Dirk has been working in the local St. Louis Cycling scene for the past 25 years. He started racing road bikes at 14, at which point the love affair with bikes began. By the time he was 18 he was working at one of the areas premier bike shops. The experience that he gained over the next 20 plus years has given him a tremendous amount of hands on experience, from custom bike fitting, bicycle mechanics, merchandise selection, to managing a multi store shop, Dirk’s done it, and if he doesn’t know the answer, always seems to have a connection to the source for the answer. His deep love of the culture of cycling has also turned him into a bit of a bike collector. If you like old vintage bikes, ex-professional team bikes, vintage cycling gear, or old cycling magazines, you should come by and see some of the collection. From his first few days of working in the bicycle industry, he was hooked, and it was always his goal to open his own store. With his brother and business partner, Sven Sprogoe, he’s proud to open the doors of Billy Goat Bicycle Company. Their integrity, honesty, and commitment to being involved in the local cycling scene is the foundation of what the store is built on.
Sven has been racing his bike since he was 15 years old. Both he and Dirk shared a love for the speed, the independence, and the competition that bicycles gave them. They weren’t just brothers, they were teammates, training partners, and best friends. Sven spent nearly 8 years working bicycle retail, while racing and finishing college. He’s been active in the St. Louis cycling community ever since. He’s built a reputation amongst other racers as a strong, smooth, smart, and extremely competitive racer. Bicycles have always been part a of his life, and the dream to one day to own a shop, was one that approached with the same tenacity that he relies on when he races. His interest goes beyond just racing and race bikes, he’s got 4 girls and a wife that have all taken to riding bikes for fun and fitness. Billy Goat Bicycle Company is the result of Sven’s steadfast pursuit of his goals.
Dave is one of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Clearly the person that came up with the quote, “Don’t trust anyone with a beard”, had ever met Dave before. Dave gets excited about every facet of cycling, whether loaded down bike touring, European road racing, and especially cyclocross. He’s been in the bicycle business for the past 10 years, and there isn’t much that he can’t tackle on his own. Dave spent his younger days with competitive swimming. Perhaps after too much chlorine or too many laps in the pool, he decided to hang up the Speedo and put on the Spandex. It didn’t take too long and the bike bug bit Dave and he’s never looked back. There isn’t much that Dave likes more than bikes, other than perhaps his wife, his furry babies, and a really good beer.
Josh “Hells Bells” Elz
Josh is truly our “Josh of all Trades”. He wears many hats here at the shop and plays a huge part in sales, service, computer maintenance, web design, and keeping us old guys in the loop. We’re pretty sure that Josh may have been a chameleon in another life, because he can move from hipster, to road racer, to tri guy, to avid commuter guy, and he looks right at home in every one of those. Josh is clearly one smart cookie, and if there is one thing that we love here at the Goat, it’s COOKIES. Trust us, you’ll love Josh just as much as a home made chocolate chip cookie.
Gone but not forgotten. We lost Richard in 2015, and we miss him every single day. His contributions as a mechanic, and as an employee will be felt for many decades to come. And his stories will certainly live on forever here at the Goat, as we often find ourselves retelling his stories. What we miss the most is his enthusiasm for adventure. When it came to sponsored bike rides, concerts, or a night out with his amazing wife, Pat, well, he grabbed the bull (Goat) by the horns and enjoyed every second of those activities. We often get asked to describe Richard, and I think one of our employees described it best when he said, “Richard would be the first guy to tell you that you were doing something all wrong, but then was the ONLY guy that would lend you a hand so that you did it right”. Richard, we miss you every day. We will never forget you.
Raymond remembers working at his father’s bicycle business during his time off from school since he was around 12 years old. His father began in the bicycle business in 1953, and Raymond started helping his father out in roughly 1959. Sometime in 1959, after a tornado destroyed their store in Brentwood, and moved further west and opened A-1 Bicycle Sales and Service. In 1974 they moved yet again, into the space that is now, Billy Goat Bicycle Company. Raymond earned his business degree at UMSL, and has operated A-1(which is now Billy Goat Bicycle Company) since 1974, and taking over ownership after his father passed away in 2001. Having worked in bicycle stores for over 50 years, under his father, and then for himself, Raymond is beginning to get used to the term retirement. He’s going to transition slowly, and we are honored that he is going to continue working with us and continue sharing his seemingly limitless bicycle knowledge on us.
Zach only works for us on Saturdays, but his knowledge and experience seems to carry us for a full weeks worth. He’s our go-to mountain bike expert, be it front suspension, rear suspension, or even electronic mountain gear systems, Zach is our guy. His stable of bikes makes us all a little envious, but he makes sure not to flaunt that too much. You are probably more likely to see Zach out on the local trails, but if he�����s the guy that put your bike together you can be sure that you’ll be enjoying the trail also.
One of our shop dogs, and at the very least deserves an honorable mention. He’s here when Raymond is here, and will always roll over for a belly rub. And he’ll bellow out if you don’t pet him enough, so you have been warned.
Izzy is a young ball of energy, also known as an Australian Shepherd. She’s a little spitfire, and once she’s gotten her initial barking at you out of her system, then she’s 100% a lover. She’s the newest addition to Raymond’s little herd of dogs, but it didn’t take her long to assert that she was the boss. And partly due to her striking good looks, the other two dogs didn’t put up much resistance.
Stella is another one of our canine employees. She’s not here every day, but she is here when Josh is working, and she tells us it’s to keep Josh in line. She sometimes gets so excited that she just starts wagging her tail and before too long here whole body is in movement. She jumps and leaps just for the shear joy of it. Which reminds us of why we are selling bicycles, for the shear joy that it brings to people.