Hit TV Show ‘Call The Midwife’ Has Delivered A Bouncing Success For Victoria Pendleton

The Olympic gold medal winning cyclist’s “new baby”, her personally designed bike range, has sparked unprecedented demand at suppliers Halfords – and it is all being put down to the midwife-effect!

The fact that the traditionally designed cycles bear an uncanny resemblance to those featured on the TV show, with star Miranda Hart recently photographed riding a similar retro-style bike across London, is believed to have helped create a buzz around the classy new model.

Following a record number of pre-orders on the internet Halfords has rushed the range of three classic women’s bikes into store, almost a month earlier than planned. These are the traditional Somerby, the hybrid Brooke and the more sophisticated Dalby.

The powder blue, white and plum coloured cycles with sprung saddles could not be further from the hard-bodied pared-down bike that helped Victoria win gold in Beijing, but their nostalgic appeal seems to have released a desire by women to return to cycling spurred on by the pedalling midwives of the 1950s show.

Miss Hart, who often takes her pet shih tzu Peggy with her on bike rides, is in good company with Ewan McGregor, Kelly Brook, Elle McPherson, Helena Christenson, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow, all confirmed A-list cycling fans.

A delighted Victoria, 31, said: “I wanted to help create a bike that you could just jump on to go down to the shops or the park without having to change into cycling kit. I do recognise that most women don’t want to squeeze into lycra before they get on a bike and I am pleased to say you can definitely wear a dress to ride these cycles.”

The Olympic champion’s timing has been as impeccable as ever with the release of range of three bikes, tapping into the growing craze for two wheels, not four.

Clare Standage, Halford Product Expert, said: “We are not surprised by the demand for the Victoria Pendleton range. There is certain elegance about the traditional lines of a classic bike and it seems that the trend-setters are moving away from the macho, sporty look and going for a more relaxed everyday style which is perfectly epitomised by these bikes. It is an added bonus that all three models are so competitively priced at £279.99 to £349.99.”

The launch of the Victoria Pendleton cycle range follows an upsurge in sales of Halfords classic bikes last year.

National cycle network Sustrans has launched a campaign to encourage more women to get back on two wheels after research showed that 79 per cent of women don’t cycle.

International designers such as Paul Smith and Giles Deacon have also tapped into the retro-mood by creating new lines of cycle chic clothing based on the timeless designs of a gentler, more stylish era.

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Designs on Performance for Boardman Belles

The 2012 Boardman Fi (Female informed) Performance Series Bikes range is now available exclusively at Halfords.com.

The range of four Boardman Fi bikes includes a Road Carbon bike at £1299.99, a Road bike at £799.99, a Mountain bike at £649.99 and a Hybrid bike at £599.99.

The Road Comp, MTB Comp and Hybrid Comp Fi models each feature a lightweight frame finished with the Boardman trademark smooth welds, anatomically shaped handlebars, brake levers and saddle carefully selected for female riders. All are finished with a superior quality paint finish in white with accents of pink. The range topping Road Team Carbon Fi is finished in silver with pink graphic highlights.

As pictured, the Boardman Fi Team Carbon features an ultra-lightweight T700 Carbon Fibre BB30 frame with tapered headtube and internal cable routing. With women’s specific geometry for comfort and handling allows easier and faster cycling. An ultra-lightweight carbon fibre fork with carbon steerer ensures precise and accurate steering whilst helping to absorb road vibrations. Also included in the new design are Shimano 105 braking and gearing for optimum shifting performance, a FSA Gossamer Pro 50/34 compact chain set with BB30 bottom bracket and lightweight Mavic Aksium wheelset.

Director of Boardman Bikes Research & Development, Chris Boardman MBE said: “The all-new 2012 Fi range builds upon the successful and ever-popular initial offering and includes input from our world-class female athletes, combined with my own cycling heritage to deliver a series of bikes specifically designed for women who enjoy cycling at every level.

From commuting, competing, off-road through to family touring – all our bikes benefit from world-class frame design, superior materials and hand-picked componentry – specifically designed to enhance your ride experience and maximise all round performance.”

Halfords is expecting demand to be high for these bikes and recommends that customers reserve their bike in-store now. For details of your nearest Boardman Fi ranged store visit halfords.com/boardmanbikes.

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Halfords Figures Reveal The True Cost Of Bike Theft In The UK

Bike thefts could be costing British cyclists more than £80 million a year, new figures from Halfords reveal.*

According to police crime statistics, a total of 115,147 bikes were reported stolen in the UK last year. But the actual figure is much higher, according to the British Crime Survey, due to a high proportion of thefts that are unreported.

