Cycling Legend Jonny Rockall is New Owner of Pedego Oyama
April 25, 2023
Oyama’s leading electric bike shop is under new ownership as mountain bike legend Jonny Rockall takes over Pedego Oyama.
Owning Pedego Oyama lets Rockall combine his lifelong passion for cycling with a desire to deepen roots in the Okanagan community with his family. Returning to the bike industry close to home is a dream come true.
“Bikes have always been my passion. There really isn’t anything that quite compares,” he says. From admiring the simple invention of wheels on a frame to being able to transport yourself on two wheels, to say Rockall is a huge fan is an understatement.
The Oyama shop is located just off the Okanagan Rail Trail at Gatzke Farm Market. Rockall takes the reigns (or is that control of the handlebars) from Murray and Sheila Fraser who opened Pedego Oyama in 2018. They built a successful operation and were awarded Canadian Pedego Dealer of the Year Award in 2019.
Pedego Oyama will continue to provide top-quality ebikes for rent and purchase, along with professional advice, parts, and services.
Rockall speaks fluent bike and enjoys the Italian saying “si, certo.” It means “yes, of course!” or “certainly.” With his expertise and love of tinkering, he jumps at any chance to get hands-on in the mechanic shop or have a chat about bikes. The customer always benefits in the end.
A legend in the mountain bike community, Rockall loved riding the trails in Gatineau Park north of Ottawa where he grew up but was quickly drawn to the west coast with its big rides and strong biking culture. He witnessed the birth of freeride mountain biking, sharing trails and good times with the likes of Wade Simmons and Chris Lawrence.
“I was on the scene and got connected to the core of the mountain bike industry pretty quickly,” he says.
In 1998, he joined Rocky Mountain Bikes, a trusted brand since the 1980s. He was their pro team mechanic taking him on tour across North America and Europe. He transitioned into the role of British Columbia’s sales rep, then on to product research, development and quality control. He later returned to sales for the US Pacific Northwest region. Rockall has done it all in the bike industry.
While many also know Rockall as a celebrated weekend warrior, (he’s crushed Test of Metal, one of the most challenging cross-country races in North America that takes place near Squamish) the Okanagan community will most likely recognize Rockall for his recent heroism at the rink.
Rockall saved the life of Vernon’s Allan Winther, a recreational hockey player that collapsed on the ice in cardiac arrest during February 2020. Rockall drives the Zamboni at Kal Tire Place and quickly responded when he noted the commotion. He gave Winther CPR and administered the automated external defibrillator. Winther woke up from a coma two days later and is grateful for Rockall keeping him alive. They have since become friends.
This past December, Rockall was honoured with the Vital Link Award at Kal Tire Place surrounded by Allan and his teammates. And then, he was invited to the Vancouver Canucks Community Heroes game night celebration in February, his face shown on the jumbotron.
“It’s been incredible, kind of surreal,” says Rockall, who adds being recognized at a Vernon Vipers game was even more meaningful for him. “Everyone was hitting their sticks on the ice and there was a standing ovation. That was the most overwhelming thing, to feel that… I know other people have saved people’s lives before, but I feel blessed and so grateful that things turned out so well.”
In Rockall’s life, the love of bikes is only topped by one thing – family. He and his wife, Shannon moved to Vernon in the spring of 2013. They have four children – Teegan, 15, Dax, 13 and twin 11-year-olds Skye and Kenzie – who can’t wait to work at the Pedego Oyama shop.
Rockall takes on this new experience with business partner and long-time friend Matthew Lawrence. Together, they are confident in the Pedego brand and love what electric power does for the biking experience. Ebikes are a new realm Rockall, the traditionalist, is ready to embrace.
“If you bike with friends, you know that feeling of experiencing a group ride. You get to the end of the trail and reconnect. You feel that energy of everyone else’s experience. You high five and celebrate,” says Rockall with a smile. “What’s great about the ebike is it levels the playing field. No matter what a person’s age or abilities, everyone can ride together. Everybody has fun. It blends the experience together seamlessly. You don’t have to worry about if it’s windy or if someone isn’t feeling great. It takes that element out of the equation, and you can have this joy of going on this adventure together and you know it’s going to be successful.”
These days, Rockall takes his mountain bike out to explore Kalamalka Park and he describes the Okanagan Rail Trail, right next to Pedego Oyama, as “the most spectacular place to ride in the Okanagan.”
Rockall is ready to succeed in this next phase of life and can’t wait to bring the biking experience to more people in his community.
The adventure continues at Pedego Oyama…