Tandems, Vouchers, Staff!!

It’s been ages since i’ve written anything. There is a good reason! As of time of writing we are booked up until 24th September!! I’m choosing to pop this up this fine sunny morning because i suspect tomorrow I will be replying solidly to emails and enquiries!

At 11:45pm today the “Fix My Bike” [Call] voucher [Call] scheme will go live – the news coverage has been [Call] brilliant and running alongside that story is that doctors are now allowed to prescribe cycling! Amazing! [E-mail]

So, what this means is [Whatsapp] people are booking their bikes in, to use vouchers once they get them. Now booking for the 28th…

[E-mail] 29th.. [Doorbell]

We’ve taken on our first employee – Cinthia who we brought in initially to clean bikes, freeing up me to work on them. We’ve trained her up a bit and she’s now sorting punctures, removing chains, cassettes, pedals, seatposts and wheels – cleaning them and put them back on. Our wage costs have obviously gone up, but so has our throughput and there’s no shortage of work!

Sorry to say it, but there have been winners in these times!

We’ve also had to (sort of) expand our premises….we bought a tent and sacrificed the drive for it. It’s primarily for cleaning without making a mess inside although it’s also got a work bench (that was previously in the garage) so i finally have a vice to hand!!

The tandem bit, we’ve now serviced three tandems and got ourselves in the local village newsletter to boot!

Wow, there’s been a lull, I managed all of that without a single email or call!

That’s all for today

Chris out.




Crown Flu…

Hello everybody, hope you are keeping well and staying safe.

So, there’s this Corona Virus thing hogging all the news at the moment, so I thought i’d jump on the bandwagon and put up our own statement.

I’ll try and keep this lighthearted as we can all do with less doom and gloom.

First thing’s first. Trees and plants are immune to COVID-19, as is the Sun, and the Earth. Spring has sproinged! Sun’s shining, flowers blooming, trees slowly refoliating!

Now it’s sprung and everybody is stuck at home! Bad timing. It’s a great time to re-evaluate just how good it is to be in the great outdoors and how much it’s taken for granted.

Although it’s distasteful to say so, this could be just the wake up call needed to get more people out on bikes. I haven’t had to say anything, in the last two days I have had bookings skyrocket, I have had more people than ever call in at the shop.

Which is great on the one hand, and much more of a risk on the other hand.

For those of you who know me, i’m not exactly the kind of person easily ruffled. My approach to personal safety is… somewhat lax at times. However, the safety of other people – customers, the community, friends and family is another matter entirely.

To that end, anyone coming into the shop will be disinfected with disc brake cleaner…

Hmmm, that’s not a great idea either…

But, if you’ve got or had the lurgy recently, if you could do us a favour and not come in, that would be grand.

As for bikes, I always clean them anyway, so it’s a case of more gloves, more hand cleaning and not losing our heads.

We are continuing to collect and deliver bikes to customers. We’re not going to shake your hand (sorry!). No hugs either… We will be emailing invoices with online payment links (and bank details as usual). We’d prefer to be paid using these methods as it’s easier than disinfecting the card reader every time or quarantining cash for 72 hours!

Similarly, if we get the plague, it’s our social responsibility to stop collections and deliveries and self isolate for two weeks – we don’t want to contribute to the madness…!

Had we know it would explode like this, we would have invested in the crashing stock market. Our A-Z of top picks; Andrex, ASDA – Zoom, Zwift! Toilet paper, Supermarkets, Video conferencing and Indoor cycling… sure fire winners!

Anyway, that’s it, just my two pence….

Stay safe

Chris out.



New Year, New Post

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and wishing you good health, happiness and prosperity for 2020!

On 1st January I got a reply from Andre of ASS (Andre Sutton Solutions) about being his UK distributor. So, we are!

If you got a new groupset for Christmas, or fancied one in the Sales we might be able to solve a problem you may encounter!

ASS specialise in disc brake adapters – The latest groupsets now supply disc calipers in “Flat Mount” format, its quite neat and mounts the caliper….well, flat against the fork leg (and chainstay at the rear).

While I think this is a step in the right direction, that does limit the upgrade potential for people (like me) with expensive framesets fitted with post mount brake fittings. The two aren’t compatible and nobody seems to make adapters to make them compatible.

Enter ASS! They seem to be the only place in the world that make these. In Canada. They have 140mm to 140mm adapters (Post mount frame to Flat mount caliper), 160mm to 160mm PMF to FMC, 140mm to 160mm PMF to FMC and IS (International Standard) [as was!] to FM.

So, if your frame was the only thing holding you back from pulling the trigger on a new groupset, we’ve got you covered.

I’ve also now got lots of adapter mounts hoping that my instinct for what people want is right (possibly based on what i want.)

