Automotive & Pedal Power Collide

Aged 8, I took my Cycling proficiency test and got full marks! I still have my certificate and badge (sad but true). I was one of a few members of my family to take the test, no instruction books, all practical lessons. I kept cycling and was a keen road cyclist for a period of time, it was my daily 12.4 miles commute to work (on my bike nicknamed Thor – he is a Viking). I hung up the lycra when I moved a short 15-minute walk from the office, so leg power minus the wheels it is now.

Thor / Sir David Brailsford (British cycling coach and performance director) and myself

The above stands out as I come from a family of pedal heads (petrol heads also). I am guilty of overlooking this, as each of our backgrounds in cycling came separately and not as a family-driven interest. We each have our different stories, styles and adventures on two wheels.

The Family History of Cycling 

My late grandfather, Wallace Adler, owned an independent cycle repair and servicing shop for over ten years in the 1940s. It was located on the corner of Carter Road in Coventry.

He organised Sunday family cycle rides for Coventry CTC. He was instrumental in running veteran rallies, my mother took part, riding the likes of Ariel Penny Farthings, Tandem bikes to a Starley Rover.

The Starley Rover bike was the brainchild of John Kemp Starley, the very same man that created the Ariel Penny Farthing and originated from Coventry. In fact, the Rover was the first successful ‘safety bike’ to make use of similarly sized wheels that brought it closer to the ground.

My Father Vs a Cow – Who Won?

My father was an avid cyclist back in the day. Cycling on concrete velodromes (Butts Stadium in Coventry), coming off the bike was always a painful affair with grazed knuckles and legs. 

He took on various road races and was even knocked out cold by a cow in the middle of a race once. He thought as he was powering down on a ride the aforementioned cow would obviously move from the middle of the road, sadly not the case! Cow 1, Father 0.

The below images show my Father racing and the support vehicle. Although the far right image looks like it should be the record cover shot for ‘The Smiths’.

Mr Lovett back in the days of racing

Sibling Jealousy   

My brother Allister is also a keen cyclist from his teenage years up to the present day. One memory smarts me somewhat, I remember the family TV was moved from the lounge into our dining room whilst we ate dinner one Sunday, to watch the final of the Tour de France, just for my brother!

Pah! Preferential treatment in my eyes!

Yet, to be true to Allister, he has continued to pursue his passion to date. He currently resides in the Netherlands (cycle central) after living and cycling all over the world. I am hesitant to mention how many bikes he has at the moment! (it’s around 15 and counting). The most recent one is in having some final touches done, after his custom-built Mercian cycle landed with him last month, after 3 years in the making.

It is yet to be revealed in all its glory.

Mercian Cycles

Mercian Cycles workshop

Mercian is a brand born in Derby. The company still builds lightweight custom steel frames and bicycles by hand, using traditional frame-building methods, with one craftsman building each frame from start to finish.

Another fan of Mercian is my favourite fashion designer, Paul Smith – you can read about my love of Paul’s collaborations in one of WDA’s previous articles. It’s my obsession – Sir Paul Smith and his automotive collaborations, classic partnerships & signature stripes. The video below shows Paul Smith’s ongoing relationship with Mercian.

The Relationship Between 2 and 4 Wheels

Where automotive manufacturers, brand loyalty, engineering and bikes collide – Not literally of course!

So you won’t find an avid triathlete or cyclocross participant on any of the following bikes. Although, It does beg the question as to who purchases these and if it is all down to brand loyalty, association or engineering. Imagine having a Porsche bike and bundling it in the back of a Ford Focus, it just wouldn’t happen!

This leads me to share some of the automaker’s collaborations and their two wheel offerings…

Porsche eBike Sport – £11,000.00 – Brand and engineering

Porsche is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and instantly recognisable automotive brands in the world. While the German company has indeed been making strides in the world of electric cars, it has also been doing so in the world of electric two-wheelers, more specifically, electric bicycles.

To shed some light on why this bike costs so much, it’s partly because Porsche joined forces with fellow German company Rotwild. Rotwild is known for its ultra-sleek and premium frame designs.

Pashley-Morgan 8 – £1824.00 – Loyalty and craftsmanship

I have a love of Morgan cars, so this little beauty stole my heart with its hand-finished detailing. 

With centuries of combined heritage, engineering, craftsmanship and passion for their products, Pashley and Morgan are two “like-minded” companies, making for the perfect opportunity to collaborate.

The frame-mounted race plate draws inspiration from Morgan’s racing heritage, with the front streamlined hub-dynamo headlamp adding a touch of classic styling.

Lotus 108 – (The replicas sold for) £15,00 –  Engineering, technology and groundbreaking

I could not exclude this iconic bike. One of the most famous car/bike collaborations of all time was the Lotus 108 – which took Chris Boardman to 1992 Olympic glory.

Lotus saw the potential and refined the design, carbon monocoques made it through cycling’s political process, and Boardman was near the peak of his powers. Therefore the Lotus legend of a bike was born. A total of 15 Lotus 108s were made, and a further eight replicas sold, before the production version.

WDA Automotive are big fans of the 2-wheel mode of transport without an engine. ★ Lee Waterhouse FCIM, AffIMI,  the founder of WDA Automotive Marketing, is a cycling nut, in fact he is off on a cycling trip to Spain in just a couple of days. You can catch Sam Hitchcock, our Digital Marketing Manager, hitting the trails on a weekend. As for me, I have hung up the lycra for now!

The team have worked on branding and campaign projects with Cycle Derby and Black Mountain Bikes.

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