It estimates the true number is nearer 533,000, the equivalent of a bike going missing every minute, and means almost 80% of owners are failing to report thefts. National figures** show reported bike crime is up 4% and unreported up 12%.

The full extent of the problem has been revealed by cycle and leisure retailer Halfords, who obtained the latest theft figures from each UK police force and collated them to reveal a disturbing nationwide picture.

The growth in bike thefts has come as the country experiences a resurgence in bicycle use, with 12% of adults regular cycle users and bike sales exceeding £2.1 billion last year. Six per cent of bikes purchased are worth over £1000.

In terms of regional variations, not surprisingly the problem of stolen bikes is worst in London with 21,315 instances reported to the Met in 2010 with Westminster having the highest rate of theft (1,898).

Thames Valley had the second highest rate with 6,060 instances reported in 2010. This was followed by Greater Manchester (5,185) and Cambridgeshire (4,477). Thames Valley and Cambridgeshire contain university cities of Oxford and Cambridge which account for much of the crime in those areas.

Fife has the best record for bike theft, the east coast area in Scotland only reporting 78 thefts in the past year, despite it including the student town of St Andrews where there is high bike ownership. There were 24 times more thefts in Westminster than in the whole of Fife.

The worst area in Scotland was Strathclyde, which includes Glasgow. It recorded 2081 thefts, followed closely by Lothian and Border with 2026.

Over two thirds of bike theft occurs in or around a victim’s home and research shows that while most cyclists lock their bikes when leaving them on the street, they are often unlocked when stored at a residence.*** The high number of unreported theft is put down to the belief that police will not catch the offender and that many bikes on the road are second hand.

Halfords cycling expert Paul Tomlinson said: “The scale of the bike theft is quite staggering and it can be devastating when you have bought your dream bike only to have it stolen.

“It demonstrates the need for cyclists to take precautions. We recommend bolt-cutter proof locks, because heavy-duty locks are a much better deterrent, and bike marking for all cycles.

“All Halfords locks are independently tested and rated Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on the length of time it would take a thief to break the lock and what level of equipment they would need.

“Our in-store experts are on hand to advise you on the best way to keep your cycle safe, such as purchasing the most appropriate heavy duty lock for your bike and investing in a bike tagging kit, so that it can be identified if it is ever stolen and recovered by police.”

After revealing the price of cycle theft, Halfords is calling for a unified approach to tackling the crime.

Paul Tomlinson added: “It is clear that this is a nationwide problem and many initiatives are left to local forces. We urge customers to keep their bikes secure but we would like to see more co-ordination in tackling thefts once they have occurred.”

The Police say one of the biggest problems is not recovering bikes, but finding out who owns them and they urge cyclists to take three simple steps to help reduce crime.

1) Record the details of the bike by getting it marked.
2) Register on one of the number of websites where details can be left3) Report if your bike is stolen.

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Woolworths.co.uk is searching for the best home-made William and Kate dolls in a bid to find Britain’s Craftiest Kids

Following on from the launch of a new Arts and Crafts section and collaboration with leading crafts personality and expert Stephanie Weightman, the online family superstore, Woolworths.co.uk is inspiring family fun and searching the UK to find Britain’s Craftiest Kids.

Woolies is sending out an appeal for children across the UK to send in their very own home-made Royal Wedding Kate and William to be in with a chance to take the Craftiest Kid crown. These can be made from anything from knitted, paper, clay and card dolls, as the rules allow the children to go as far as their imagination can take them.

Dan Rubel, director of family fun at Woolworths.co.uk said: “Families are getting very excited about the impending Royal Wedding and many will be watching the country’s biggest event together. Making Royal Wedding memorabilia is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy and the Kate and Williams dolls are something that can be kept for years.”

The top four craftiest creators, as selected by the team back at Woolies HQ, will have their designs showcased on the Woolworths.co.uk website and will get to spend an entire day with Stephanie Weightman helping her create her famous projects and learning some tricks of the crafting trade.

To enter home-made dolls into the British Craftiest Kids competition, entrants need to send a picture of their crafty royal creation to woolworths@GoldenGoosePR.com.

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A New Breed of Wheely Cool Sees a Rise in BMX

Following in the tracks of ‘middle aged men in Lycra’ (Mamil), trick obsessed BMXers are set to become the next driving force behind the UK’s continued love affair with two wheels.

Data shows sales of BMX have grown more than any other cycling category this year. BMX now accounts for 16% of the total cycle market and looks set to overhaul traditional City bikes, currently 17%.

Retailer Halfords said demand is being driven by freewheeling youngsters looking for cycles with more edgy designs and better styling, from X-Rated to Apollo to the top-end, cool looking, US designed VooDoo range.

