'Chief spoke' talks about new Orbital Cycling festival, BikeSoup and his own rides

In the saddle: Bikesoup’s Anthony Auty

BikeBiz: You’re throwing yourself behind a new cycling festival, tell us about Orbital:
Anthony Auty: The Orbital Cycling Festival – www.orbitalfestival.com – is over the weekend of July 26th to 28th – the weekend after the Tour de France. It’s going to be at the iconic Goodwood Motor Circuit and will focus on road and track racing with lots for families and kids to do. And there’ll be camping for all. Having worked on Bike Blenheim Palace, we wanted to deliver an event with a much closer link between rider participation and the trade expo. Our focus at Orbital is all about visitor containment and engagement. Hosting events where riders disappear for five or six hours is not the most compelling for exhibitors. Initial reaction to Orbital has been fantastic.

How can exhibitors interested in being there get in touch?
Easy, drop me an email to aa@bikesoup.co.uk or give a call on 07920 008824. Have a look at the Exhibitor Pack on – http://orbitalfestival.com/orbital-cycling-festival-exhibitors/ – and let me know how we can help. We’ll do all that we can to deliver a solution for all exhibitors, irrespective of size.

What bikes do you own?
I’ve got a Cannondale Jekyll which I ride on the South Downs and an ‘80s rigid fork Cinelli MTB I use to hack around the city. My waistline is telling me to pick up a road bike, so I’ll be getting one soon. Favourite places? Anywhere with a lovely view around the next corner and I enjoy riding fast around the city, or plodding along the Brighton seafront in the summer.

What’s the biggest rush achievable on a bike?
Downhill and out of control – road or trail.

What can Bikesoup do for the bicycle retailer?
Bikesoup can give the bicycle retailer a significant lift in web search traffic and motivated buyers that comes to the shop. We don’t take commissions and we don’t manage sales – my feeling is that bike buying is something best done in person, guided by an expert. Retailers also benefit from better local consumer visibility and dealers have always commented that Bikesoup listings bring new customers through the door. Our strongest hand at the moment is to new shops (or dealers without a website) and those will benefit most from a good online push from Bikesoup at very little cost.

Tell us about your role at Bikesoup:
I gave myself the informal role of chief spoke at Bikesoup and like anybody running a small business I get involved in all of the decisions about how we will develop. Our challenge for 2013 is turning Bikesoup into a marketplace that IBDs can’t afford not to have their bikes listed on. To date our product hasn’t been compelling enough to fully engage with time poor bike dealers – that situation will change in 2013 as we release new software with better functionality and integration.

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