Independent bike dealers (IBDs) around the country as well as their customers are being encouraged to get involved in this Saturday’s Local Bike Shop Day, backed by Cyclescheme and managed by the Association of Cycle Traders, which represents some 4,000 businesses around the UK.
This year, the focus of the event is on encouraging adults and children alike to stay in the saddle as we head into the autumn months – with cycling, at 83 per cent, cited as the top pastime taken up by people during lockdown, according to research from Cyclescheme.
The UK’s largest Cycle to Work provider says that 17 per cent of people listing it as their top activity would not have ridden a bike had it not been for lockdown, and three in four people who have cycled more since restrictions on movement were brought in back in March say they will continue to do so in future.
Meanwhile, 12 per cent of adults aim to commute by bike once they return to their workplaces.
Sally Barker, Strategic Lead – Cycling at Sport England, said: “Cycling has consistently been one of the most popular ways of keeping active during lockdown and with gyms and leisure centres now back open and most recreational sport back in action, it is important we keep cycling for leisure, fitness and travel.
“Local Bike Shop Day is a great initiative that welcomes everyone, from experienced riders to first-timers, families and children, into the cycling community. This is important as being active has so many benefits and we’d like more families getting active together and establishing healthy habits for a lifetime.”
Local Bike Shop Day aims to appeal to all cyclists, whether novices or experienced, and help celebrate independent cycle shops across the country, with the overarching goal of helping the retailers boost their turnover.
It’s a formula that has been proving to work – east London’s Better Health Bikes says that Local Bike Shop Day 2019 resulted in its “busiest day ever with the highest turnover and many new customers.
“Local independent bike shops have little voice within national and local news outlets, so this is helping to give IBDs a voice and stay front of mind,” it added.
Cyclescheme, which works with some 1,750 IBDs up and down the country, has provided a range of incentives to encourage retailers to get involved with the initiative, namely:
Providing six IBDs with up to £150 in vouchers to take their staff out. The vouchers will be awarded to those IBDs who have been the most active on social media in the build-up to Local Bike Shop Day.
Providing a range of Local Bike Shop Day point of sale materials for use in store, including posters, flyers and window stickers – all free of charge.
On Local Bike Shop Day four lucky customers who request or redeem a Cyclescheme certificate in a participating shop will be awarded a £250 cycling gift card.
Spreading the Local Bike Shop Day word through Cyclescheme's consumer-facing digital channels and email audience with a reach of c. 200,000 riders.
Neil McGuigan, Senior Manager Channel Sales at Cyclescheme, said: “Cyclescheme was born in an independent bike shop, so this awareness day is close to our hearts. As the UK’s largest cycle to work provider, over 75% of our sales come from the high street, and the Independent Bike Dealer plays a big part in supporting and spreading the positive word of Cyclescheme.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.