Electric Bikes are a young industry, so truly experienced figures are few and far-between. Luckily, Bristolians have Alistair of Atmosphere Electric Bikes – one of the very first dedicated e-bike shops in the UK. We dropped in to see what’s happening with our friends in Brizzle...
Juicy: Morning Alistair! What do you do at Atmosphere?
Alistair: I’m the owner!
[Following the akward silence we adopt a more deferential tone and the interview picks up again...]
Great. So, question one: When did you first discover electric bikes?
Gosh. Well, I used to run a different business here in Bristol and every day I’d notice the traffic jams. I thought that there had to be a better way to get through town than by car, so I started researching solutions. Not too many people commute by bike around here thanks to the non-stop hills, so e-bikes very quickly began to look like the answer.
Are you much of cyclist yourself? Electric or otherwise?
Yeah, I am indeed. I’ll do the eleven mile round-trip to work and back every day by electric bike, and I’ll often go out on evenings and weekends. Usually we’ll cover thirty or forty miles in a ride.
Any local rides you’d recommend?
Well, in Bristol there are festivals and events almost non-stop. They bring thousands of people into town and it becomes very difficult to get anywhere by car, let alone park. Last year there was a particular music festival with nine stages spread across the city. Even walking can be frustrating with so many people everywhere.
So I’d recommend hopping on a e-bike and taking in some Bristol’s culture. And the cycle infrastructure is great. It’s gotten to the stage where cycling in the city is very safe and civilised.
What services does Atmosphere offer right now?
Gosh. Well, we’ve got a wide range of electric bikes for sale from lots of different brands. I’d say it’s certainly one of the most comprehensive selections in the UK. And we provide full servicing by trained and certified mechanics. The shop has just doubled in size and we’ve taken on some new staff.
Anything coming up for Atmosphere? Anything you’d like to plug?
We’ve got a new electric bike hire service in the centre of Bristol called Bristol Bike Hire, and we’ve partnered with the Aardman Shaun the Sheep trail. We’d definitely recommend taking an e-bike to find a few of the brilliant Shaun sculptures. They’ve very cool and it’s a great way to see the city.
That’s really cool. Can people find you on Twitter and Facebook?
Oh, of course – we’re on Twitter at @AtmosphereEBike, and you can find us on Facebook too.
One last question? How’re you feeling about the future of electric cycling?
Very optimistic. We’ve got customers from all walks of life. People are really starting to see the benefits.
Loads of businesses are buying our bikes for their employees. We’ve got some estate agents doing their visits by e-bikes… some companies ordering hundreds of bikes at a time. Even the Mayor’s been in for one. And I hear he gets some good mileage on it!
Brill. Well, thanks for the chat Alistair and best of luck.
Thanks Juicy, you too.