Meet the new guy; Dan Hardy escaped the city for a new role in custom bikes
We’re really excited to tell you that Cycle Station Podcast’s own Dan Hardy has quit the rat race and joined our team as our new Project Manager.
When he’s not organising stuff or running his Podcast, Dan’s an adventurous cyclist and a seasoned tourer with multiple European tours under his belt. You could have been following some of his most recent trip via The Cycle Station Podcast Instagram, where he’s been sharing his most recent UK wide ride and an epic 3 week adventure in Scotland. Go check out some of the epic photos here.
Like many of us at Spoon Dan didn’t start his career in the cycling business. Before he started his cycling podcast Dan had been working a corporate job, where he was involved in process improvement and project management in the Financial Services Sector. There he enjoyed a successful 13 year career leading troubleshooting teams, who would go into departments and help them understand their customers better, do more for them, or streamline processes so they could get more done and it’s those Project Management skills that we’re really excited about having on the team.
We thought we’d ask him a few questions to introduce him to you, and find out why he’s left the corporate world to come make custom bikes with us:
Q: Why bikes, Dan?
A: I've always loved bikes. Bikes have always played a huge part in my life and have provided freedom, adventures, where I go to think, to test myself and I've met so many amazing people through cycling. I can't imagine my life without bikes these days, so I recently decided to make a change and follow my passion.
Q: Tell us about your favourite bike ride?
A: My favourite ride was when I finally convinced my non-cycling wife, Amy (she’s a runner) to come on a tour of Europe with me. She wasn't won over by the idea of 8 hours a day in the saddle and sleeping in a tent. Who would of thought it? 🤣
We had the best time though, spending 7 weeks cycling across France, Switzerland, Germany and Holland. It sticks in my mind as it's the first tour we did together (that didn't end in an accident - another story) and we learnt so much about touring and about each other. It paved the way for many adventures and we've got to see so many amazing places throughout the years, both by bike and hiking.
Q: What’s your favourite bike snack?
A: ooo good question. I try to eat pretty 'clean' when on the bike, except Haribo (I love those). I'd say my favourite is those flavoured date bars. I think they're called Nakd bars.
You can't go wrong with a halfway stop for a cake though.
Q: Cycling hero?
A: Wow, that's a question! There are so many cyclists that inspire me, which is why I started the podcast. I wanted to share the stories and inspire others. I get to talk to some really cool people.
Theres so many ultra and adventure riders that inspire me daily. If I had to pick one it'd be Ulrich Bartholmoes. He's an ultra cyclist in Germany who has smashed some of the biggest ultra races in the past few years. He works full time, gets up mega early, does like 100km before working and has such a great approach to the races, where he experiments with what his body can do. He's also a really nice guy.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the new job?
A: Learning and getting to know the team. I'm really looking forward to learning how the team create the bikes. I'm fascinated by bikes and I've seen the builds and paint jobs, I'm always amazed by the beauty of the bikes & craftsmanship, so getting to learn how they're created in a way that fits a person exactly is an amazing opportunity.
Q: As a relative newcomer to the market, what do you think is the biggest challenge we as bike companies have to tackle?
A: As you mention, I am new to the market so have lots to learn. I have heard bike sales have increased throughout the past year so I imagine a challenge right now is making sure we’re keeping ahead, so we can meet customer expectations. It seems lots of people want bikes right now so that's a good challenge to have!
Q: You’ve got the pick of the bikes in the workshop now… first ride, is it steel or carbon?
A: It'd be steel for me. I have a carbon road bike, a titanium gravel bike and 2 steel bikes (maybe too many?)
I'm not sure why but there's something great about traditional but innovative steel frames. I hear people say steel 'feels' better to ride and although I can't put my finger on it I do agree. A steel gravel bike with fat tyres and a slightly relaxed position would do it for me, I'm a tourer at heart.
It’s been possible to hire Dan because of the incredible support we’ve seen this year from our customers, followers and people who like and share our content, or cheer us along in the wings.
He joins us just as we’re about to launch our first crowd fund which will give you the opportunity to invest in the next stage of this adventure, and help us help people get more from their cycling experience. There’s a pop up form over on our sister brand's home page at www.spooncustoms.com so head there if you’d like to leave your details so you can find out more, and get access to the details for the raise.
If you’d like to find out more now, or like to get involved now and become a cornerstone investor get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.