So I’ll try my very best to not make this post sound boring, I promise – it’s a long’un!
I managed to find a bike shop in the area that specialize in the type of cycling and bikes that I’m into. I didnt realise it was even there and had been for a year or so. Came across it by chance actually, just as I was trying to get a loan for opening my own bike shop.. Yeah, you read that right!
Went in to meet Bernard and Ben though, and they’re really cool guys. The shop came about as an initiative in the area to help homeless people and people who are unemployed get transport around the area. The way is works is the council/government give you an allowance and you can go spend it in the shop on the bike of choice. If you want a better bike then you pay the difference. WGBS then recoup this by claiming the voucher back from the council. Really cool.
What’s up with the title then? Well..
I’ve noticed over the past year or so that as a society, we’ve become complacent with getting what we want in terms of shopping online, just clicking a few buttons from the comfort of our own homes and voilà – 3 days later and you have a full Mango biek or whatever cheap fixie you had your eyes on. It’s that simple. I kind of blame the internet for this too. This very thing that you’re reading this blog on. Oh the ironing. Obviously this has been coming on a long while now, but I guess I’m getting older and wiser (I’m 23?!)…
Why do I think it’s a bad thing? As a result of all this internet shopping lark we’ve become lazy. And as a result of our laziness, little sole trader/family owned shops are closing all over the place. They simply cannot compete against giant online stores for price matching and even variety. Our greed basically!
I’m not trying to wax lyrical and get you to spend more money than you need to. I, like everyone else, would also buy my Cinelli Gazzetta from Wiggle if my Local Bike Shop sold it for £50 more.
What would be nice though is if we even considered them.
Contact them to see if they could perhaps price match, or even bolt all the parts together for you. It’s all well and good getting your money’s worth, however unless you live in London (or wherever the hell Wiggle’s shop/s are) the internet will not fix your buckled wheel or your noisy seat post (eh Harry?!). You’ll need to take it to your nearest bike shop. Unless you DIY, then you can just fuck off. I joke…
Back on topic however, Bernard and the guys (Ben and Teddy) at WGBS, or Wheelie Great Bike Store have always been really helpful and inviting. Bernard was even more than happy to offer advice and ideas when I first met him to talk about opening a bike shop. Advice to a complete stranger looking to become a potential competitor? Not often you come across people like that. As Fiets progresses, I would like to keep working with them as we’re obviously into the same hobbies, if that’s what you want to call it and share similar ideals towards bikes and bike culture.
They’re situated in Lansdowne, Bournemouth right where all the student housing are. There’s a range of bikes on offer, mainly (and my favourite) vintage steel and fixed geared/singlespeed ones. Their approach is very different to your usual setup which is quite refreshing in these parts. By that I mean you wont find rows and rows of Specialized’s. What you’ll get instead is just that, you dont know until you go in there as the stock is constantly changing. I’m actually eyeing up a white roadie (cant remember the name) with 531c Reynolds tubing currently.. hmmm!
Without sounding too much like a sales pitch, the guys are expanding too and even bringing on board more of that internet variety (lol). They’ve recently become affiliated with Brick Lane Bikes which is very exciting and will allow you to order from BLB with them being the intermediary. They’re also moving location in the near future – This will mess up our bike rides as we use WGBS as the starting point for most of them! Ha. But really I’m unsure of this, however I believe it’ll only be down the road.
All in all they’re a great bunch to deal with, I highly recommend that you pay them a visit especially those of you in the area! The nearest bike shop to where I live is a mile away from my house, however I only go to these guys if I ever run into problems with my builds.. Mainly due to the reasons mentioned above, but also because it’s important to support local business. Without these guys we would live in a world like they do on Wall-E – fat lazy blobs confined to our chairs and the interwebz!
Did I mention it’s all for Charity?
Support your local bike shop. Support WGBS.