of Metal Mulisha performed at that free event, held in the parking lot behind the shop. Buck said more events are being planned for this summer, including one during the weekend of July 21-22 that will combine a skateboarding demonstration with a musician’s swap meet (Saturday) and an all-day “jam session” (Sunday), sponsored by a neighboring business, Lake of the Pines Music.
“Come on down and check us out,” Fox said. “There’s something for everyone here, all age groups, all different styles, and I don’t think you can find that anywhere else.”
Sub Underground Ride Shop’s address is 10021 Wolf Road, #17, Grass Valley (in south Nevada County). More information about the shop and upcoming events is available by calling 530-268-8162.
NASCAR News: Bill France Jr., president of NASCAR from 1972, when his father retired, until 2003, when he himself retired, died last Monday at the age of 74. Bill France Sr. was considered the architect of NASCAR; Bill Jr.’s leadership developed what was then a regional sport into a national obsession with a worldwide fan base. He brokered sponsorships and television contracts that today are worth billions of dollars, bringing “weekend warriors” like the Allisons, Pettys, Waltrips and Earnhardts into living rooms across America. Our condolences go out to the France family, their friends and fans.
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