Day 1 – 15/01/2017 – The Departure from Italy: All booked and ready to go!
After a careful planning/booking by our travel agent Grazia Mazzetti (Euphemia Viaggi, Brescia) The tour was ready and booked. The intrepid trio: Andrea Ragona (one of the owners), Simone Bellinato ( managing director ) and myself Mark Chambers (UK & Ireland Area Manager) had a rather early morning call for the first Ryanair flight from Verona (The nearest airport to our Italian Assembly line, which is only an hours drive away) to London Stansted. Not perturbed by the Mass-media hysteria of the ‘Big Freeze’ nor the terror of ‘Brexit’. We had a mission… To ignite our Uk sales network engine and to meet the people that have the same passion and drive for cycling as us, and to shout out
‘Elios has landed in the Uk and it’s here to stay!’
Before Passport control a quick check: Brochures, stickers, business cards, Elios Polo shirts.. then off to board our rather full flight for a 1hour and 45 flight.
Arrived at roughly 11:30 in a very foggy UK. No sign of the big freeze thank god! The first step of our mammoth leg was to drive down to WestCliff-on-sea to receive our rather ‘Unlucky’ Elios van – that had been broken into on the 26 th december ( 8 of our top italian cycles were stolen, as you may have gathered).
We would personally like to thank all of the UK social media communities and the Essex Police force for being so helpful with us in such a difficult 2 weeks after the theft.
Determined to break the bad luck we arrived at our destination on time after a cross country jaunt, and was kindly greeted by our Uk cycling legend Clan Member ‘Vic Haines’ . A huge thanks to Vic and Jan for their passion and UK cycling knowledge which helped Elios to set it’s roots down firmly in the UK. If you are ever driving about in the Essex area and you see a silver bullet overtaking you on a tandem.. Well you have just been officially pimped by Vic!
Ok Van in hand and a hire car to take back to Stansted.. then off to our first rest point in Chippenham.
What a ‘baptism of fire’ for Andrea (3000 km van drive for him). First time driving in the Uk, and with a left hand drive. He did brilliantly!
Benvenuto Andy Miners!
First important meeting in a very unlikely spot (shopping centre on the m4) with Andy Miners our Official Scotland & Northern England Elios Sales Agent. Received exciting input from Andy and we reinforced our partnership even more. Great to have such experience, passion & local knowledge representing us.
Drop him a line or send him and email to fix up a meeting in your shop or cycling activity:
Tel. +44 (0) 7940 588397
He loved the Elios Krox. Infact he’s about to buy one for himself! That’s a perfect seal of approval.
After Andy left, the dynamic trio set off for well earned pub grub ‘Evening meal’. My mission was also to prove that real English food is delicious to the Maestros of cooking.. Italians!
Big thanks to the Jolly Huntsman
top Grub and cider!
Then a good nights sleep at Travel lodge – Chippenham.
Day 2 – 16 /01/2017 – Wales here we come! to meet and officially sign up the two remaining cornerstones of our UK sales network.
Early morning call and a quick jaunt to Swindon to get to know a shop personally – due to their continuos interest in the past year. Unfortunately not all things go to plan! Never mind these things happen.. You know who you are.. hope to see you at our Badia Polesine factory soon with an interesting preorder for next season 🙂
Roughly at 10.00 we set off to the magic hills of Wales – One of the Uk’s Mountainbike meccas.
After 2 hours we reached our next rendez-vous Maenllwyd Inn – Caerphilly
Scenic settings and superb food again – Highly recommend!
Welcome to the Clan:
‘Scott Burris’ Official Wales
& South West England Elios Sales Agent.
Contact him now to find out more:
Tel: 01792 421974
Mob: 07807 010 289
‘Mick O’brien’ Official Midlands/Yorkshire
& East Anglia Elios Sales Agent.
* Mick drove all the way from Blackpool to join the Clan!
contact him now to find out more:
tel. 07941 336 834
What more could we ask for? Two very knowledgable professionals that know perfectly the cycling world and the cycling needs in their areas. It’s great to work with up-to-date professionals full of passion and joy! And motivated to meet the challenge of setting the Uk on fire with Elios bikes!
