June's Bike Week is a key chance for the industry to attract new people to the cycling world and ‘seduce’ the public into cycling, according to key members of the industry.
The mass participation cycling event starts on Saturday June 13th and runs until Sunday June 21st, taking in a huge number of locally organised events that promote cycling. The wider trade has called on retailers to get involved in their local events, stressing that it has the potential to be hugely beneficial for sales.
"Anything that keeps cycling in the public domain and in a positive light can only be good for the industry,” Madison MD Dominic Langan told BikeBiz. “We know from a recent survey that most IBDs were generally in support of Bike Week, but more importantly the general public who get involved in Bike Week events have a great time cycling and that is priceless."
Compton Cycles owner Chris Compton also voiced his support for the event: “There are all of these organisations promoting what I do and that’s something I felt I had to support. Anything I can do as a retailer to help out has to be beneficial to cycling.”
Cycling England chairman Phillip Darnton stressed the importance of the event, and warned that it is a crucial opportunity to encourage ‘non-cyclists’ to take part:
“We have to think about people who don’t think Bike Week is about getting themselves on a bike and enjoying the outdoors. Serious cyclists are very committed, but sometimes forget what it is to get started, and how you get people started is by almost seducing them into cycling.”
Raleigh UK MD Mark Gouldthorp added that Bike Week is an opportunity that has yet to be taken advantage of fully by the industry as a whole: “I still think that generally we’re all bloody useless at getting enough out of Bike Week. We’ve got various programmes that we’re running with Bike Week and we’re sending out bulletins. But it is difficult – overall as an industry we’re not good at making the most of some of these things.”
The timing of the event – a peak sales period for retailers – has previously come under fire, but Darnton added that the practicalities of the season mean dealers hoping for a change are unlikely to see their wish granted: “It is always an extremely busy period for cycle retailers and a lot will say that what we really need is an event that promotes cycling when there isn’t much of it going on – like February – but the thing is that people don’t enjoy cycling if it’s wet and windy.”
“I think that the idea that it’s in the middle of June is a given,” Darnton confirmed.