Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance C2c
Alex and I had a family day out riding coast to coast with 600 other cyclists. I hope everyone else enjoyed the day as much as we did, apart from at bit of rain in Dorset, Somerset provided sunshine and was quite warm.
All credit to the organisers, the route was well marshaled and signed; stopping the Williton to Minehead road with police was a great touch. I hope the Air Ambulance have raised a shed load of money; one guy I was speaking to, along with 15 friends, had already raised £15,000!
We provided two vans, one mobile with Alan and one fixed at the Ilminster food stop manned by Adam. Alan did a tyre, broken valve, two punctures, a gear cable and a broken spoke. The latter rider and bike were taken to our Taunton shop and back to where they had left the route, complete with repaired wheel. Adam at Ilminster looked very professional with workstand and van awning, he was very busy adjusting a lot of gears.
There was huge support along the way and a good crowd to welcome the finishers into West Bay. Cool down talk was of some tough climbs and a hairy descent in a narrow lane. Alex was in the top 3, averaging 21mph with 7 king of the mountain times. He was hour quicker than me but then I did stop at Ilminster to see how Adam was getting on! My goal was to average 16mph, I will have to try harder next year as I only managed 15.8!
Publication Date: 22/05/2013 16:49:49
Young Person Vacancy
I write this as an apology to our customers and a thank you to our staff.
We are very busy now the weather has improved (ish) and we are a little short staffed for the really busy times. We want to give every customer the best service and it is difficult to get the business balance right. Too many staff and we would lose money too little staff and we could lose sales.
If you know a young person or you are a young person who loves cycling and would like to learn the business we may have an opening in Taunton. Many of our staff started when they were under 18, wet behind the ears but keen, and they are now very experienced and highly valued.
Drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org subject web news and tell me about your love of cycling and you never know.
Publication Date: 09/05/2013 18:49:08
Shorts And Short Sleeves
I feel I may be taking the mick as the weather changed dramatically today but I did ride on Sunday in a short sleeved top and shorts. This was the the first time in months that conditions were suitable.
I changed banks recently after 20 years and our new bank Lloyds have a refreshingly understanding view of small business. I was interested to read Mr Hesters comments from my old bank NatWest that no businesses wanted to borrow any money. Blimey he needs to get out of the ivory tower and speak to his middle management, I am sure based on my experience small business wants to borrow it's just the obstacle course and high hurdles don't make the effort worth while. Lloyds just said fine on a hand shake which after 20 years of profitable trading is the least respect we deserve.
In changing banks I have had to deal with big firms like BT & British Gas who both were only able to change one of my two direct debits. They then threaten dire punishments if the bill is not paid. Phoning a call centre in South Africa to sort one out the guy on the phone was talking about our weather, did you guess the connection, I explained he should try banging his head on the wall and see how good it feels when you stop.
So all the bad weather conditions this riding winter were forgotten last Sunday. BUT I was back on the turbo today as the wind and rain held no appeal.
Publication Date: 09/05/2013 18:30:21
Paul's Products 8
This is more about why than what if you follow my drift.
The 'what' is a pair of Altura Airstream track mitts, the 'why' well it's the first time the weather has been suitable for fingerless gloves. How goods that after months of cold riding I am finding myself getting too hot in my winter gear.
When I set off on Sunday the mitts felt all bunched under my palms as I gripped the hoods. After a while I noticed the problem went away, very odd. My conclusion as I headed into the westerly wind was that they needed a while to adjust to me after being neglected in the draw all winter.
Riding into the wind for an hour I had a fast ride home and then the wind seemed to turn round for the last few miles. Still the harder it is the better the masochist in me likes it; I guess he is not the one pedaling!
Publication Date: 16/04/2013 20:35:55
I attended a meeting this morning organised by Quantock ECO a local environment lobby group at the village hall in Bishops Lydeard. For those who don't know Bishops Lydeard is a lovely village outside Taunton below the Quantock Hills.
Quantock ECO has taken an idea started along time ago for a cycle path along side the West Somerset Steam Railway. The path would link Bishops Lydeard and Cotford to Norton Fitzwarren and then on to Taunton. They need to raise a total of £7500 (they have nearly £5000) to carry out a feasibility study, if viable they would be ready when proper funding comes along. So please give something if you can, I am putting in some funds from the business as it is a great cause.
The meeting was well attended from the local MP, County Council leader and Sustrans Area Rep plus a great many interested locals. The power this type of movement can create will enhance cycling for all and I take my hat off to all the volunteers who give their time for this type of project.
Publication Date: 13/04/2013 16:25:46
I Have Never Changed
Today is our 33rd wedding anniversary and I am still at work!
My lovely long suffering wife and business partner knows what I am like, the picture shows what 'we' did on the first day of our honeymoon 33 years ago tomorrow!
Still I must have something going for me as Angela has not thrown me out.
Thank you for the last 33 years and I am looking forward to the next 33!
Publication Date: 12/04/2013 18:47:06
Propel Has Arrived
Wow what a fantastic looking bike and it's in Bridgwater today if you want to come and admire. Our view is the picture doesn't do it justice.
The first one to arrive is the medium and its a big medium so you might need a size smaller than you normally have.
The brakes are very different and the shaping on the frame is very very sexy!
Publication Date: 12/04/2013 18:39:31
Bicycle Chain Has Paris Roubaix Podium
What a great result at the Paris Roubaix cobbles crusher for the Bicycle Chain.
1st Trek: 2nd Giant : 3rd Specialized:
Our top three brands, so whatever you fancy we have and given the terrible state of our roads you can get in plenty of practice ready for next years event.
Publication Date: 10/04/2013 18:21:50
Cycling Set To Grow 25%
Mintel who produce reports on market sectors are good at grabbing headlines.
The 25% growth is over 5 years, now in my book that's 5% per year which is just ahead of the governments growth figures of 2-3%. So a bit above the UK average and wildly out in my humble opinion, 50% in 5 years is my prediction and a much better headline.
The great thing about 5 year predictions is in 5 years time no one will remember
who said what to whom!
Publication Date: 10/04/2013 18:11:46
Easter Opening Hours
We are open everyday except Easter Sunday, 9-6 Friday and Saturday with 10-4 on Monday.
I know the weather has not been great but I rode for nearly two hours on Thursday around lunch time and when the sun was out it was warm. I managed to take 3 minutes off my best time of an hour to the crossroads above Blagdon Hill.
I passed two riders near the Merry Harriers who look nearly dead after I assume hard climbing up from Anglesley. They recovered well passing me later after I had stopped to answer the phone, honestly.
I realised when I got home that the ride had been easier than normal due to the easterly wind. I hardly had to ride into it and it blew me home!
My downhill staff members are off to Devon on Sunday if you fancy joining them.
Publication Date: 29/03/2013 22:21:45