Every September when the stream of trade shows begin, the old hands of the cycle industry heave a sigh of dread. Not me. I get excited. I cannot wait to see all the new kit being launched, making mental notes on what upgrades I am going to make to my collection of bikes or decide if next year will be 'the one' - the time for a new bike. I work hard too - but it does not feel like that.
Why do we act this way to one another? I am yet to figure it out, apart from the idea that cycling in a big city can be nerve-wracking and makes us snap at each other. Lots of things are stressful though and this is not always the reaction. Often people support each other better when in situations of stress.
A custom bike build is all about matching the human to the machine which will undoubtedly produce a good bike. But a custom build also offers an unrivalled opportunity to form that all important relationship with your bike, from the time it appears as a 2D drawing to the time you ride it out of the workshop. Something precious.
Many people in this country will tell you that cycling is safe, and the statistics do back that up. You have more chance of being killed walking a mile than you do cycling a mile and there is just one fatality for the equivalent of every 1,000 times cycled around the Earth. However, what those statistics don't tell you is what cycling on our roads is actually like and whether or not the experience is an enjoyable one...
The level of culture change that's needed for cyclists to feel safe all the time is dauntingly huge. At best, motorists are telling cyclists, "Yes this is our game, our bat, our ball, our rules - but you can play if you want. We own the road but you can use it. What more do you want?" What needs to happen is a new game, new rules. Power has to change hands. That's still a long way off.