Is this the beginning of a new era for cycling? Only time will tell, but in the meantime there is no better excuse to buy a new bicycle.

In the first three months of 2020, 8% fewer bikes were bought in the UK, according to the Bicycle Association. However, in April, the number of bikes sold rose 60% - while cycle shops say demand for repairs has leapt as old bikes are dragged out of sheds and garages. National and local retailers in the UK say they have seen a rise in orders of bikes valued at £400 to £1,000.

When lockdown caused motor traffic to drop by 90%, the roads became much safer and people not only saw cycling as a practical, quick transport for local journeys where they can socially-distance, but with more time on their hands, they remembered how fun being on a bike is.

As the country slowly returns to some level of normality and the government advice remains to use less public transport, reports suggest that more than half of employees living in cities are considering cycling to work following the coronavirus pandemic. Launched in 1999 The UK government Cycle to Work scheme is has been given an unexpected boost.

Like many people, I am looking for a new bicycle and would prefer to buy British. I am looking for a hybrid, reliable classic, with an open frame style a basket for bags and more than 3 gears. Not too much to ask. Pashley is England's longest established cycle manufacturer and seem to tick all those boxes.

In 1926 William Rathbone 'Rath' Pashley founded 'Pashley and Barber' in Birmingham. He had been apprenticed to the Austin Motor Company before the first world war and his early years gave him engineering knowledge, skill, and a lifelong interest in two wheeled transport.

Remaining privately owned and a family business to this day, with a small management team, they have not bowed to the pressure to shift to cheaper overseas manufacture and are committed to the tradition of UK production and craftmanship. As a dedicated British manufacturer, they are directly supplied and supported by almost one hundred other British companies such as Brooks Saddles, founded in 1882, and the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of saddles, their designs form to your shape over time. Pashley employ a close-knit team of experienced craftsmen who hand-build each cycle individually, ensuring longevity in a bicycle that will provide years of performance.

The website is very clear and informative I love the edited number of bikes they sell, which minimises choice confusion and makes the comparisons a stress-free experience.

Hand-built and shipped from their factory in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Poppy in peppermint is a traditional all round bicycle suited for town and weekend. The Classic Princess is a best seller.

Pashley also sell accessories, additional leather optional features and spares.

Hundreds of dealers and stockists around the UK sell Pashley bicycles, if you prefer to buy offline in a physical shop and of course take a test ride.

It doesn't come as a surprise that there is currently a slightly longer wait time on the website due to increased demand. But what is a few weeks delivery time for a lifetime of enjoyment!

By Anna Bance
August 2020


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Anna Bance

Anna is the co-founder of Girls Meets Dress and a contributing editor to the GWG. She expertly guides us round the most covetable online fashion.