I have just read the formal announcement of the imminent closure of the Big Red Bike Co. In many ways this makes me sad as a superb independent business is closing and us cycling types are losing a great resource. However, this place so much more than a bike shop. Memories have been made and friendships formed here.
I bought my lovely Pashley Roadster Sovereign here a few years ago. I remember going in and talking to Andrew and saying, ‘the thing is, I need a bike that suits my clothes’! A short time later I collecteted a bike that still now makes me feel 100 feet tall when I ride around town.
When Tracey and I needed to get our bikes for the Trans-US ride raising money for Doctors Without Borders there was only one place we were going to go – sadly Chevin cycles wouldn’t help so we slummed it back at TBRBCo! Andrew and Paul advocated for us to Dawes who gave us a great deal on our touring bikes. They also liaised with various companies to help us source the rest of our kit.
When we were ready to go to America, Paul disassembled the bikes , boxed them up and Andrew personally delivered them to my house. He also gave them their names Daisy and Wiggo.
Riding out of a small town in Utah, I found that Wiggo had a broken spoke. I had never dealt with this before. My friends Dave and Tristan had run through the basics but I had zero experience and minus figures confidence. Solution: the best tech support ever – I called the Big Red Bike Co from the Utah desert and Paul talked me through the spoke change and how to roughly true the wheel. That lasted about 200 miles before a pro sorted it definitively.
Then there is the best bit. Friendship. Andrew and Paul are not just guys that run a bike shop to us. They are true friends who care about Tracey and I and also appreciate our goal to help Médecins Sans Frontières.
We will miss the shop, we will continue to celebrate the friendship. Tracey and I wish Paul and Andrew the greatest success in everything they do and want to thank them for all they have done for us.
Thanks for a charming eulogy. Been an absolute pleasure and a privilege and so happy that I can count you both as friends. MSF has a great advocate in Andy ‘Spike’ Denis and you can always count on my support whenever I can give it.