Soon all their profiles will be published on our site so you can get to know them better (still waiting for their official Elios selfies). Here are some sneaky photos taken down from their facebook pages…shh don’t tell them!
Another immaculate stay in a Travel lodge in Caerphilly – which has a magnificent castle which we did not have time to visit unfortunately.
A funny moment was being sent up a steep welsh mountain road by my sat nav. Then seeing Simone’s ‘Panick’ face on the descent of the narrow, steep welsh countryside road.. in our van.. Priceless!
Day 3 – 17 /01/2017 – The long trip back towards London – passing though Somerset,Dorset, Wiltshire…
Yet another early morning call. But time was so short, to we were always so eager to meet our schedule. I managed to persuade Andrea & Simone for a quick pit stop at a Morrisons Supermarket. I do miss my English Comfort food! What better opportunity than having at your disposal a large van to take things back home – without the normal 25 kg wait limit you have to stay within when flying.
After gliding though the magnificent West country (many fond memories for me, in my childhood I spent lots of time in wookey hole & wells where my grandparents lived), we arrived late in Dorset due to intense traffic passing through Yeovil. Our destination was the picturesque town of Sherborne to meet Mike and his Darren of :
Riley’s Cycles Ltd
TRENDLE ST, SHERBORNE, DORSET, DT9 3NT
There are sometimes in life when you feel blessed when you meet special people with the same passion and drive for cycling as yourself. We high recommend visiting Mike’s shop because Real cycling Passion is just oozing out of this establishment.
It was great to see Mike try out our ELIOS AMPERE ebike in the high street!
We managed to tempt Mike into buying one of our demo bikes #Elios Xtrail – Went down a bomb apparently!
We had such a special couple of hours chatting, exchanging knowledge & listening to each overs needs. We were not there for the ‘Hard sell’ but to listen and to lay down the foundations for a long term business relationship from here onwards.
Simone cherished the Tea and homemade Cake in the adjacent Coffee/Library shop at:
A ‘Special Mention’ also goes to Sherborne Abbey and the adjacent International College. Thinking very seriously in sending My son Edward (born in Italy and obviously fluent in Italian ) to summer school there to brush up on his English – so he can start typing my editorials maybe 🙂
In the late afternoon we entered the flourishing Surrey Cycling area where more and more people are reverting to cycling for everyday use and personal fitness. We are lucky enough to have created virtual relationships with prestigious cycle retailers who have been following our transformation from an overpriced ‘Ugly Duckling’ to a very affordable ‘Italian swan’.
Bike Swanky Cycling Hub
who has been following us since day1. His precious time and help has helped us become competitive and and a viable cycling alternative in a very stale market. You have to visit his website to realize that this is a quality shop in the london area which an all-round excellent reputation.
Cicl Elios is proud to announce that Bikeswanky is one of the few Elite Elios Centres in the the United Kingdom for 2017 – 18 where you have the possibility of trying out a selection of our italian assembled bicycles around the surrounding areas (Fairoaks aiport, Mclaren F1 technology HQ or the enchanting woodlands…) before finallly falling to our magic curse #JOINTHECLAN!
With Paul’s fantastic cycling marketing skills…
Who knows, you could come down to Badia Polesine to see the Assembly line.. or demo bike around the Euganean hills – Veneto.
Stay Tuned in on Bikeswanky in order not to miss out on such opportunities!
Bikeswanky (the official bike test area partner) will be demo-biking a selection of our Bicycles at the LONDON BIKE SHOW. So if you are still not convinced what better opportunity to go and ride an Elios….
16 th February to the 19 th February 2017
Loads of selfies please folks on social media profiles with an elios bike:
” I joined the Clan! @CicliEliosEnglish @londonbikeshow @BikeSwanky “
After such an eventful day, we dragged our tired feet to the Farnborough Travel lodge. Excellent lodgings yet again!
Day 4 – 18 /01/2017 – Catch up with old friends and meeting new friends.