This question also keep popping up on Singletrack world forum where some helpful soul put a link to our site! (I then chipped in with some more details)

And finally….there was a brief period on 31st January, where I had NO customers bike in, at all! I had cleared everything, even the long term restoration project! What a way to start the New Year!

1st of January and I picked up a customers bike, today another, two tomorrow, a wheel on Saturday, one on Tuesday and three next week….Excellent!

Thanks for supporting, investing, spreading the word, reading, reviewing and trusting us with your bikes! Happy Cycling!

That’s about it for now.

Chris out.


One Year Young!

So, I’ve clearly not written anything on here for a while. I choose to blame anyone but myself, but of course, that’s not technically accurate. I could have declined work // been more organised // worked on this instead of watching TV in the evening/going to the pub/other wholesome activities, but i didn’t.

I’m ok with that.

Of course, I still have work. Staring at me whilst I decide to write this.

Anyway, so that I don’t go off on a random tangent (you know how I so rarely do that…) Today is General Election/Celebration of Hung Government Day! Hooray!

Either that or Boris is in charge and we’re doomed.

More importantly it’s the 12th December which means….Santa Penguins have invaded our home (more than usual I mean). Also, 10 days ago we celebrated being one year old! Very exciting!

When we started this little venture I was a tad pessimistic that I would have enough work. This seems to have been a bad assumption. We’ve had more than my wildest dream (and I have some crazy ones!) I’ve been blown away by the number of bikes people have thrown my way! Sounds soppy, but don’t worry, I’m not tearing up.

Anyway, so that’s great.

Another guesstimate was that I’d spend ~£1k on tools and have everything I would ever need, no problem. Nope. Luckily next year I won’t be spending anywhere near the same undisclosed amount on tools as I’ve got em’ all. My Tool-e-dex is full. (Much like Gen 1 & 2 of PGo – which I have stopped playing..)

Parts too. I’ve now got “a few”. I did start to do a full stock take/inventory but it was too cold and too overwhelming and I got bored so I just know I have…quite a lot. (I did at least do the tools.)

Claire has been doing a round up of successes this year for her department, so I thought I might do one for us – but i’m probably going to go into minute detail and include lots of things that are big to me, but actually quite boring to everybody out there (both of you!)

We’ve hit 163 customers, and 319 bikes. That’s pretty amazing. I’ve got some loyal customers….and many with more than one bike!

We’ve done really well with the branding! We’ve now got two flags! 2.5m and 3.5m, we’ve got a proper sign out front, new updated posters on loads of local noticeboards (Thanks Steve!). We’re now on version 3 of our stickers, round instead of square – much more forgiving with alignment and no corners to peel off! We’re also on version 3 of our business cards – and now, rightly so, Claire has some too!

Electronically, our website has held up pretty well and not collapsed. I’ve managed to update our social media site logo’s too – before our image was cropped so so the bike only had half a wheel either side (did you notice?) I’ve quite probably now claimed an account on every social media platform (outside Asia). Viber, Snapchat, Yelp, Yay, Facespace, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, MyBusiness, WhatsApp, Yell/Yellow Pages….any more I should be aware of? It also means we’ve had to note down how everybody has contacted us too – so we can find them to reply!!

We’ve had to get a second SIM card that has signal in Whixley (Vodafone) – which handily is our “Business phone” – same handset though! Our phone setup seems to be working quite well too – the “landline” is VOIP, which forwards to my mobile via WiFi, then diverts to ringing the mobile, then diverts to the house phone, and finally has a voicemail option (if you’re still ringing after 40 seconds…!)

So generally all seems to be working quite well.

(Argh! Phew, spoke to soon, Firefox just crashed and I thought I might have lost this post!)

Oh, I also realised we should have a GDPR blah blah blah, so at the bottom of this post is our Privacy Policy (that may or may not have been appropriated from elsewhere…) It might eventually have a place on the website rather than tucked in the corner of a blog post…

We’ve got a van, it’s bright red, branded, has red magnetic vinyl sheets to cover the branding (should we so wish) and has our amazing Bikestow racking – which has ben a total success! If you ever need your bike collecting you can be sure it won’t be rolling around the van getting all scuffed up! (You’re welcome to have a peek!)

We’ve managed to re-arrange our home to accommodate the business. The racking tucks it all in a corner instead of stuffed behind the telly and makes use of a space basically useless in the house (Ok it does stick out 6 inches from the useless bit…and I guess the workstand, stool, and other bikes takes up a bit too….) OK, fine. The business has accommodated our home….

Claire has been progressed with her mechanic training and recently rebuilt , trued and tensioned a Brompton wheel – no small feat! As well as replacing…i’m going to say most parts of a Brompton that needed some fairly intensive TLC!

I’ve learned things too. This has unfortunately proven my parents were right all along – i don’t know everything…

We’ve managed to pick us some suppliers too…. Silverfish, Windwave, Raleigh, Walkers, The Cycle Division, Velobrands, Pell & Parkers, M&J… all exciting stuff!

