Meet Cycle 360’s Sales & Business Development Associate, Craig Bishop who joined Cycle 360 in May 2023. In the world of cycling, there are not only bikes that move forward but also inspiring stories that motivate us to pedal through life’s challenges. In our Team 360 ‘spotlight series’, we bring you the remarkable journey of Craig, who went from running a successful STIHL dealership in Durban, South Africa to finding a new beginning with us at Cycle 360.
Join us as we delve into Craig’s story on triumph and resilience, a discussion of the most popular bike models right now and heartwarming customer tales from your local Isle of Man bikeshop.
Cycle 360: Craig, what were you doing prior to Cycle 360?
Craig: Before joining Cycle 360, I was running a well-established STIHL dealership in Durban, South Africa, dealing with gardening equipment from a traditional brick-and-mortar store. The business was a legacy, started by my parents in 1990 and exclusive to STIHL products since 1996. After working there from 2006 to 2014, I briefly ran an electrical company before becoming the Dealer Principal at KTM Durban, where my focus shifted to motorbikes.
However, a tragic event in 2021 changed everything when my parents lost their lives in a motorcycle accident, and I took over the family business. Later, the business faced devastation during a mass looting in June of the same year, leaving it in ruins. Despite the challenges, we managed to survive by repairing customer machines and building second-hand machines. A video I shared went viral, and the community rallied around us with support and encouragement.
With the business stable, I gained the freedom to spend more time with my son. Then, when my wife got a job offer from KPMG, we decided to move to the Isle of Man, leading me to Cycle 360.
Cycle 360: How did you become interested in working at Cycle 360?
Craig: The Isle of Man became our new home, and while searching for a new bike, I stumbled upon Cycle 360. I was immediately drawn in by the company’s reputation as a Specialized dealer. One day, during a visit to the Cycle 360 cafe with my family, I jumped onto the Cycle 360 website and was happy to see a job vacancy going in the bikeshop that I thought would fit my skill set perfectly. I immediately text a former colleague from KTM about the role, telling him all about how impressed I was with Cycle 360, and he encouraged me to apply.
Cycle 360: What are some of the most popular bike models or brands that customers tend to go for?
Craig: The Cube Reaction and Cube Nuride, along with Specialized Turbo Levos, are currently the most sought-after bikes at Cycle 360. Interestingly, I had a customer recently who initially intended on purchasing a hardtail mountain bike, but who ended up leaving with a full-suspension e-bike!
Cycle 360: Can you share any interesting or heartwarming customer stories that you’ve experienced while working here?
Craig: One particularly heartwarming experience was when a customer came in with a set budget, seeking a bike to lose weight and find happiness. After spending time assisting him, he ended up financing the purchase of a Specialized Levo SL, a top-of-the-line bike that perfectly suited his needs. Another delightful moment occurred when a man purchased a Specialized Turbo Levo SL and was so impressed that his wife returned the next day to order one for herself!
Cycle 360: What’s your personal favourite item on the cafe’s menu, and why do you love it?
Craig: I have a few favourites on the Cycle 360 cafe menu. For a sweet treat, I usually go for the millionaire shortbread. As for meals, I often opt for the sandwich of the week, which I then have for the entire week. I also enjoy the veggie scramble.
Cycle 360: How many free coffees a day?!
Craig: I usually have about 2 to 3 free coffees a day – one in the morning around 10ish, one at lunch, and occasionally another in the afternoon. My go-to is an Americano with milk.
Cycle 360: Are there any events that the shop and cafe regularly host to engage with customers?
Craig: Absolutely! We have our monthly Coffee Club rides, which are open to anyone interested. These rides take place every third Sunday of the month, and participants get to enjoy an hour-long road ride, followed by a (free!) relaxing coffee on the cozy sofas in the Cycle 360 cafe.
Cycle 360: As a staff member, what kind of customer feedback do you find most rewarding to receive?
Craig: The most rewarding feedback is when customers try out a bike and find that it perfectly aligns with their expectations and lifestyle. Knowing that we’ve helped them find the right fit is incredibly satisfying.
Cycle 360: How would you describe the overall atmosphere and vibe of Cycle 360’s bikeshop and cafe to someone who’s never been here before?
Craig: Cycle 360 is a bustling and lively place with a constant flow of diverse people – all ages, and even dogs – coming through the door. It’s always abuzz with activity, and there’s a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that makes everyone feel at home. It’s difficult to capture the essence of Cycle 360 in words, I often send friends and family back home Cycle 360’s Instagram profile, as it offers a glimpse of the vibrant ambiance.
Cycle 360: Lastly, if you could sum up your experience working at Cycle 360 in just a few words, what would you say?
Craig: It has been a significant learning curve, from mastering cycling technology to embracing Manx culture. I love being around enthusiastic cyclists and the constant energy that comes with working at Cycle 360. And when it comes to the difference in culture, I do find myself concentrating hard on the Manx accent sometimes!
Time for a quick fire round now!
Cycle 360: Tea or coffee? Craig: Coffee
Cycle 360: Sea or mountains? Craig: Sea
Cycle 360: Mountain bike or road bike? Craig: Mountain
Cycle 360: Kids movie or scary movie? Craig: Kids movie!
Cycle 360: Beer or wine? Craig: Both!
Cycle 360: Vacay or staycay? Craig: Staycay
Cycle 360: Eating out or cooking at home? Craig: Eating out
Cycle 360: Summer or winter? Craig: Summer 🙂
You can check out more Spotlight blogs on Team 360 members here.