By Jason Wyatt, Managing Director Marketplacer
Roy Morgan Research findings from last year showed that the number of people regularly cycling in Australia had risen from 13% of the population (2.1 million people) in 2005 to 19% of the population (3.7m) in 2015.
It has been a remarkable surge in popularity, which can be seen everywhere from the weekend warriors out on their $5,000 Pinarello, Specialized or Trek bikes through to the inner city hipsters heading to brunch on their ‘fixies’. More of us are riding, more often, to more places – and that’s a great thing for our health and environment.
When Sam Salter and I were talking about founding BikeExchange in the mid-2000s we had sniffed the start of this incredible renaissance of bikes and cycling. We had noticed people around us getting excited by not only the Tour de France, but also the Giro d’Italia, and the Classics like Paris-Roubaix, Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders. Some of these same people were buying really expensive bikes too. We saw lots more people riding hard early in the mornings and on weekends. We saw a culture taking shape, a tribe of likeminded people.
Mmm, maybe there’s a business idea in here somewhere.
So it was really special when we announced last month that BikeExchange was becoming a naming rights sponsor of the newly named ORICA-BikeExchange pro cycling team. We are humbled to be a part of such a wonderful team and culture.
It’s a partnership that represents an exciting moment in the company’s history and highlights our commitment to growing all levels of cycling around the world.
For BikeExchange to take its place as a naming rights sponsor alongside the other professional teams competing on the UCI World Tour is amazing. As I’ve already mentioned, the appreciation in Australia of cycling as a professional sport, and the growth of our cycling culture in the past decade, has been exciting to watch.
We think this is a partnership that helps tell the BikeExchange story; we support retailers, brands and riders to find buy and sell everything bike.
We have been fortunate to be a part of the growth within the cycling industry and this new phase of our involvement with the sport gives us a chance to share and contribute with the world, the beautiful story and sport that is cycling.
BikeExchange has also experienced phenomenal growth, and it’s now part of the burgeoning Marketplacer group, which is also expanding internationally.
Thirty five years ago, in 1981, Phil Anderson became the first Australian rider to wear the coveted yellow jersey at the Tour de France. In 2011, Cadel Evans climbed the mountain to become the first Australian rider to win it.
Just maybe, in the next few years, we might see the first ever Australian-backed team to win Le Tour and possibly even achieve number one ranking on the UCI World Tour. Now wouldn’t that be something.