And finally – the featured image. Christmas has come early. Instead of a tandem (and we know they fit in the van) we’ve bought each other a pair of Dawes Super Galaxy touring frames!! I’m very excited – I’ve finally got a suitable steed to hang all my touring gear on!!

We’ve had in a Surly Long Haul Trucker and I drooled over it. We’ve had in a Thorn Nomad and I drooled over it. We’ve had in two Galaxys and I drooled over them….

All steel, all ultimate touring machines!! How to decide? Surly’s based in the US, but I like the cut-to-the-chase attitude. Thorn are based in Somerset (St. John Street’s partner) and if money were no object…. but Dawes are based in Birmingham, which is close to home (I said close, I AM NOT a Brummie!) And Galaxys are a classic touring bike and has been for a long, long time…and these are Super Galaxys….

Also, Surly ~£550, Thorn ~£630, Dawes – £190… Well, that makes it a bit easier then…

I’m also aware Galaxies is the plural of Galaxy, but it’s the model name.

We’re just short of a couple of parts…. wheels, forks, brakes, gears….ok, we’re missing ALLL the rest, but it’s a great start! Watch this space!

Vote Green.

Chris out


Privacy Policy

  • 1. Appendix
  • 2. Background
  • 3. Definitions and Interpretation
  • 4. What Does This Policy Cover?
  • 5. What is Personal Data?
  • 6. What Are My Rights?
  • 7. What Data Do We Collect?
  • 8. How Do You Use My Personal Data?
  • 9. How Long Will You Keep My Personal Data?
  • 10. How and Where Do You Store or Transfer My Personal Data?
  • 11. Do You Share My Personal Data?
  • 12. How Can I Control My Personal Data?
  • 13. Can I Withhold Information?
  • 14. How Can I Access My Personal Data?
  • 15. How Do You Use Cookies?
  • 16. How Do I Contact You?
  • 17. Changes to this Privacy Policy

1. Appendix

Business Name: Spokey Dokey Bikes Ltd.
Date of Publication: 12/12/2019
Business Address: Park Cottage, Stonegate, Whixley, North Yorkshire, YO26 8AS
Policy Creator: me
Website Address: http://www.spokeydokeybikes.co.uk/
Email Address: chris@spokeydokeybikes.co.uk
Telephone Number: 01423 619620 or 07733 102698

2. Background

Spokey Dokey Bikes Ltd understands that your privacy is important to you and that you care about how your personal data is used. We respect and value the privacy of everyone who visits this website, http://www.spokeydokeybikes.co.uk/ We will only collect and use personal data in ways that are described here, and in a way that is consistent with our obligations and your rights under the law.

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully and ensure that you understand it. Your acceptance of this Privacy Policy is deemed to occur upon your first use of our site. If you do not accept and agree with this Privacy Policy, you must stop using our Site immediately.

3. Definitions and Interpretation

In this Policy the following terms shall have the following meanings:

“Account” means an account required to access and/or use certain areas and features of the Site;
“Cookie” means a small text file placed on your computer or device by the Site when you visit certain parts our Site and/or when you use certain features of our Site. Details of the Cookies used by our Site are set out in Part 14, below; and
“Cookie Law” means the relevant parts of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003;

4. What Does This Policy Cover?

This Privacy Policy applies only to your use of our Site. The site may contain links to other websites. Please note that we have no control over how your data is collected, stored, or used by other websites and we advise you to check the privacy policies of any such websites before providing any data to them.

5. What is Personal Data?

Personal data is defined by the General Data Protection Regulation (EU Regulation 2016/679) (the “GDPR”) as ‘any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier’.

Personal data is, in simpler terms, any information about you that enables you to be identified. Personal data covers obvious information such as your name and contact details, but it also covers less obvious information such as identification numbers, electronic location data, and other online identifiers.

6. What Are My Rights?

Under the GDPR, you have the following rights, which we will always work to uphold:

        1. The right to be informed about our collection and use of your personal data. This Privacy Policy should tell you everything you need to know, but you can always contact us to find out more or to ask any questions using the details in Part 15.
        2. The right to access the personal data we hold about you. Part 13 will tell you how to do this.
        3. The right to have your personal data rectified if any of your personal data held by us is inaccurate or incomplete. Please contact us using the details in Part 15 to find out more.
        4. The right to be forgotten, i.e. the right to ask us to delete or otherwise dispose of any of your personal data that we have. Please contact us using the details in Part 15 to find out more.
        5. The right to restrict (i.e. prevent) the processing of your personal data.
        6. The right to object to us using your personal data for a particular purpose or purposes.
        7. The right to data portability. This means that, if you have provided personal data to us directly, we use it with your consent or for the performance of a contract, and that data is processed using automated means, you can ask us for a copy of that personal data to re-use with another service or business in many cases.
        8. Rights relating to automated decision-making and profiling. We do not use your personal data in this way.

