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Talking community, fashion and bespoke bikes with one of Dubai's top cycling destinations
Started by three Emirati friends who shared a love of cycling, Pedal has quickly become a destination for cyclists to gather. A combination of great food, superb coffee and, of course, bikes and accessories, the Ras Al Khor hub is once again ramping up for Dubai's cycling season and hoping to welcome back the riding community if/when Covid-19 restrictions ease.
We spoke to newly appointed business manager, Edward Ross about the shop/cafe hybrid, what the Dubai cycling scene has to offer and the rampant rise of cycling fashion.
Tell us a little about Pedal...
The concept is to provide high-end customised bikes and an experience that wasn't previously available here. Obviously, there are some well-established bike shops here that do a very good job, but they weren't really providing the custom bike experience. The owners of Pedal are very keen amateur cyclists who had a desire for this type of custom bike experience and felt that it was something that other people could enjoy, too. Alongside this, they also wanted a cafe that could help bring the cycling community together with good food and coffee like you would find in Europe. They visited shops over there, like The Service Course in Girona, Italy, that have that kind of vibe. It's high-end retail for bikes and even fashion. Customised bikes and world class coffee come together to create a community.
How has Covid-19 affected things?
Well, the shop only opened at the beginning of 2019, and started to hit its stride just when the pandemic hit. That kind of shifted everything, and now we're in the process of getting ready to welcome the cycling community back once group rides are safe to be back on. We had a group that used to stop here on the way past, but that has had to stop. So part of my job over the next six months, as the restrictions ease, is to try and bring the community back in. I'm hoping to initiate group rides of 15 people or more again if restrictions are eased by late December.
And how do you plan to bring them back?
It's two-fold really. There's another bike shop - Wolfi's - that run group rides that used to pass here, so once they're back up and running they should be back. We have a good connection with Wolfi's as we have a coffee shop that we manage in their store. Then I will start some group rides in Nad Al Sheba and Al Qudra. We won't be visiting the store on the way, but it's a way for us to promote the Pedal brand around the community and then start to bring them here to service their bikes or purchase products and bikes. Then hopefully we'll start some road rides that will come past the shop, but that's a little way off. One of the key ways to do this is through the Dubai Cycling Community on Facebook. We have a good relationship with the guy that runs it and although they don't usually do this, we have been told we can advertise rides there. But we won't abuse the goodwill he's offering to simply sell our wares.