Widely available YouTube videos showing amazing bike tricks and the spread of a BMXers language through social networks has helped to drive the revival in BMX. They are becoming a fashion and lifestyle choice of cycles for both boys and girls alike.

The BMX almost disappeared during the 1990s but now analysts GFK say figures show that one in five bike sales are BMX and 94% of BMX’s sold in Great Britain are purchased by 6-15 year olds. There’s also a trend to customise BMX bikes. Halfords says the sales of accessories like skull and dice decorated valve caps and special stunt pegs have risen, along with skater helmets and fingerless mitts.

The growing popularity of BMX has developed against a backdrop of the rise of the ‘Mamils’, who have been at the forefront of the popularity of cycling in recent years and have driven the ownership of cycles in the UK to top over 4 million.

Now Dads in their thirties who remember the fun they had on BMX bikes are encouraging the revival, according to analysts Allegra Strategies in its Project Velo report on the cycle industry.

Halfords BMX expert Peter Hunt said: “BMX is becoming mainstream once again. It was always there with the cult pros but has filtered down to a new generation. GFK reported 1 in 5 kids are choosing fashion over form, with a BMX and our sales trends support this. BMX is already well established with boys, but we are now noticing a marked increase from girls too.

“We stock an extensive range of models to ensure our customers can find their perfect bike. Our VooDoo range is particularly exciting, offering cutting edge premium bikes at great prices.

Industry Cycling magazine BikeBiz said the popularity of BMX products were now exceeding peaks seen in the 1980s when speciality bikes became all the rage among youngsters.

Success of UK riders such as BMX World Champion woman rider Shanaze Reade has done much to boost the sport’s popularity and new facilities for BMX riders are emerging all the time to cope with renewed demand for specialist facilities.

Stephen Rooke, Director of Redditch Skatepark and BMX Track, the largest outdoor supervised charity skatepark in the UK, said: We are seeing whole families taking part in racing and involved in the club. BMX has grown to become the dominant discipline at our venue.

“BMX riding is a way of life to many young people, where they gain amazing riding skills and develop a high level of fitness, agility and strength by doing something they enjoy. It is a great way to tackle youth boredom that has been linked to antisocial behaviour.”

Construction is shortly to begin on a 43-hectare ‘Cyclopark’ facility in Kent, where world-class facilities will include a 340 metre dedicated BMX circuit.

The Olympics and construction of London’s new cycling Velodrome and BMX track will further drive the popularity of the BMX, with 2012 Olympic cycling events including a BMX discipline after it was Introduced in Beijing 2008.

The Group is the UK’s leading retailer of automotive, leisure and cycling products and through Nationwide Autocentres is also the UK’s leading independent car servicing and repair operator.

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Electraped LLC, Will Unveil The Wentz Family Of E-Bikes To A National Audience At The Interbike Expo In Las Vegas

ElectraPed LLC today announced that the company will unveil its Wentz Family of E-Bikes to a national audience at the Interbike Expo in Las Vegas, which runsSeptember 23rd through the 26th.

The Interbike Expo, which draws thousands of bike retailers from throughout the world, will be held at the Sands Expo Center. There are nine different models in the Wentz Family of E-Bikes, including e-bikes in the mountain, street, touring, three-wheeler and foldable categories. The foldable version fits easily into a car trunk, and the three-wheeler has proven to be especially popular with seniors. Several models feature a European step-through style, and all of the Wentz E-Bikes offer a smooth ride, silent motor operation, and an impressive range.

Duane Brekke, founder of ElectraPed, says he is particularly proud of the craftsmanship of the bikes; “The engineering of the Wentz is masterful—solid as a rock, and elegant in design. People are sold after a short test drive.”

The Wentz E-Bikes have a hub motor to assist pedaling—allowing riders to go farther, faster, and up hills with greater ease. Bike riders can also choose to let the motor do all of the work or turn off the motor and use the Wentz like a regular bicycle.

About ElectraPed
ElectraPed LLC imports and distributes an exclusive line of electric bikes for North America. The Minot, North Dakota based company’s goal is to provide superior electric bikes at a reasonable price throughout the United States and Canada. All models can be viewed and photos captured atwww.electraped.com

About Interbike
With over 1,000 of the top brands and nearly 23,000 attendees from over 60 countries, Interbike is the ultimate blend of industry leaders and innovative products in the bicycle business. Interbike is the largest bicycle trade event in North America and one of the most important stops on the global trade show calendar.www.interbike.com

About the E-Bike Market
According to the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times; consumers in the United States are migrating in greater numbers to e-bikes, drawn in part by lighter and more powerful batteries, high fuel prices and practical aids like bike lanes and lockers. E-bike sales are forecast to double in the U.S. by 2009 to 200,000 from 100,000 in 2005.

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