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Turning the screw on IBD workshops


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RESPONSE VIA THE POST


LOCAL CHARITY PROVIDING FREE BIKE REPAIRS


An IBD in the last issue of BikeBiz (Retail


Frontline, page 7, December 2013) rightly bemoans his local charity shop providing a (free) bike repair service. Think about that for a moment. What part of an IBD business is likely to be the most profitable? The workshop. Can there be any other trade daft enough to jeopardise that profit by gifting to any Tom, Dick or Harry on the street, the opportunity to train with a number of providers, ending up either repairing their own bike or worse, setting up a shed in field, garden centre unit or maybe a mobile repair service from home, crucifying the local IBD burdened with rent, lease, mortgage rates and HMRC. Now, where do you think these training centres advertise their services? These professional facilities should be expressly for those


employed within the cycle industry only, or for those about to join our trade. Matt, my partner and son, was sitting in the dentist’s chair


chatting to his surgeon friend and customer of ours for 30years. “Hey Matt, guess what?” The dentist exclaimed excitably: “I’ve just completed a bike training course, learning how to mend my bikes and those of the guys who ride with me and next month I’m going to learn wheelbuilding. Isn’t that terrific, Matt?” Matt hasn’t seen his dentist at our shop since, but this is not unique. We can name quite a few long standing, loyal customers who have attended such training courses, never to be seen again, except of course when real professional expertise is vital. These people are able to buy all parts needed from the big discounters on the internet.


We had a visit from the boss of one major training


scheme, who seemed delighted to inform us how busy they have been training people from many other professions to repair their own bikes. What an absolute plonker. I asked my local Audi dealership for the correct way to fit an accessory purchased from them. The answer: “Book your car into the workshop, sir.” We have (or had) in our trade, the opportunity to ride the


crest of a wave whilst in recession. We have the product that people need and actually want. More than that, this product needs maintenance and servicing. So what do we do? Train anyone off the street to enjoy this profitable work. How incredibly short-sighted.


Matt and Gordon Wilsher Cycle Revival Est. 1980


RESPONSE


TO STORY VIA BIKEBIZ.COM


‘MPS ON TRANSPORT COMMITTEE BRANDED ‘NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE’ BY OBSERVERS’


The cycle sector hasn’t been able to deliver the message [to MPs]. As usual we are there to make the point for cycling and offer informed advice but the MPs are clearly not interested and would rather ramble on about side topics, it would seem, they just don’t take this seriously. There are many professionals from club level to cycling advisor that can offer insights and help with these problems. In any other industry or field you would call in a specialist and listen to them, but not with cycling it would seem.


Stephen Gussin, Cycle Fitness


“It’s not the PCSO powers that are the issue, it’s the appalling regulations.” @bextweets on the news that PCSOs will be able to fine cyclists for not having lights – and reflectors


“Just got your mag – helpful for that Christmas drooling!” @splashmaps enjoyed the December issue. If you missed it head to www.bikebiz.com /digital-edition


“It’s a shame others aren’t.” @2_Wheeled_Wolf on the news that Evans Cycles has got behind the London Cycling Campaign’s Space for Cycling campaign


“Why are we having MP committee after committee on cycling, with no action? Not fit for purpose indeed.” @cycleoptic on the report ‘MPs on Transport Committee branded not fit for purpose’ http://tinyurl.com/notfitforpurpose


“Is there such a thing as too much choice?” @cardiffwheels on our ‘Is this the largest bike shop in the Southern Hemisphere?’ story http://tinyurl.com/largestbikeshop


“I’m a competent speller, will that do?” @MichaelOReilly_ wonders if spelling prowess qualifies him to be able to safely make a flatpack wooden bike http://tinyurl.com/flatpackwoodenbike





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