Archive | December, 2011

A remarkable year for the bicycle – By Rob Penn

Rob Penn the well known cyclist, broadcaster and author has written a lovely round up of the year over on his blog, and it mentions The Bicycle Academy!

While you’re working out how to work off that turkey and chestnut stuffing ring that seems to have sprung up around your middle, it might be time to reflect on what a remarkable year the bicycle has had.

Many commentators saw the triumph of Mark Cavendish at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year competition as the icing, or indeed the cake itself. I’m not so sure. He was certainly due the recognition, but I sense he would have got it even if he’d won the rainbow stripes and the green jersey in the same season, a decade ago. The extent of his victory, though – Cavendish collected 49.47% of all votes hints at some greater force than he at work in the fast expanding world of the bicycle.

There are plenty of other indicators that the cycling has turned a corner. Here is my shortlist:

The Bicycle Academy was one of the start-up, small business stories of the year. Through a crowd funding scheme run by Keo Films, it hit the funding target in a record six days:

Scalextric are manufacturing a Team GB Velodrome Cycling set – no, really. They are!

David Millar’s book was a Sunday Times bestseller on publication. Having spoken to Millar’s editor at a party just before the book was published, I know the success of the book is out of all proportion to the expectation.

Tickets for the London 2012 UCI World Cup Classic Series Event at the new velodrome in February sold out in minutes.

The London School of Economics published a report recently on cycling’s contribution to the UK economy. The headline numbers on participation in cycling: some 3.7m bicycles were sold in 2010, up 28% on 2009. The net addition of new cyclists last year is estimated at 1.3m, bringing the number of adult cyclists in the UK to 13m.

May you have many, many happy miles in 2012.

Bon velo!

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#VendrediVideo – Firefly Bicycles

Beautiful bicycles, made beautifully by Firefly.

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1 more place…(has now been taken)

EDIT: As I’m sure many of you guessed would happen, the place was filled immediately. Please sign up to our waiting list if you would like to find out about course places as they become available. Thanks

The keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that the cheque we were presented with last week is for less than the amount originally raised on Don’t worry though, there’s a very good reason for this… unfortunately 3 of our pledges had to be withdrawn; one person had their car stolen and so could no longer afford to pledge, another had accidentally pledged £500 instead of £50 so had a bit of a shock when they were told that £500 was going to debited from their account, and finally one other was abroad at the point when he needed to authenticate his pledge and so it didn’t go through in time.

The good news is that this means that there’s going to be 1 extra £500 place made available to the first person on the waiting list, and then the next (etc) until someone ready to pledge fills the last space.

So, if you added your name to the waiting list early on you may get an email / phone call from me tomorrow… how exciting!

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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall presents us with our crowd-funding!

Last Wednesday I was invited down to River Cottage HQ to be presented with the crowd-funding money we raised in the form of a massive comedy cheque by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

It’s fair to say that 2 months ago I hadn’t even considered that this would ever happen, it was surreal but good fun. I just wish that I could have kept the cheque to attempt to pay it in at my local bank…

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall presents cheque to Andrew Denham

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall presents a cheque for £40,290 to Andrew Denham

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#VendrediVideo – Koichi Yamaguchi

This week we get to experience a little bit of the Koichi Yamaguchi frame building school… enjoy!

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I found out about this on Friday and have been pretty excited to be able to announce it to everyone…

The Bicycle Academy has been selected as one of the top 20 start-up businesses of 2011 by the uk’s leading start-up website and the people behind the very popular startups business advice books.

This is a huge honour and I couldn’t be more proud.

For many businesses this year growth has been hit by the economic permafrost, but that hasn’t stopped a number of green shoots from pushing through. The economic conditions have proved to be a catalyst for many innovative new start-ups – after all, the best business ideas tend to provide a solution to a problem.

As Startups introduces our 20 best UK start-ups of 2011, we acknowledge the tenacity, creativity and resilience of these entrepreneurs, many of whom are not only employing good business models but are also giving back, putting responsible trading at their core.

From graduate entrepreneurs to high-flying execs abandoning job security to go it alone, the start-up founders of 2011 displayed great courage, vision and determination – and for this we salute them.


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Crowd Funding T-shirts are go!

All you backers out there have been sent an email with a link to a form that will ask you for your T-shirt size and delivery address… so, please check your emails and complete the form so that we can get your lovely t-shirts made and sent to you, thanks!

: )


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