BRISTOL CHARACTERS OF CULTURE: BUSINESS AS USUAL WITH TIM


WHEN IT COMES TO PRE & POST RIDE CATCH-UPS, THERE’S ONE PLACE IN BRISTOL WE WANT TO BE. THIS WEEK WE CAUGHT UP WITH TIM, 1/3 OF BUSINESS AS USUAL TO CHAT ABOUT THE COLLECTIVE OF THREE INDEPENDENT CYCLING BUSINESSES, LOCAL CYCLE SPOTS, AND HOW TO SET UP YOUR OWN CYCLING CLUB…


Josie: So! What is Business as Usual and what goes on here?

Tim: It’s a cycling community hub. I guess that’s what we call it! The three businesses are Forever Peddaling which is the workshop and clothing, Camber which is a coffee shop, and Colourburn Studio which is a custom paint studio. We’re all here are in the middle of St George.

Josie: How did the three of you decide to join forces?

Tim: I’ve known Rob from Colourburn for years and we’ve always cycled together. He set his business up at a similar time to me. We both had small shops separate from each other in different parts of Bristol and ended up working together quite a lot. He’s painted things for my customers & I’ve workshopped for his, so we always had this vision that we may join together one day, and then Andrew stepped in wanting to open a cafe. So we just kind of thought that joining together might work better for everyone. There are so many benefits of being together. A struggle for me and Rob both being independent and being on our own, is that it could be lonely at times. So having Andy bring the cafe to the scene just made perfect sense.

Josie: Where did your passion for bikes and cycling start?

Tim: Oh cycling started with my dad – he was always into mountain biking when it first became a thing in the 80s. He got me my first mountain bike when I was five or six and riding a bike was just the thing I enjoyed most when I was a kid. When I became a teenager I would just spend every weekend riding into the woods with my friends and making jumps. When I left school I got to work in a bike shop, I was riding my bike to work every day. The longer I worked at the shop, the more I wanted to do my own thing. I made some T-shirts and a few bits and bobs for some other projects, and I always had this vision of running a bike shop that doesn’t sell bikes. That seems ridiculous to some people – but I opened the shop and it worked, and I love it! There are so many benefits to riding bikes – from the fresh air to the social side of it. I just can’t understand why you wouldn’t go and ride!

Josie: You mentioned community, how did your other project Das Rad Klub start?

Tim: Yeah. So six years ago when I was still working in other people’s shops, I got into road cycling. I saw that there were clubs and you could join, and I rode with a few of them in the local area but I didn’t really connect to one. So I thought well how about we start our own?! There were initially 10 of us in the team, we went to loads of local races and then opened up a public club in 2017 to see if people would join; where they would pay to be a member of this thing rather than just buying a T-shirt. They did and we had like 60 members join up. We do rides on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. We may not have the history of other Bristol clubs, and may not appear as serious as some, but the fun, relaxed aspect of Das Rad Klub draws a crowd, if you like it you’ll come back for more. There are clubs for everyone.

Josie: Could a beginner road cyclist join your club?

Tim: You can come along and you might be fine with it. If you’re not up to speed then it might be a problem, but we aren’t going to discriminate against you because you’re not wearing lycra. Though we do have to get back for coffee!

There are local clubs that have facilities for complete beginners, for example Bristol South, who have been around for 120 years. They have an introductory ride once a month, so that’s a great place if it’s your very first ride. And then for women there’s a thing called Breeze which is a British Cycling Scheme and it’s for women who have just got into it. It’s very chilled & not too far, so a perfect introduction into road cycling. So I think it’s just about meeting with people at your level. You figure out where you fit and then you might end up getting fitter and faster, and decide to find another club. I think it’s just about trying them. If you like it you’ll come back, if you don’t you’ll find something else!

Josie: Nice. How do people join your club?

Tim: They can come on the rides without joining – that’s not a problem. If you want to join you just go on the website & sign up for £15. And that helps if you want to get British Cycling membership. If you want to race for us, or wear the kit you need to be in the club. We also do events for club members, but the rides are always open to anyone that wants to come along.

Josie: Cool! One last question, where are your favorite spots for a Sunday ride?

Tim: Oooh. My personal favorite is probably North of Bristol. So if you follow the Severn towards Gloucester it’s quite flat & is great! The most common rides around here are the roads heading South towards Chew Valley Lake, along with the Mendips. Then there’s Bath as well, but it’s very hilly there so we don’t go that often!

You can check out Tim’s events, and other rides starting at Business as Usual on their calendar here, and keep up to date at:

businessasusual.cc
@camber.cc 
@colourburnstudio 
@foreverpedalling 

Photographs by Josie Rae