Saturday, 19 October 2013
END OF AN ERA
Chris Haselhurst started Edison Lightweight Cycles in Clowne with his dad Edi, hence Edi and Son. They started shortly after the demise of Carlton Cycles in Worksop, they both worked there and had a depth of knowledge that would serve them well.
Building bikes from scratch was their forte, they would take a bunch of tubes and fashion them into a lightweight championship winning machine that would be recognised globally. I wandered into his shop as a customer one fateful day and came out a friend, the advice he has given me over the years not only as a cyclist but man to man has been invaluable and has helped me through some difficult times, and at times I have also been there for him.
Walking through the narrow doors of the shop was a comforting feeling, it's old school feel was part of the charm and Chris had a way of making you feel you were in the right place to get help with your bike, his knowledge always delivered in a polite and concise manner.
Over the years he has built bikes for some brilliant cyclists, many different sizes and types of race bikes but he has also made mere mortals comfortable on the bikes he has built and supplied.
He was also one of my customers, I have done many types of transfers for his bikes and he used to call in regularly to chew the fat and generally put the world back on its axis.
We had a getting together of cyclists he knows in the Elmtree at Elmton the other day, a pub we regularly ride from, It was to bid a fond farewell, not to Chris or to Edison Cycles, but the shop, a meeting place of friends and fellow cyclists. It was a room full of people who know him best, many others who could not be there sending their best wishes, some people just in the background as a consequence of being in the same place but most importantly for me at any rate being there was a memorable night in my cycling travelogue - the end of an era or maybe even the start of a new one, a defining moment.
He promises to carry on building bikes for discerning types, people who know a good quality bike from the feeling you get through the saddle, and so he should.
There have been many good tradesmen that came from Carlton Cycles in Worksop but Chris is the best recognised, a depth of history in cycling in and around the Worksop area is well documented, from the early beginnings of Carlton Cycles to Raleigh a lot of passion for cycling is in Worksop, even today there are some great bike riders from the area which are all going to be worse off for the retirement of another valued bike shop.
In these days of internet related sales it is probably impossible to replace Edison Cycles as a shop, a place where you can go and get not only bikes or parts but free advice, knowledge that can't be bought.
Support Your Local Bike Shop! A comment that is too late when shops like this are gone, surely it's worth paying a little more for what your local bike shop stand for?
As we chatted near the bar Chris, Craig and I paused mid thought, we were just chatting about how were in the past few years in the world of the small bike shop and what the future holds in store for Chris and family, U2 I still haven't found what I'm looking for was playing in the background which was apt, I commented that I thought he had and what an admirable job he had done over the years, after all he has been able to stay in his chosen profession until he chose to retire, along the way earning respect from his peers and customers.
Chris and Lynne also brought both their boys up to be fine upstanding citizens sharing with them the love of cycling while keeping his head above water and wolf from the door.
So let's raise a glass to Chris and Lynne I wish him all the best, and he can finally get out on his bike ........... Cheers..