Ben Cox discovered his love for mountain biking while flying down a run called the “kamikaze” at Mammoth in the early 1990s.
“I just remember the rush of riding the kamikaze for the first time,” he says. “I returned home, and from that day on I was hooked.”
Today, Cox has come “full cycle” as part-owner of Newbury Park Bike Shop — a powerhouse of support for local causes.
“As I’ve grown older and seen how blessed I am and how blessed the business is, I felt it was really important to give back,” Cox says.
But at first, it was all about passion for the sport — and a love for speed. He recalls journeying to Mammoth when he was 12 in a van “fully loaded with bikes [like the family car in National Lampoon’s Vacation], true Griswold fashion,” he says. There, he watched his friend’s brother compete in a National Off-Road Mountain Bike Association race. Back home, Cox was determined to turn his newfound hobby into a profession.
He took a job at a local bike shop, then worked as a mechanic at Newbury Park Bike Shop during his teen years. Though he dreamed of owning his own bike shop one day, he didn’t know then that he was working at the shop he would one day co-own.
Fresh out of high school, Cox managed a local Blockbuster store, then a Sears Automotive store, then enrolled at Moorpark College and returned to Newbury Park Bike Shop as a sales manager. Stretching his business wings, at 23, Ben managed a Performance Bicycle store while attending the University of San Diego, and started a web retail company on the side.
Upon graduating from USD, he planned to take his talents to Wall Street — but happened to run into an old friend who was applying to become a silent partner at Newbury Park Bike Shop. Cox decided to pursue the opportunity, and in 2007 he was offered fifty percent ownership of his old employer.
Growing His Business, Serving the Community
Cox used his financial and managerial experience — and his passion for bikes — to grow
the business by expanding heavily, setting up multiple e-commerce channels, and opening a
second store in Camarillo. He also pursued and partnered with many large corporations, including Disney, Amgen, Fox, Lionsgate, NBC Universal, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).
His work with CHLA inspired Cox to become actively involved in charity work. Newbury Park Bike Shop has raised more than $20,000 in donations for CHLA, and the shop collects an average of 10,000 toys a year to help make holidays and birthdays special for the hospitalized children. To date, Cox’s shop has donated nearly 75,000 toys to local charities such as CHiPs for Kids, Lutheran Social Services, Casa Pacifica, and multiple women’s shelters. In 2012, with help from the Conejo Valley Cyclist, the shop helped provide bikes for more than 300 kids of The Boys and Girls Club.
When the Woolsey Fire tore through parts of the Conejo Valley in 2018, burning its
way to the coast, Oak Forest Estates in Westlake Village was hard-hit. Six of the families who lost their homes had young children.
“I saw a fundraiser being done by Carden Conejo School for these six families with kids – I knew I had to help,” Cox recalls.
The shop invited the affected families into the store and replaced the children’s lost bikes and helmets. One of those families was Brad Shermer and his twin boys, Micah and Noah.
One of those affected families was Brad Shermer and his twin boys, Micah and Noah. “Our
family lost most everything in Woolsey Fire, the day before our twin’s birthday. After
hearing about our loss, Ben invited our family to the shop. To our surprise, Ben and the NP
team gave the boys brand new bicycles! It is amazing how a bike can help create normalcy
in such a terrible time.”
The bike shop is also a proud sponsor of the Newbury Park High School mountain bike team.
Says Ben, “we help with some team finances, store discounts, and jobs for student-athletes.”
The team’s coach, Peter Sullivan, says that the support his team receives is invaluable, “The
support we received from Newbury Park Bike Shop was integral to the development of the
NPHS MTB team. Without Ben’s support, the team may not even exist.”
Sullivan went on to point out that Ben went beyond anyone’s expectations. “Ben got bikes
donated and helped ensure that any kid who needed a bike, was able to ride with the team. He
continues to support our student athletes and their families and it means so much to these
In 2018, the Conejo Recreation and Park District opened its first bike park. To assist with the project, Newbury Park Bike Shop helped raise more than $10,000 to help fund the Sapwi Bike
Park development. As the bike park has moved into phase two, Cox’s shop stepped up again, pledging more financial support to see the park brought to completion.
With gratitude for the blessings he has received, Cox finds joy in being generous in the community that nurtured his passion for business — and for bikes — and allowed him to bring the two together for everybody’s benefit.