For more information about our use of your personal data or exercising your rights as outlined above, please contact us using the details provided in Part 15.

Further information about your rights can also be obtained from the Information Commissioner’s Office or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you have any cause for complaint about our use of your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

7. What Data Do We Collect?

Depending upon your use of our Site, we may collect some or all of the following personal and non-personal:

  • Name;
  • Date of birth;
  • Gender;
  • Address;
  • Email address;
  • Telephone number;
  • Business name;
  • Job title;
  • Profession;
  • Payment information;
  • Information about your preferences and interests;
  • IP address;
  • Image Uploads;
  • Web browser type and version;
  • Operating system;

8. How Do You Use My Personal Data?

Under the GDPR, we must always have a lawful basis for using personal data. This may be because the data is necessary for our performance of a contract with you, because you have consented to ouruse of your personal data, or because it is in our legitimate business interests to use it. Your personal data will be used for one of the following purposes:

  • Providing and managing your Account;
  • Providing and managing your access to ourSite;
  • Personalising and tailoring your experience on our Site;
  • Supplying our servicesto you. Your personal details are required in order for us to enter into a contract with you.
  • Personalising and tailoring our services for you.
  • Communicating with you. This may include responding to emails or calls from you.
  • Supplying you with information by email that you have opted-in to (you may unsubscribe or opt-out at any time by contacting us by [Email Address]).
  • Analysing your use of our Site and gathering feedback to enable us to continually improve our Site and your user experience.

With your permission and/or where permitted by law, we may also use your personal data for marketing purposes, which may include contacting you by email and/or telephone and/or text message and/or post with information, news, and offers on our products and/or services. You will not be sent any unlawful marketing or spam. We will always work to fully protect your rights and comply with our obligations under the GDPR and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, and you will always have the opportunity to opt-out.

Third Parties whose content appears on our Site may use third-party Cookies, as detailed below in Part 13. Please refer to Part 13 for more information on controlling cookies. Please note that we do not control the activities of such third parties, nor the data that they collect and use themselves, and we advise you to check the privacy policies of any such third parties.

If at any point you wish to query any action that we take on the basis of this or wish to request ‘human intervention’ (i.e. have someone review the action themselves, rather than relying only on the automated method), the GDPR gives you the right to do so. Please contact us to find out more using the details in Part 15.

9. How Long Will You Keep My Personal Data?

We will not keep your personal data for any longer than is necessary in light of the reason(s) for which it was first collected. Personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by this Regulation in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the data subject (‘storage limitation’);

If you want to know how your personal data is stored, you can ask us for by contacting us via chris@spokeydokeybikes.co.uk, 01423 619620.

10. How and Where Do You Store or Transfer My Personal Data?

We will only store or transfer your personal data within the European Economic Area (the “EEA”). The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. This means that your personal data will be fully protected under the GDPR or to equivalent standards by law.

Where we transfer your data to a third party based in the US, this may be protected if they are part of the EU-US Privacy Shield. This requires that third party to provide data protection to standards similar to those in Europe. More information is available from the European Commission.

Please contact us via chris@spokeydokeybikes.co.uk or 01423 619620 for further information about the particular data protection mechanism used by us when transferring your personal data to a third country.

The security of your personal data is essential to us and to protect your data, we take a number of important measures, including the following:

  • SSL certificate (Pending)
  • Password secured database
  • Strong passwords to enhance website security

11. Do You Share My Personal Data?

We will not share any of your personal data with any third parties for any purposes, subject to one important exception.

In some limited circumstances, we may be legally required to share certain personal data, which might include yours, if we are involved in legal proceedings or complying with legal obligations, a court order, or the instructions of a government authority.

We may sometimes contract with the following third parties to supply certain services. These may include payment processing, delivery, and marketing. In some cases, those third parties may require access to some or all of your personal data that we hold.

If any of your personal data is required by a third party, as described above, we will take steps to ensure that your personal data is handled safely, securely, and in accordance with your rights, our obligations, and the third party’s obligations under the law.

If any personal data is transferred outside of the EEA, we will take suitable steps in order to ensure that your personal data is treated just as safely and securely as it would be within the UK and under the GDPR.

In some limited circumstances, we may be legally required to share certain personal data, which might include yours, if we are involved in legal proceedings or complying with legal obligations, a court order, or the instructions of a government authority.

12. How Can I Control My Personal Data?

      1. In addition to your rights under the GDPR, set out in Part 5, when you submit personal data via our Site, you may be given options to restrict our use of your personal data. In particular, We aim to give you strong controls on our use of your data for direct marketing purposes (including the ability to opt-out of receiving emails from us which you may do by unsubscribing via chris@spokeydokeybikes.co.uk, 01423 619620.
      2. You may also wish to sign up to one or more of the preference services operating in the UK: The Telephone Preference Service (“the TPS”), the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (“the CTPS”), and the Mailing Preference Service (“the MPS”). These may help to prevent you receiving unsolicited marketing. Please note, however, that these services will not prevent you from receiving marketing communications that you have consented to receiving.

