The London Bike Show 2013 - the realisation of a dream?
I've been looking forward to visiting the London Bike Show 2013 for exactly 365 days.
I visited the 2012 London Bike Show on the Saturday, with a crazy idea in my head - that of setting up a website about family cycling, written by parents, for parents. It would have lots of useful details about how to get cycling with young children, review products from a parents point of view and have a library of great family cycling routes. It would be friendly and welcoming, focusing on the details that busy parents need to know. In short it would be the site I wished I could go to, but didn't seem to exist.
London Bike Show 2012 - the first steps
At the show I took a deep breath, and started talking. Up until that point I'd only discussed the idea with my husband Chris (who had come up with the brilliant name Cycle Sprog whilst in the bath!) Suddenly little old me, with nothing more than the experience of being a cycling mum, was at the London Bike Show, talking in detail to professionals within the cycling industry. My mission was to find out if anything like my crazy idea already existed (and I'd somehow managed to miss it).
By the end of the day, I was hoarse from talking, but clear about one thing - nothing existed, but everyone said it should.
As I walked away from the Excel arena to start my long journey home, I made myself a promise - I'd be back next year at the London Bike Show 2013, with Cycle Sprog being a reality, rather than a dream.
The subsequent 12 months have passed in a whirlwind of activity. There's been blood*, sweat and plenty of tears, but we've made it! There's still a long way to go, but Cycle Sprog is very much up and running, and getting bigger and better by the day. Mission accomplished - I could return to the London Bike Show 2013 with my head held high (and a pocket full of business cards).
But, January in the UK is unpredictable, and it's a 10 hour round trip from where we live, on a deduced train service, with the weather forecast for lots more snow. I've come to the conclusion that it's not worth the risk of setting out when there's no guarantee of making it to London, let alone back home again.
London Bike Show 2013 - some of what we are missing
So, here I am, with Cycle Sprog being very much a reality, rather than a dream, looking at the list I'd started of who we wanted to speak to:
Madison - to find out what's new with Co-pilot, Bobike, Chariot, Ridgeback, Bell, Adventure, Thule and Saracen to name but a few, and to introduce Cycle Sprog and our growing panel of parent and child reviewers
Water off a Ducks Back - to say a massive thanks for spending so much time last year talking to me about cycling fashion for mums, and the trials and tribulations of setting up a new brand. I took up far too much of your time, without explaining what I was planning. You don't know it, but you helped inspire me to take the leap and get started!
Marin - to look at their kids bikes - the Bayview and the Hidden Canyon - and see if they'd like us to review them
Sustrans - to say hello, and thank you for your support from the beginning, by asking me to become one of your regular guest bloggers for the Free Range Kids site. Such early endorsement of what we've been working towards has been invaluable in keeping us motivated in following our dream
Georgia in Dublin - we LOVE your funky saddle covers (as well as everything else in the range!)
British Cycling - to say thanks for asking me to write the first blog of 2013 on their Breeze Network pages
Rosebikes - to find out more about their bike seats and trailers (can sprogs and dogs go cycling together?)
Ana Nichoola - to lust after her lace cycling gloves again - what every yummy mummy should be sporting this season!
Ghost bikes - to check out their Powerkids range, and see if they'd like to utilise our panel of parent and child reviewers
Veleco - to find out if they're planning any kids sizes
That's as far as I'd got with my list, before the weather forecast got bad. I'm sure there are loads of other stalls that I'd have stopped by to have a chat at, and introduce what Cycle Sprog is all about. Who knows where it could have lead to?
Looking on the bright side, it's only 363 days until the London Bike Show 2014 show opens - see you all next year! In the meantime, if you'd like to get in touch, our email address is email@example.com
Calling all parents!!!
If you've made it to the London Bike Show 2013, we'd love to hear what your family cycling favourites were. Do let us know via the comments box below - thanks!
(* - 4 year old T developed a very bad bout of nose bleeds in the autumn - nothing related to Cycle Sprog. The sweat and tears were though!)
Here's how to enter this great competition to win up to 5 Islabikes for your Cycle Sprog
We had a great time taking the kids to see the track cycling at the velodrome
It's taken years, but I've finally discovered that I'm not actually weird, I've just been living in the wrong place!
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