A bit more relaxed the following morning awakening. The only problem was the evening frost played havoc on our faithful van. Minor Oil leakage. But no folks this was not going to get us down. Against all odds we were determined to finish on a high note.
We set off to find a clan member Gianluca Capello, owner of Prosport distribution
ProSport Distribution Ltd
Unit 2B Henley Business Park
Surrey GU3 2DX
Tel +44 (0)1483 825330
and a close Elios friend over these past 20 years. Gianluca has made a name for himself in the United Kingdom for Excellent ‘ Made in Italy’ Cycling Apparel and also for being a menace in the regional cycling races… beating everyone.
Guys & girls this is an example of Italian Excellence. If you are in doubt which Technical Sportswear producer to use for your cycling club or team.. our advice is to call Gianluca now… you won’t regret it!
It’s reassuring to know that we have such an esteemed Guardian angel in the Uk, giving us constructive criticism and assistance always, helping us to to lay down even thicker roots in the British cycling market.
After such a pleasant couple of hours we left Gianluca and Emma to get on with their business and made our way with a leaking van to Crawley.
Having reached destination passing thought the areas which once I called home (I was born in the England and lived there for 17 years in the Surrey Hills) We had to fix the van problems. In not more than 2 hours mission accomplished! ( sealant & 5 litre keg of Oil).
We managed to squeeze in a very quick visit to Ben Goddard a young cycling Repair shop in the Crawley area – Leeli Cycles.
17 Trinity Cl, Crawley RH10 3TN, Regno Unito
tel. 07986 255 140
Ben has been very keen to join the clan and we have accepted him with open arms. We believe in everybody who has the same passion and drive as us. Soon he will be relocating to a new shop where he will be renting out bicycles to visitors and tourists in the area – hopefully an exclusive Elios hire bike fleet. Can’t wait to see the new business Ben!
Last of all but not least!
Deer Leap mountain bike centre with Adam Falshaw.
Apart from being an Ex – Olympic cross country circuit and an excellent bike hire centre for all ages, it was like catching up with an old friend. Adam Falshaw has been following us since ‘day 1’ as well keeping up to date with our evolution.
I would like to personally thank Adam aswell for his constructive online market surveys he has done for us in his enormous facebook groups.
This has helped us rethink our setups and graphic design perception big time! Obviously Adam has got an excellent taste for bikes and is keen to help Elios become a viable new competitor in a stagnant cycling market. He gave us such precious marketing & consumer info on what is missing in the UK mountain bike scene and what needs fine tuning on our cycle range for 2017/18.
He has kindly offered to help us in our product development on one condition that we listen to what Cyclist need and not to what brands want to impose. You have got a deal Adam! We can’t wait for you to est our future prototypes.
Welcome Adam to the Clan!
Adam is an exceptional Mountainbike guru and makes an exceptional Cappuccino! He obviously has some italian blood in him somewhere then, that’s why he wants to help us!
Late in the evening after having being inebriated by a wonderful cycling brainstorming session , we made our way to Royal Tonbridge wells to our last Travel lodge.
A good wholesome Pub dinner and Talisker whisky to celebrate the UK trip at the:
Before catching the Euro tunnel for Calais the following day.
Prior to our mammoth drive back to Italy crossing Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany & Austria we dropped off at the Velofollies international cycle show in Coutrai-Belgium
to catchup with old friends and meet new friends.
Special mentions go to our new Clan Member: Louis de Koning who will be helping us reach out to the competitive Dutch market as an Elios sales agent.
Tel: (06) 43 23 04 20
S. Lohmanstraat 48
and also to Stephen Roche with his exciting ‘Stephen Roche Cycling Holidays’ – very interesting! Thanks for the informal chat on the Cycling scenario in Ireland.
Officially this was the last stage of our UK visit, which I can clearly say was a huge success thanks to you reading this article! #SHARE this article as much as possible. GRAZIE!
#BREXIT maybe the forbidden word in these days but it does not frighten us one bit.
We are here to stay!
So all I can say is, Leave the old and join the new! #JOINTHECLAN
Andrea, Simone and I would are really touched by such a warm welcome…
We will be back soon!