So Facebook went live with a photo of a ride from the previous week, showing a small group ride at the top of the climb up from Low Bradfield to High Bradfield and up again to Kirk Edge Road. Everyone catching their breath, taken by Andy H who was waiting at the top to take a photo - dramatic clouds and everything.
There is a bench at the top. Nobody felt the need to use it despite bursting lungs.
I wrote the blog pretty much straight after and the first Facebook page went live.
Was it a success? Well, there is nothing to measure it against ,so I cannot say it was a success or not – it was more a formality. It had to go live at some point. We got some likes and there were a few ‘good luck’ comments.
There was also a comment that stated – and I quote -‘The Charlatans return! Wouldn’t touch anything they make with a bargepole’. We haven’t returned – we are a new trading business with an established name.
There were also a quite a few posts of people stating how much they loved their Bowmans.
There were 2 ‘It’s all very odd’ comments. 2 ‘why buy a bad name’? There was also a ‘what the hell is going on and why tarnish a good name’? Finally, there was a ‘ at least they are based in Sheffield’ – but the poster was clearly biased being a Sheffield lad himself. We have probably struggled up the same hills.
I bought my first Bowman – a Palace R on the bike to work scheme. I bought the frameset and transferred all of the components from my previous bike on to the new frame.
It was amazing. I had it for 2 years and sold it as I wanted a Bowman with Disc brakes. In hindsight – I should not have sold it. It was just a great bike with amazing reviews to back it up.
After waiting and waiting to get hold of a Palace 3, I gave up as there were none available. I then bought a frameset from one of Bowmans competitors.
A friend who works in the cycle industry knew straight away that they had gone bankrupt due to their lack of weekly social media posts. Regular posts and then silence for the last 3 months.
Loads of framesets turned up on an auction site, for sale from the liquidator. I bought 2 for me to build up for my teenage boys. They were clearly not interested, I could not distract them from the lure of Call of Duty or whatever game they play. They are in the garage, I will keep them and build them up.
After I bought them I received a phone call from the Liquidators. Would I be interested in purchasing the intellectual property rights?
I knew some people would feel the name was tarnished. However, Bowman is a well established bike brand with a recognisable font and a great ‘get out and ride’ ethos.
So I bought the intellectual property rights. My cycling industry friend’s words echoing in my head ‘if you want to - do it, make sure that you are doing it because you want to and not just because the names available’.
Just to reiterate, I bought the name despite some people feeling it was tarnished because I wanted to take it on as a going concern. Which is not odd – its actually very common. Holdsworth and Viner Cycles ceased trading and were then brought back as a going concern by Planet X.
So why use the same website and font etc?
Why not. Bowman was an established brand until last year – with an established social media presence and as everything has a story and timeline – so does Bowman. Keeping the same Facebook and Instagram page shows its history and journey to where we are at the present. So yes, some people may not like the idea of keeping the same name, font, social media pages etc.. but I do – it shows its journey to where we are now – warts and all.
As we move forward and post more content, I am sure there will be more comments as to why, but hopefully people will read the blog and understand that we all have a journey that leads us to this moment so why try and hide it. Also, I just really like the brand…
I am sure there will be negative comments from people calling us ‘clowns’ (refer to the Facebook page). I doubt I can change some peoples pre conceived ideas and they will always dislike Bowman. But that says more about them.
In the meantime – thanks for reading – I hope you come with us on our journey.
P.S. I am not Neil’s cousin. We are completely unrelated. I just like what he created.
P.P.S. If you don’t like it, just scroll on by…..
P.P.P.S. Still don’t have a name for our first gravel bike.