13. Can I Withhold Information?

You may access certain areas of our Site without providing any personal data at all. However, to use all features and functions available on our Site you may be required to submit or allow for the collection of certain data.

You may restrict our use of Cookies. For more information, see Part 13 and view our cookie policy displayed on our website.

14. How Can I Access My Personal Data?

If you want to know what personal data we have about you, you can ask us for details of that personal data and for a copy of it via chris@spokeydokeybikes.co.uk, 01423 619620.

15. How Do You Use Cookies?

Our Site may place and access certain first-party Cookies on your computer or device. First-party Cookies are those placed directly by us and are used only by us. We use Cookies to facilitate and improve your experience of our Site and to provide and improve our products and/or services. We have carefully chosen these Cookies and have taken steps to ensure that your privacy and personal data is protected and respected at all times.

By using our Site, you may also receive certain third-party Cookies on your computer or device. Third-party Cookies are those placed by websites, services, and/or parties other than us.

All Cookies used by and on our Site are used in accordance with current Cookie Law.

Before Cookies are placed on your computer or device, you will be shown a prompt “By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. More information“ requesting your consent to set those Cookies. By giving your consent to the placing of Cookies you are enabling us to provide the best possible experience and service to you. You may, if you wish, deny consent to the placing of Cookies; however certain features of our Site may not function fully or as intended. You will be given the opportunity to allow only first-party Cookies and block third-party Cookies.

Certain features of our Site depend on Cookies to function. Cookie Law deems these Cookies to be “strictly necessary”. These Cookies are shown in the table below. Your consent will not be sought to place these Cookies, but it is still important that you are aware of them. You may still block these Cookies by changing your internet browser’s settings as detailed below, but please be aware that our Site may not work properly if you do so. We have taken great care to ensure that your privacy is not at risk by allowing them.

Website analytics refers to a set of tools used to collect and analyse anonymous usage information, enabling us to better understand how our Site is used. This, in turn, enables us to improve our Site and the services offered through it.

The analytics service(s) used by our Site use(s) Cookies to gather the required information. You do not have to allow us to use these Cookies, however whilst our use of them does not pose any risk to your privacy or your safe use of our Site, it does enable us to continually improve our Site, making it a better and more useful experience for you.

For further details on which cookies are used on the site, please consult our site please contact the developer of the site by email [chris@spokeydokeybikes.co.uk].

In addition to the controls that we provide, you can choose to enable or disable Cookies in your internet browser. Most internet browsers also enable you to choose whether you wish to disable all Cookies or only third-party Cookies. By default, most internet browsers accept Cookies, but this can be changed.

You can choose to delete Cookies on your computer or device at any time, however you may lose any information that enables you to access Our Site more quickly and efficiently including, but not limited to, login and personalisation settings.

It is recommended that you keep your internet browser and operating system up-to-date and that you consult the help and guidance provided by the developer of your internet browser and manufacturer of your computer or device if you are unsure about adjusting your privacy settings.

Our Site may place and access certain first-party Cookies on your computer or device. First-party Cookies are those placed directly by us and are used only by us. We use Cookies to facilitate and improve your experience of our Site and to provide and improve our services. By using our Site you may also receive certain third-party Cookies on your computer or device. Third-party Cookies are those placed by websites, services, and/or parties other than us.

16. How Do I Contact You?

To contact us about anything to do with your personal data and data protection, including to make a subject access request, please use one of the following details. chris@spokeydokeybikes.co.uk, 01423 619620.

17. Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may change this Privacy Notice from time to time. This may be necessary, for example, if the law changes, or if we change our business in a way that affects personal data protection.

Any changes will be immediately posted on our Site and you will be deemed to have accepted the terms of the Privacy Policy on your first use of our Site following the alterations. We recommend that you check this page regularly to keep up-to-date.


I hope you read all that…

I personally am not bothered and won’t ask for your date of birth, gender, profession, job title, IP address, what operating system you use, your personal preferences and what your neighbours cat is called….but you know how it is…

My accountant cracks down!

It has been brought to my attention that I am too cheap. Claire, customers, other shops have all commented. People started giving me tips as they thought it was too cheap. I’d name a price and they would haggle me up.

SO, I’ve listened to the masses, taken it on board and raised our prices to £30 instead of £25 for a Bronze service. In my eyes this just means I need to do extra bits to justify it. (Claire said I did that anyway!)

So, I’m sorry, but there it is, the inevitable that I was trying to avoid.

Aside from that, business is good. We’re just about on top, we’ve not currently got any “tricky” bikes in (all seized and rusty) – which is great and means i’m being spoilt.

