Pif-Paf at the Sedgwick Museum and bike shopping at Horrid Halfords

I went to see the fireworks last night on Parker’s Piece. It wasn’t a massive display but it was nice. Afterwards Andy and I wandered the cute little streets of Cambridge which were surprisingly busy. After a much needed lie in today I went into the center to the Sedgwick Museum to see Pif-Paf perform their short play Under The Floorboards which was all about important 19th century figures in Geology and what they discovered that contributed to our understanding of geology and the formation of the earth. They ended the play by telling us we were entering an era of human made geology which left a million questions buzzing in all our heads.

Andy and I spent the rest of the day buying him a bike on the ‘bike to work scheme’. It sounds like a great idea – people are encouraged to ride bikes to work and the money to buy your bike is taken out of your wages and you benefit by not paying tax or national insurance on it. The downside is that your employer gets to decide where you can get your bike and Halfords isn’t a great choice. Most of the customers in the bike department were clutching their bike to work vouchers with a sort of manic desperation. I was left undecided as to whether they really did need a tax break on their bikes or they just wanted it because it seemed like a really good higher purchase scheme. Perhaps the air of desperation was due to being in Halfords which is possibly the worst place to buy a bike from. I am convinced that the lack of choice of where you buy your bike from is a major drawback of this scheme. Halfords has an expensive and unimpressive range of bikes, it was chronically understaffed and the staff seemed to have a total lack of passion about bikes. Give me a little bike shop any day, where people know what they are talking about and can offer you real and valuable advice.

3 Responses to “Pif-Paf at the Sedgwick Museum and bike shopping at Horrid Halfords”

  1. Dissapointed Says:

    I work for Halfords and I was dissappointed to read your comments as I believe you have taken a poor experience in one store out of a large chain.
    Many stores contain colleagues passionate about the product and whom pride themselves on offering good service.
    Halfords like most other retailers faces the challenge of trying to balance good service against being financially frivolous in a uncertain economic climate and therefore staffing levels should be enough to deliver the service without being wasteful. Furthermore I think sometimes people view independents through rose tinted glasses as my experience is of arrogance and bike snobbery with assistants uninterested if you don’t “race” !

  2. Suzi Says:

    I am sorry you feel that way. I have not experienced any bike snobbery in small independent shops and no-one has ever suggested I take up racing whereas I have noticed that the bike adverts for Halfords are images of bikes splashing through rivers and trekking through the woods wearing helmets and Lycra. My experience of biking is very different. I use it as a form of environmentally friendly transport not as a weekend hobby. When I go to a small independent bike shop they
    invariably understand my needs, provide a good service and as usually very well informed.

  3. Ellie Says:

    I have to recommend C & D Cycles in Kettering, small enough to care and large enough to have a good range of bikes. They are happy to provide bikes on the cycle to work scheme. I bought me most recent bike there and am really happy with it.

Leave a Reply