Staff from Britain’s biggest bicycle store chain arrived in Friedrichshafen last night after cycling from their HQ near Gatwick airport in London. The six riders took five days to complete the 1000 km ride. The shop’s Facebook page allowed consumers to follow the riders on their pedal-powered journey to Eurobike, and consumers were also able to enter a daily competition to win a set of cycling clothes, as used each day by the Evans crew. The kit giveaways included gear from Gore Bikewear, Castelli, Louis Garneau, Endura and Hincapie, all brands stocked by Evans’ 45 stores in the UK.
The riders arrived in Friedrichshafen at 8pm last night after a 220km ride from Kaysersberg. The route through France had included a stretch of pavé: the route was chosen for its scenic appeal.
Head buyer Joel Natale led a similar ride last year when newly appointed CEO Nick Wilkinson also tagged along. Wilkinson was to have joined this year’s ride but a last-minute injury forced him to withdraw. The riders this year were Natale; Matt Spurgin, Evans’ parts and accessories category manager; Paul Markland, clothing buyer; Mark Rose, bike category buyer; Dom Hill, parts buyer; and staff trainer Nick Coley.
For the last two days, the riders were also joined by Tom Morris, director of Bobbin Bicycles, an exhibitor at Eurobike.
A support car for Tour du Eurobike was driven by parts and accessories buyer Ian Whitmore and photographs and video for the Facebook page were shot by cyclocross photographer Balint Hamvas.
Evans Cycles was founded as a single London bike store in the 1920s. The business was acquired in the 1950s by Joseph Smith with his son Gary later taking control, moving the shop to central London and adding new branches. In 2008, a majority stake in the growing business was acquired by Active LLP. Gary Smith, along with managing director Mike Rice, retain a minority investment in the company.