We’ve been putting off this post for a while, but it falls upon us to bestow some sad news, but also some plans for the future.
Chris Starkie, the indominatable bike wizard and professional procrastinator who co-founded Spokey Dokey Bikes with his partner Claire, sadly passed away a few weeks ago while out riding.
Understandably we’ve been a little too shaken to post anything before now, as it’s a struggle to know the right thing to say in these circumstances.
However, Chris was a quick witted and pragmatic character with a wicked sense of humour who, if he could see us now, would really just want us all to stop blubbing and go for a ride, and to not feel sad – and would probably be asking, ‘how’s my bike?’
Chris was a gifted bike mechanic who was elated at being able to indulge his hobby as his full time job, but he had worn many other caps before Spokey Dokey.
Chris had also been a paramedic, a London bus driver and a bicycle courier. Chris was an adventurer who had travelled to Easter Island, Macchu Pichu and most other places you can name.
Chris, unbelievably, once escaped from highwaymen robbers after being taken hostage in Mexico during a coast-to-coast bike ride – true story! And there are more stories like that, far too many to fill a blog post.
It goes without saying that Chris is irreplaceable, and yet we find ourselves wondering what he would want us to do now? What would he want us to do with his meticulously restored Kona Nunu dream bike? And his Cannondale Synapse with the little band-aid where he repaired the crack in his frame? And what should we do with the business that he and Claire built up from scratch?
Crucially, ‘Spokey Dokey Bikes’ was more than just logo on the van, it was Chris and Claire’s dream. Friends & family of Spokey Dokey have all agreed that Chris would definitely want it to continue.
So that’s what Spokey Dokey will do – with help from Cinthia, temporary visiting mechanic little bruv Pete and HR assistant Carrie, Amber and Lucky the workshop dogs, the support of Whixley Village and Chris’ family, with Claire at the helm, it’s been decided to soldier on.
So the next post will be a happier one as we’ll be introducing George the mechanic who is newly hired from Orange!
Finally, a special thanks goes out to Green Hammerton cycle club and everyone else who joined the funeral cortege for ‘one last ride’ with Chris, he really would have loved the sentiment.