INTERVIEW: Sean Lally, Cycle Systems - BikeBiz

INTERVIEW: Sean Lally, Cycle Systems

Cycle Systems has packed a lot into the last 12 months, from helping form the Cycle Star Alliance to forging strong links with London’s flagship cycle projects. Co-director Sean Lally explains all to Jonathon Harker…
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Cycle Systems helped train the London Cycle Hire staff – is that an ongoing relationship with Transport for London?
We shall have to wait and see. It is actually a relationship with Serco, which is running the scheme for TfL. We certainly are keen to help this exciting scheme be a huge success.

It’s almost a year since the Cycle Systems rebranded and that the Academy launched. How have they been received by the industry? Have they both been successful?
The rebrand has been useful, and we are now nationally know for high quality mechanic training and corporate cycle services.

Our graduates continue to impress us too, whether that’s by setting up their own innovative businesses, such as Wayne Starling from Urban Bike Gear and Go Further Cycling or fitting into high-end bike shops across the country. Or even taking up work in far flung places such as Australia.

In each case, the City and Guilds qualification was an essential part of their ongoing success.

Cycle Systems has been helping shape that City and Guilds syllabus – how is that progressing and will it be an ongoing project for the future?
A new entry level, level one and level two syllabus is about to go live, with a level three in the pipeline. It shall be ongoing as we seek to establish the City and Guilds qualification as the trade standard, and ourselves as the natural ‘go to’ people for quality cycle mechanic training.

How closely has Cycle Systems been involved with the Cycling Star Alliance?
The Cycling Star Alliance continues to move forward, with the CSA competition winners – Imperial NHS trust and Cancer Research – working with us on year-long case studies of corporate cycle commuting.

Cycling Star Alliance members, such as Cycle Hoop, Broxap and Cycle Systems, have won major contracts and of course Cyclescheme has had a huge boost with its recent takeover.

The Cycling Star Alliance remains the premier independent workplace cycle solution, all the way from inception to delivery.

Forging trade partnerships seem to be a key focus for Cycle Systems. How important are they for ongoing success?
I would say very important. As the market develops we can draw on one another’s strengths, skills and contacts to make two plus two equal seven!

How does Cycle Systems go about being ethical and car-free as a business?
Innovative solutions such as the ‘elephant’ trailer from Cycling Star Alliance members Carry Freedom (see picture top left), and our ‘Long John’ freight bikes move kit around.

On the green side of things it is easy to source eco-tricity, recycled paper, non-toxic inks etc. My personal opinion is that the bike trade has to ‘green up’ and also ensure fair and safe working conditions at point of manufacture. A fairtrade mark for bikes and kit, if you like.

I personally feel very uncomfortable not knowing if my bike frame or components were made in a sweatshop or not.

Finally, what’s coming up next for Cycle Systems?
We are very excited to be expanding nationally, and also to be building productive partnerships in the bicycle industry to help service new markets from which we can benefit. So watch this space for updates and news!
Another major project for us is the online mechanical tutorials, with the transmission topics being launched soon on www.cycle-systems-academy.co.uk, and also on www.bikemagic.com and www.roadcyclinguk.com.

I’d also like to say a big thank you to Al from Madison for the loan of the Di2 bike for this.

Additionally, I’d like to say congratulations to Cycling Star Alliance member Specialized on winning the Tour de France.

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