Alexis is a keen cyclist, business owner and Sales Person in our Edinburgh Canonmills shop
It was in the summer of 1998 that I first started working at Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op in Bruntsfield as a sales person in the clothing department. At the time it was my dream job as I was a student, and when I wasn’t studying I was always out riding my bike with my cycling club at the time, Edinburgh Road Club.
Working at the bike co-op was a great opportunity to meet other cyclists who participated in other disciplines such as mountain biking, whereas I was mainly dabbling in a bit of road racing and time trialling. The job was only temporary over the summer until I went back to university to knuckle down for my final year. However, I really enjoyed my time there and it left a big impression on me.
After graduating from university with a Degree in Publishing, I went on to work for many years as a desktop publisher and a web and print editor for various public sector organisations. I also had my son so cycling took a bit of a back seat in my life in the early days but I was very keen that my son experience the joys of cycling from a young age. He is 15 years old now and has progressed from a child seat, to a trailer, a tag-a-long and then finally to his own bikes. He is now over 6ft tall and is using one of his dad’s old road bikes until he stops growing enough to get a new bike. He is currently eyeing up the Giant Contend SL 2 Disc 2017!
My own interest in cycling has evolved over the years from racing and training to touring and leisure cycling, and three years ago I became a member of Edinburgh Belles on Bikes as a ride leader. The women-only group was established using funding from Cycling UK to encourage more women to get out on their bikes in a supportive group. As well as organising weekly rides we also arrange basic bike maintenance classes and social gatherings and it’s all about the cake stop rather than the bunch sprint.
It was after I completed my Cycle Trainer qualification funded by Cycling UK that I started thinking about a change of career from an office job to a more outdoors one, and maybe having a significant birthday was also a factor. So last year I took voluntary redundancy from my job at the time and decided to start Edinburgh Electric Bicycle Tours. I’d spotted that there was a growing trend towards electric bikes in the UK although Germany, France and Holland have been using them for years. Edinburgh is indeed an ideal environment as it is built on seven hills – just like Rome but without the great weather!
I was also aware that any tour business would be part time and seasonal in Scotland so that’s when I noticed there was a part time sales person position at Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op at the Canonmills shop and felt compelled to apply. I’ve been here for several months now and it’s great to be back working for a co-operative with such dedicated staff. Nowadays my whole world revolves around cycling and I like planning mini-adventures with my son, partner and friends. Our next trip this month is to cycle from Edinburgh to Melrose, stay overnight in a nice hotel (I like a bit of comfort in my old age) then either cycle back to Edinburgh or jump on the train along the newly opened Borders Railway line. Just need to hope the weather is dry, but it is Scotland after all so I will be taking both sunglasses and a rain jacket!