It also means I nearly have enough time to do a mini-post. You know how those usually turn out…

I wanted to mention the Ride London-Surrey100 which I was unfortunate enough to be part of last weekend.

Hear me out (especially if you entered the ballot and didn’t get in!) You dodged a bullet.

This was Claire’s fifth time and my third time, all previous years have been pretty good, even if a bit damp. This year has the weather on it’s side – and I think this was part of the problem. It was massively oversubscribed. The organisers clearly expected thousands to drop out. I don’t think they did. This led to real problems with over-crowding. Drinks stations running out of water. Feed stations being closed. Running out of medals at the finish!

Running out of water? Seriously? So, with 30,000 peopled paying £79 each (that’s £2.3million) you can’t afford to provide adequate quantities of water? Pathetic.

That wasn’t the  biggest problem. Having paid the entry fee, you would expect to ride 100 miles, right? Not so. For all of you who know how much fun it is to walk in cleats, how would you feel about walking 2 miles? What, not on board!?!

We were first stopped before Newlands corner, they were trying to get an ambulance through, and let me be clear I have no problem with that at all. Totally understandable. The ambulance got through, everybody carried on, happy as you like.

For a while.

Then we were stopped again, and again, and again…getting beyond a joke. Leith Hill had a tree fall across the course? What?? So they closed that part of the course off. You then had everybody from Leith Hill and everybody who’d been diverted, merging, with the subsequent congestion you would expect. From that point on it was stop-start. Stopping on Box Hill for most people meant walking the rest of the way, a real shame.

Through Leatherhead the stewards were trying to ease the congestion. They did this by stopping everyone. Then letting them go for about 50 metres, then stopping then again. and so on and so on. How exactly that was meant to ease congestion I will never know.

On the plus side…I got to walk around with Claire. Apart from that though.. Event wrecked by greed, more riders, more money, no thought to the consequence.

Never mind, next year we’ll just do a sportive in Yorkshire for much less money, on much nicer routes, with much better hills. The Glorious North!

Rant over. Good to get that off my chest!

My battery died so I don’t have any photos, so until I get a photo off Claire i’ll just throw up a photo of a box of bits…

Got it, there we go, the WalkLondon-Surrey100….



The price of popularity!

As is now becoming apparent, this blog thing is not working for me. The “regular” posts I’m meant to do to keep you hooked and wanting more are somewhat lacking.

It’s as if I’ve been busy or something?!? I thought I should have a tea break – so this is it! I have….13 bikes, awaiting a bit of attention and care. Now, even I can’t get away with having 13 bikes in our living room, so some of these are confirmed bookings, as well as 2.5 long term projects, as well as 2 pending and 3 to be confirmed.

Needless to say, business is good!

Carnage also seems appropriate, yet I’m still grateful for every customer!

So, before the tea gets cold, news in brief.

We got a van – the promised SpokeyDokeyMobile upgrade happened – we said so long to the Mazda and instead got a Big RED Transit Custom. It’s great! Having driven the high roof version of this around London, it’s fairly familiar (albeit with less blue lights and a lacklustre siren/horn)

Anyway, that should really be the picture for this post really.

Then we also got logos for it, much quicker than anticipated – well done creative director Claire!

AND THEN, we got racking for it, to hold four bikes. Bikestow, which Claire saw on demo in York (and we entered a competition to win). We didn’t win, so we had to pay for ours…

Really impressed with it. For some reason we seem quite credible rocking up in our new van with our hoodies and our bike storage racks.


I’m sure plenty more had happened, but Claire’s just walked in, and I’ve got a hub strip down to finish!

Chris out!



I survived!

We both survived the Panto, people liked our advert and we gave out several business cards.

Today, one of those materialised, which is always nice.

Not that we’ve been struggling for customers. Quite the contrary! We’ve been inundated! Perhaps it’s been too cold, people have been inside and remembered they had bikes?? Whatever it is, long may it continue, but…. storage is becoming a problem and Claire has recently noticed it’s much harder to navigate the house….

Most of the 4 bikes i’ve sorted today have been really well behaved, pedals have come off, cassettes have been removed, even the stuck seatpost was unstuck (with a breaker bar clamped in the seatpost). One bike however….is going to be a problem I think…

We’ll see if the penetrating freeze spray manages to work it’s magic tonight – otherwise I think we may have to take drastic measures 😦

Also our “more” stock that we got hasn’t arrived yet, so there are 5 bikes that can quite quickly be sorted that are waiting for parts!

The highlight however has been a steel Hahanna Race Light Kona. With the original Project Two forks as well!! It’s not a Joe Murray signature version (like my Fire Mountain) but it’s also in much better condition and is a lovely bike! Best of all it’s been looked after and only needs a brake pad replacing.

I’ve got another steel bike in which is also really lovely……and a couple of aluminium.

