GAINESVILLE, FL (BRAIN) — Paul Corey, founder of The Bike Route in Gainesville, Florida passed away this week. He was 67.
Corey opened the Bike Route in 1972, and eventually opened two more locations in the Gainesville area. The store was popular with students of the University of Florida, and Corey sponsored the Team Florida cycling club for many years. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Corey helped establish a buying group with several retailers in Florida.
Several current cycling industry executives worked at The Bike Route while attending the University of Florida, including Dennis Angelo, global warranty manager at ASI, Ravi Rajcoomar, principal of Six-Speed and producer of the USA CRITS Series and Justin Gottlieb, communications and PR director at Interbike.
“Paul Corey was a great friend,” said Gottlieb. “He was a mentor who helped me get my start in the industry, which I’m blessed to still be part of today.”
Mike Gann, managing director at Niner Bikes, worked for Corey at The Bike Route for three years after he graduated from the University of Florida. Gann went on to purchase the store from Corey in 2000.
“Paul was an extremely influential person in the early days of my career,” said Gann. “He gave me a lot of early lessons about the bike business, and was an important mentor to me at an impressionable age.”
Corey worked in the cycling industry for 25 years. After selling his stores, he worked as a successful commercial realtor, but Gann said Corey remained an active part of the store’s culture long after he sold The Bike Route.
Corey is survived by his wife Marcey Cushing Corey, his two daughters Brigette and Cindie and a large extended family.
A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, June 29th at 1:30pm at Trinity UMC in Gainesville.