Friday, February 01, 2008

In praise of...the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative

Politaholic is the proud new owner of a Dawes Ultra Galaxy, bought just before Xmas and now with 587 kilometres on the clock. A wonderful machine. It cost me a thousand squid, a few hundred cheaper than the shop price because I ordered it directly from the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC). Now here's the thing. Many bicycle shops will not repair bicycles that have not been bought at that shop. The EBC do not follow that policy; they will repair any bicycle, and have already helped me out with some teething problems I had with my Galaxy. Not only that, but many bike shops - including those of high reputation in Manchester (but I will name no names) - are prone to looking down their nose at the ordinary cyclist and talking gobbledegook. Anyone who can recall the "woofers" sketch from Not The Nine O'Clock News (see below) will know what I mean. I have frequently had this "woofers" treatment in bike shops; I sometimes think that unless you are young, tall, thin, covered in Lycra, a veteran of time trials, and well-versed in bicycle-engineering-jargon, then you are not really human so far as some bike shops are concerned. The EBS aren't like that; they speak English. They have time for the "utility cyclist" (to-and-from work) and the "leisure cyclist" (touring, holidays) who are not perhaps over-competent when it comes to mechanical things. I think this is commercially shrewd. They all seem ridiculously young from where I stand, but are friendly and helpful even to a old guy like me, whose figure is wholly unsuited to Lycra. Honestly, I have no shares in the company, no axe to's a great bike shop (opposite Whitworth Park).
Click on this to see the Not The Nine O'Clock News Sketch:


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