Comment: I've got a story to tell...

Mark Sutton
Comment: I've got a story to tell...

IT’S SUMMER, apparently. When even the most die-hard, all-weather cyclists are Tweeting pictures of their local track being used by little more than a few adventurous ducks, it’s surely difficult to recall what the sun, and the customers associated with it, look like. Far from the shortages in supply seen a few summers ago, it looks like stock will be a little harder to shift this year.    

Perhaps it’s the recent Jubilee celebrations that have made me come over all British and thus begin by talking solely about the dire state of the weather, but without further digression, I have a cunning plan. Pedalos... With a few wheelie bins cut in half and a bit of elbow grease, we could turn all of the bikes into the water-going vehicles and still come home feeling like we’ve done a good mileage. Apologies, I really am done digressing now.    

Truth is, that after what seems like three months of near consecutive rain, I mean drought, or whatever it is that’s happening out there, inspiration is proving hard to come by. I am, however, determined to make the most of a soggy situation. With a little help, once again, from our guest dealer profile, found here, we’re able to offer one of the most insightful, no-holds-barred stories into a business and a character run in BikeBiz to date.

Al Cook, or ‘Munger’ as he’s known to many, has weathered a few storms on the road to setting up Alpha – now one of the most well renowned niche bike businesses in the Midlands – at least in BMX circles, for which a good portion of this issue focuses.

As it happens, I’d heard a lot of good things about Alpha and Al himself prior to ever visiting Stoke. As fortune had it, it was an pre-road trip emergency repair job that needing fixing pronto that introduced me to the store. As is often the case, the reputation preceded well.

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All possible avenues were explored before it was realised that replacing a snapped axle simply wasn’t going to be possible on this occasion. Not one to be defeated, the problem was overcome with the shop’s ‘loan wheel’ and a Facebook friendship left as a collateral of sorts. Thanks to Alpha, the road trip continued, even if the rider of said bike did write himself off with a rolled ankle barely 20 minutes later.

As you can probably tell, I’m a fan of Alpha. I’ve got a story to tell from my time in the shop and thus, have essentially used the past three paragraphs as word of mouth advertising for this great business. If you’re ever in the area, drop in.

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