As you enter The Sorting Office, there’s a DJ booth on one side and a Peloton & Co food van on the other, immediately giving it a bit of a festival feel. There’s a great atmosphere and the venue is filled with people of all ages. First stop is at The Carter Company’s stand to find out a bit more about what they do; ”We specialise in cycling holidays around Britain and Europe, lasting anything from a weekend to two weeks. Most of them are fairly gentle, but we do have some not so gentle ones as well if you’re up for a challenge”.
After having a browse around we find that there’s something for absolutely everyone, including traditional Bobbin bikes to beautiful examples from Helsinki based Pelago; a company which they say ”was born out of local cyclists’ needs and demand for new bicycles for daily transport and alternative travel”. Then there’re the more extravagant brands, like Bowers Kustom – have you ever wanted a bike built like a chopper, with heating in the seat? Just say it and they’ll build it.
On to the ultraviolet wonderworld ”Tunnel Vision”, filled with incredible glow in the dark cycle art and psychedelic installations. The different artists behind it are milling around selling their work, including MassifCentral, who makes bespoke illustrations using your cycling data to create a unique and individual piece just for you.
Downstairs near the test track we end up chatting to a girl who’s looking for a new commuter bike after her last one got stolen; ”I had kind of decided to go with an original retro bike, but coming here I’m completely stuck. There’s a wooden Velowland one upstairs which looks really cool – I didn’t even know you could get that! I’m just waiting now to give some of them a spin on the test track, and hopefully that’ll help me make a decision”.
After a pit stop at Peloton & Co and a few hours of speaking to people and enjoying the music (The Clash, Joy Division – the DJ did well!) we decide it’s time to grab our bike, which is conveniently parked outside, and ride home. It’s been a great day at Spin talking bikes, art, culture and coffee – We’ll absolutely be back to soak up more urban-cycling fun next year.