Nahh, they are all lovely bikes (except one Apollo that is orange everywhere – not just the paint!)

Which I suppose is a tenuous link to financial viability. The Apollo is not. (Sorry) This has been explained and I’ve given an estimate anyway (sentimentality adds an extra dimension). I needs so much work and so many new parts, it comes to more than the bikes original brand new price. Hats off to the people in China, i guess.

We, seem to be. Last month we made more money than I had spent on tools. Just. This month I’m running out of tools to buy, so we’ll probably do quite well – in fact, at this rate we will probably be close to turning an overall profit (covering all costs of the venture so far).

At which point the reality dawns that the next purchase will not be as easy to cover.

Our car – The SpokeyDokey-mobile (actually called Enola) is now 10 years old, has done quite a lot of miles, has real issues with the rear calipers, eats brake pads, refuses to re-gen the DPF unless forced and has leaky window seals (and subsequently needs the doors periodically draining….). It’s also transpired that to collect bikes (plural) I can realistically only fit two in at a time. Although with lots of removed wheels and padding and delicate manoeuvring we have had four bikes, a dog cage and a canvas castle (tent?) in the car, it also takes a long time.

So the next purchase. SpokeyDokeymobile v2.0.0, which we may call Valerie?? Either way, it’ll be a red van. Transit Custom is our current line of thinking, but we’ll see. My concerns about economy seem to be totally unfounded as any van newer than ten years old is more economical than our car – and if we take eating brake pads (and the wasted fuel from that) into consideration it makes good sense. Plus it looks much more professional (to compliment our service!)

Couple with that I was driving Transit customs around central London and greater Londonshire (shhh) and I get on really well with them. We’re not allowed blue lights on ours though. (One of the drivers, Martin “Two-Tone” fitted them to his car – then got caught, fired and jailed….)

Oh, the picture? Sally’s back (for her free service) – My brother’s Christmas present! (Although he tried to use the “£5 off a service” voucher we printed in the panto programme!) Cheeky sod!

Claire’s home, time to clear up!

Chris out.



How not to write a blog

Mistake number 1 – infrequent posts

Build up some interest, get people following your posts, capture the imagination and then stop.

Pretty much exactly what I’ve done here. Not on purpose, you understand. I have become a victim of my own success!

Okay, that could be slightly over exaggerating, but Claire’s sales forecast for January were 4 happy customers.

We’ve had 17 happy customers (not including 3 with multiple bikes!) SEVENTEEN! That’s mental! I’m pleased, really pleased – but it’s kept me busy – and our suppliers!

I’ve even found myself waiting for parts, so now we’ve increased our stock level (The stock that we weren’t going to hold…)

It’s the 1st February so we start the count again. I’ve got one to work on and five awaiting instruction – and two of those are long term [before the next ice age] “spares” for my cousin.

I say long term, but the photo was our place this morning!

The non-toxic Mercury substitute has dropped to -8 (Celsius) over the past few days, which (for us in the UK) is friggin cold! Now, finally, we have some snow!

But, as I say, I’ve been busy, spanner wagging away in my warm workspace.

It’s Friday, so I should be working…but I worked Wednesday, and it’s been so long since i’ve actually managed to get out on a bike (aside from test rides)! I’ve got my warm gear at the ready, i’m eyeing up the snow….dropping my tyre pressure…wondering if I should get some ice spikes in 700c (i’ve got them in 26″ – and no, 26 ain’t dead!)

Fortunately, I have a customer who wanted some brake pads delivering – and Claire’s taken the car, what a shame 🙂

Then, tonight, assuming I survive the snow…. PANTO!

Actually the second night – myself and Claire are both in the Whixley Village Pantomime!

Oh no you’re not…etc, etc…

Treasure Island – an unusual choice, but great fun!

Claire has a starring role as Lilly, the love interest and one of the protagonists, with a solo song and lots of lines…..and I play pirate number 1, with one line…

Okay, I also play Governor Moneybags and Chief Running Water, but Claire’s the star!

Last night went really well, but the stakes are higher tonight with a bigger audience (and all the family!)

If anyone reads this today, and comes down tonight to Whixley Village Hall (you can get tickets on the door) – we’re running an advert in the programme which may well be worth your while if you’re thinking of getting a service any time soon…. It would have to be tonight though, as Saturday’s matinee and night are sold out!!

Anyway, with that… I resolve to post more regular updates and I’m going for a ride!

Chris out.

Incentives. And shiny.

So, it’s been ages since I’ve done a post (which is bad practice i’m led to believe). People get bored, etc, etc…

But, with good reason!

This blog “thing” is primarily for SEO, Google rankings, brand engagement and is in no way at all, most definitely not about self indulging fantasies about being an inspirational Tolstoy of a generation… Certainly not.

Besides, I had to look up what “impertubability” meant. I would have gone with unflappable, so Tolstoy I aint!

