Bristol has some amazing bike shops, but perhaps none are as stylish as Forever Pedalling. We catch up with shop owner, racer, raconteur and directeur sportif Tim Wilkey, to find out what 2018 has in store for him.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I have been cycling since before I can remember, more specifically since the last millennium. That should narrow it down a little more! I’ve ridden and tried my hand racing across all disciplines, but at the moment road miles are where I’m most happy.
Forever Pedalling definitely sums up what I do when not working, hence the name of the shop here in the centre of Bristol. I can ride every day of the week and each time a completely different route.
Navigating our ever changing city streets and constantly bumping into familiar faces is just another thing to love about the place.
What’s the story behind Das Rad Klub? How did it start? How did it grow?
Das Rad Klub was simply an in-joke amongst cycling friends. I designed t-shirts and bottles, shortly followed by lycra, to put an identity to a group of individuals slowly getting in to the fast paced world of road cycling. At the beginning, there was no ambition but to create good looking gear for a group of friends to wear.
Fast forward three years and we had our own race team – a British Cycling affiliated club was the logical next step. We had much success as a team on and off road, but now continue to thrive as Bristol’s raddest cycling club.
Tell us about your decision to open Forever Pedalling and what marks you out from other shops in Bristol?
After over a decade working in the cycle industry, the dream was always to put my stamp on the Bristol cycling scene, not content with running a club and a team, bringing fresh ideas to bicycle retail was high on my list of priorities. Forever Pedalling is a cycling shop, but we don’t sell bikes, though we run a busy workshop to keep your bikes pedalling.
We focus on supplying the best looking kit for you and your bike, with a large line of own brand goods and a selection of hand picked accessories. The emphasis is on fun and good looking apparel and accessories.
You put on a lot of events for the local cycling community — what have you got coming up over the summer?
The shop plays host to DAS RAD KLUB Saturday Klub (9am) as well as the club’s annual 100km rides (20th May & 17th June this year), judging by previous years these are set to be well attended and a whole lot of fun on bikes, with riders self navigating a route that ends with festivities at Little Victories, Wapping Wharf.
In August (17-19th) we are hosting PEDAL – a cycling festival at the awesome Spoke & Stringer on the harbourside, it’s set to be a great weekend with all kinds going on for cyclists of all ages, including an outdoor expo, film nights, exhibitions, Q&As, competitions, rides & more.
We are looking to get all cyclists of Bristol involved, so it’s a must if you ride bikes and live in Bristol!
Forever Pedalling (The Team) formed around a year after the opening of the shop, what prompted the formation of this team from the already established DRK Racing?
The deformation of the hugely successful DRK Racing team was not an easy decision to make, but the impact the team had on the local race scene was a good tester for pushing the team to the next level under the shop name, at the time the team unwound, the number of those racing in club colours was going from strength to strength, so it seems right to let the club racers flourish, and rebrand the team as a shop based race outfit. Plus, change is good sometimes!
You’ve got some great partnerships with local businesses, some of whom are supporting the team. Care to give us an insight into who they are and what they do?
I love the idea of collaborating with local businesses, I feel that young / independent brands can gain a lot from working with like minded people. Sharing ideas, spaces and growing relationships can only be a good thing, so I’m really happy to have the opportunity to work with some of the best independents in town.
Prologue Works is the most cycle friendly office space in the city, and the team are proudly supported by them for the upcoming season, they have some innovative ideas and the whole space is designed for those who commute by bike, everything is so well thought it, it’s crazy that nobody has done it before!
Our weekly DRK rides end at Full Court Press on Broad Street, cycling and coffee go hand in hand, and FCP have been there since the club began, so our relationship grew naturally, you’ll find club riders stopping here twice a week (if not more!).
The annual Radonnée rides are a bigger affair than the weekly rides, so we reached out the the wonderful Little Victories at Wapping Wharf, who have been kind enough accommodate the finish of the rides with their vast menu of food and drinks for hungry riders, it’s the perfect location to unwind post 100k day in the saddle.
PEDAL is a partnership between Forever Pedalling and Spoke And Stringer, the hugely popular restaurant and bar on the waterfront, they have a vast outdoor space and a history of putting on excellent motorbike and surf weekends, so a cycling festival was on the cards, and we were more than happy to get involved. We look forward to seeing where this new partnership takes us!
We love seeing your guys smashing it up at the Bristol Grand Prix. They are always prominent throughout the categories and have seen some good results in previous years. What can we expect to see this year? Can you give us a run down of some of the biggest results you’ve had so far.
First race league of the 2018 season was the Odd Down Winter Series, the team had some phenomenal individual results, with Rob Hardyman bringing home 3rd in the series overall.
For 2018 we will be focussing on local circuit and road races, and targeting some of our favourite races like the GP, with 2 of our riders (Meg Dickerson & Lucy Driver) in the top 4 last year, we are hoping for a strong team showing in the women’s event.
Sam Holder & Rob Borek have seen the podium at previous editions of the GP as well, but with this year’s National A classification the race is set to be an incredibly fierce competition.
What’s the future for the shop, the Klub and the FP race team?
We are hoping to have a successful year as both a race team and shop, with riders bringing home results across the west country and beyond. We want them to stand out and make their mark on the peloton, equally the shop will continue to make it’s mark on the Bristol cycling scene — I want to continue to grow relationships with local businesses and expand the home grown range of unique apparel and accessories, as well as keeping riders pedalling through the workshop space.
DAS RAD KLUB is growing in numbers and rapidly solidifying itself as the most desirable club in the city, we look forward to yet another year of having fun on bikes!