Back in 2012 I complained that Hughes Electrical were terrible to shop at if you're on a bike because they're on a savage road with no bike locking.
I've been in the shop many times since then, but I've bought very little because there are other shops (e.g. Seven Oaks) where I can lock up the bike and the trailer to take goods home. Its so much more convenient. But on Saturday I was looking for something that'll have to be delivered (a new cooker), so I was happy to slum it and lock the bike up wherever I could find. And I went to Hughes first, as its at one end of the city and I could go to the other shops in succession.
I must say I'm disappointed that they've made no progress, at all, in improving bike provision. I can't blame them that Cherry Hinton Road remains one of the worst routes to ride in the City, but I do feel that in three years they really ought to have sorted out some bike locking. This is Cambridge, if you want my custom you need to give me somewhere to lock up my bike.
So after Hughes I rode out to the Beehive Centre, to the actually quite good bike locks at Currys and at Argos, before riding in to the City Centre to the really very good (but ridiculously under-sized relative to what was promised) underground bike-park at the Grand Arcade to go to John Lewis. I chose in the end to go with John Lewis to buy my new cooker - not because they were cheaper or better than Hughes (they weren't) but because I didn't really want to have to fanny on with a wire mesh railing to lock my bike to for a second time in the same day.
Bluntly I'm just a but put out when it seems like a company doesn't make it easy for me to shop there. And that means you too Daily Bread, you've actually made your bike locking worse by putting planters in where I used to be able to wheel my bike trailer behind the railing to lock up my bike. You claim to be an ethical retailer but clearly active, green, clean transport isn't one of those ethics. Now if I bring the trailer I risk having to lock it up on the pavement which would block access, and I don't want to do that. So for big purchases I don't much use your shop any more.
Its not hard - do you want my money? Cater to my needs. I'm not asking much, just somewhere to safely leave my bike. Cyclists are a demographic with more cash to spend than motorists - we're not burning cash every time we leave our driveways, wouldn't you rather we spent it with you instead? So get bike provision right - not doing so is costing you money. Every. Single. Day.