The TN card is the local loyalty scheme rewarding shoppers for supporting our independents. This month, its founder Jess Gibson chats to Jack Ward, owner of Velocipede Cycles on Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells…
Jack, is cycling a long-held passion of yours?
It is indeed. I have always enjoyed cycling, in particular mountain biking, which is not only something I am passionate about, but also now a way of life, with most of my time spent on or around a bicycle.
How long have you worked in the industry?
I have been in the bike trade for nearly 25 years. I started working in a shop in Tunbridge Wells as a Saturday boy at the age of fourteen!
When and why did you decide to open Velocipede Cycles?
In 2012 I was sitting around a fire on a camping trip with friends, and we were talking about cycling in Tunbridge Wells. We realised there was a gap in the market and the idea for Velocipede Cycles was born. We opened our doors the next year, in February 2013.
How would you describe your business ethos?
At Velocipede Cycles on Camden Road we try to treat everyone from novice to professional in the same friendly, helpful manner. We aim to give the best customer service, be as approachable as possible and provide all our customers with the best products from the most respected brands.
What bike brands do you stock at Velocipede Cycles?
We stock a large range of mountain bikes from Orbea, Yeti, Evil, Mondraker and Kona. Alongside our traditional mountain bikes we also sell hybrid, road and electric bikes, plus a fantastic range of children’s ones too. We now have a dedicated electric bike showroom, which we opened last year. It is situated just across the road from our main shop at 107 Camden Road and is a luxurious, calm space where you can view a selection of e-bikes from Orbea, Mondraker and Forestal.
Do you help customers to maintain and care for their bikes?
Absolutely. We have a very busy, fully-equipped workshop offering repairs and servicing plus custom builds and upgrades. We provide several levels of servicing starting from just £45. Even better, you do not need to book an appointment – just drop your bike off and leave it with us. Our turnaround in the workshop is generally three to five working days.
Who now joins you at the Velocipede team?
We are a small, but efficient team at Velocipede Cycles. We have a highly experienced Workshop Manager, Chris, who keeps everything working smoothly, and Oliver our e-bike specialist, who looks after customer service, aftersales and everything electric.
Why do you think more of us are cycling now more than ever?
There are many reasons, but the main one is the increase in cost of living. More and more people are reducing their fuel costs by making the switch to cycling to work or replacing a second car with a bicycle or e-bike. I think people are also becoming more health conscious, and cycling is a fantastic way to exercise and stay physically fit, as well as it being fantastic for your mental wellbeing.
Do you work with schemes to make bikes more accessible?
Yes, we are proud to work with multiple cycle to work schemes, such as Green Commute Initiative, Cyclescheme, Bike2Work and Bikes for Staff NHS (Vivup). Cycle to work schemes are a great way to buy a bike whilst making an efficient tax saving.
What makes our independent bike shops so special?
Independent bike shops are important because of the wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion they provide. You can buy accessories and shiny upgrades online, but the internet can’t give you personal advice to find the right bike for you or help to look after it. Please support your local bike shop!
Thank you for joining the TN card. How do you thank members for supporting you?
We reward TN members for supporting local with 10% off all our parts and accessories purchased in store, as well as providing a free visual bicycle safety check – give us a call or just bring your bike in, no appointment is needed and we’d love to help.
Who: Velocipede Cycles
Where: 122-124 Camden Road and
107 Camden Road
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm |
Reward: 10% off parts and accessories
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org