(I’m going with Tolstoy as I quite enjoyed reading Anna Karenin during my recent hospital stay.)

There’s nothing wrong, they were looking for a brain. Alas, the diagnosis is “missing”.

Scarecrow continues; So, although there may be some truth in what the blog is for, truthfully I quite enjoy exploding my thoughts on here and subjecting you to them!

Like the bench. It’s a cool bench, inside the grounds of Knaresborough Castle a few miles away… Good story eh?

As you all know, I very rarely go off on wild tangents…

Incentives! Claire set incentives for me to ensure the business succeeds (as if that’s not incentive enough!) After £1,000 of takings I’m allowed to buy a new seatpost.


Oh look, a new seatpost! (on the chair next to me awaiting installation!)

Also “ooo shiny” – which I apply to any object, oft mechanical, typically bike related, that I would like. Or appreciate. Or is shiny (even if it’s matt carbon or grey).

So, we’ve reached the heady heights of having taken £1,000 since 2nd December when we opened. Not too bad. We’re now running at a net profit of minus £2,000. Ish, Win? Claire said something about “assets” but I got distracted by some bikes riding past…

It doesn’t stop there! The £2k incentive is a new Rockshox Reverb lever – the one where they realised nobody is running front derailleurs on mountain bikes, why don’t we use a front derailleur paddle to operate the post. That one. (Reverb being a hydraulically operated telescopic seatpost on my mountain bike – obviously!?!?) As Sram and Rockshox are one and the same anyway and I like the Sram levers, being able to actually press it enough to move the post would be a win (i’ve told you before, feeble hands!) Also shiny!

Then both the price point and the cost increase. Substantially. To £10,000. Firstly we should be making actual positive net profit – even I can’t spend that much on tools. (This is a lie, easy!) Secondly, wow, we surely have a customer base now. Thirdly (if this happens this year) I’m nearly making enough to pay rent…. The incentive? (Rent would be a good start, but the lady is kind..) Sram HRD Wi-Fli etap!! A cool £1.3k ish. So, electronic wireless gears for my beloved Cassie! Ooooooo, shiiiiiny! The ability to change gears with feeble hands can’t be overlooked, even for that much!

That also explains a bit of why the blog has been neglected. I was doing the mechanic “thing”.

I built a wheel (my first on an electric hub), I renovated (and sold) a bike. I sorted out a touring bike with exploding tyres. I serviced two kids bikes, a Trek, a Giant, a Specialized, a Pinncale, a Raleigh, a Dawes, etc etc…! Brilliant!

This morning i’ve had a very productive day. I picked up a bike needing a bit of TLC on the other side of York, I dropped off a bike a bit closer to home and I picked up something a bit special (ized). Di2 and an aero post had me rummaging for the charger and the clamp insert. Looking forward to giving it the (s-)works!!

And with that, the four bikes in the house (Claire’s taken her Brompton this morning), and the seven bikes in the garage await!

Oooo, did I mention I found a couple of photos? One of Cora in her former glory being held by the French exchange guy, Charles (left) with Robin and Rosie (brother and sister) also in frame. (Rosie will kill me for this!)


And the other of Cora after being stolen, spray painted and returned. Being ridden over a bench. As you do.


Nice stem. And where’s my helmet?…tut tut… Also featuring Dad’s shoulder…

Needless to say, these are ancient photos (and the front tyre sits on the seat – i’m not mid-faceplant!)

I should say “come and book your bike in”. But you know that already. See you soon.

Chris out

N+1 – Part 13 – Storage

So, obviously, you end up with N+1 bikes and storage….or partners become something of an issue. The very best away to get around this is to find a partner who loves bikes just as much as you… And use a few ingenious storage solutions! It helps if you consider your bikes to be decorative masterpieces of art when they’re stored, at home or *gasp* in the garage :-O

I’ve been lucky enough to end up with Evi, Cassie, Connie AND Cora all with me up here in York – all tuned up and ready to rock!

But first, our storage solution in a London flat, with no shed or garage! This is our living room!


So, you’ve already met Evi and Cassie, but here are two of Claire’s bikes too – Lexi and Alien!

This actually took up waaaay too much space, so we re-arranged and ended up with this instead.


So, on the other side of the room, we staggered them so they could be put closer together using either magical levitation….OR, putting toolboxes under the two road bikes!

Oh, and Clugs! To hold the front wheel! Genius!

And…that’s about it…

I think.

At some point, Claire (Or I) will probably cover Claire’s multitude of bikes too!

So you know what to look for…

Alien, Princess Marshmallow, Princess Candyfloss, Lexi and Kylie…

Oh, and one last thing

ALL of our bikes have a surname. McBikeface!

of course…

Hope you enjoyed the multitude of posts!

Page 1 – 11:59, 22/12/18

Chris out.