A by-product of the global pandemic was a cycling boom. Yet it might also change the way we live, work (and ride) forever.
By William Pearson.
For many cyclists, this is the time of year they retrieve their bikes from their winter habitat (aka the shed). Dragging them into the sunshine after months of hibernation, this time-honoured ritual precedes the arrival on our city streets of that distinctly seasonal cycling tribe, the fair-weather commuters. And while more dedicated cyclists might view them with a gimlet eye, here at Pearson we take more of a come-one-come-all attitude, part of our ongoing mission to get as many people riding as possible.
Strava opportunities beckon.
The last 18 months will undoubtedly prove something of a game-changer when it comes to the number of people who cycle to work. Those who previously ummed and ahhed when they woke to grey skies, are likely to prove less fair-weather than they thought. Frankly, it’s a Hobson’s choice; between feeling the wind in your hair as you glide through a city park or wondering if some as yet unidentified corona variant is gliding among your fellow Tube or bus passengers.
The changing nature of our working environment is also likely to boost the appeal of the bike commute. Not so long ago, the idea of working three days in the office and two at home seemed out of reach for the average office jockey. Now it could now become the norm. In contrast to the grinding, week-long obligation of old, a day or three in the office now makes for a refreshing change of scene, especially if it’s your bike that offers respite from the Groundhog Day tedium of home working.
Back on two wheels. It was all just a blur.
Thanks to Pearson House Design (Phd), our in-house fitting method, we offer bikes perfectly suited for city riding. Many feature durable steel frames, riding positions that command excellent views of traffic, or single speed gearing for easy maintenance. Yet versatility is important to us. While we’d gladly sell our customers a different bike for each day of the week, we understand that most only have shed space for one machine.
So, the frames we make for gravel expeditions are equally comfortable grinding through the 'burbs or winding through a city centre. They’ll soak up the gnarliest potholes, and feature gearing so smooth you won’t so much as rouse a sleeping policeman.
Pearson’s dedicated apparel is created through a similar philosophy, the perfect combination of form and function. Using high-wicking, breathable fabrics to keep you comfortable and dry, they’re also stylish enough to be worn off the bike. Our collection includes shorts and sweatshirts for all-day wear, but many of the jackets and jerseys we’ve created for training and racing perform just as well in the metropolitan peloton.
And because we are committed to manufacturing our products in a sustainable way, we make many of them from recycled materials, from cotton and polyester to coffee grinds. We also create them for a long product life, using odour resistant yarns and fabrics that require less washing and ironing.
This commitment to sustainability feels in step with the times. The pandemic has shown that sudden change can leave us feeling powerless. But the ongoing need to protect the environment presents an opportunity to get actively involved. Leave the car at home, ride to work, and improve life for everyone.
Together we can build a permanent cycling utopia.
And that’s another beauty of the bike commute. The dictionary tells us the word ‘commute’ is derived from the Latin, commutare, a conjunction of com, meaning ‘altogether’ and mutare, ‘to change’. So if, as George Osborne once put it, we’re all in this together, then if we ride to work we can change things together, too.
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