INTERVIEW: Rowan Mackie, Magdala Media

Just one month till the debut Scottish Bike Show

This year the bicycle show scene is positively thriving, with multiple new events cropping up for trade and consumers alike. And for what is probably the first time, Scotland is getting its very own cycle event in the appropriately named Scottish Bike Show, taking place on the weekend of April 16th to 17th.

Originally set to take place in May, the debut event was brought forward to April to avoid a clash with the Highland Perthshire Cycling Festival. At time of press there is already a respectable list of exhibitors signed up to the inaugural event from all over the UK, including the North and South of England, and international exhibitors from Austria and Italy, including Continental tyres, Tuscany Bike Tours and Tirol Austria. There are a good number of other exhibitors too, including Cycling Scotland, Singletrack, Dig, IMB and many more, including Scotland-based retailers and bike firms like Alpine Bikes.

It could be argued that there has never been a better time for such a show to launch too, with mountain biking now on the curriculum (currently being trialled in schools across seven Scottish councils) and the small matter of the bid for the country to host the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2017.

So it’s good to be in the Scottish bike industry at the moment? Show organiser Magdala Media’s founder Rowan Mackie thinks so: “Money is being spent on all manner of new developments in road and MTB and the fact that Glasgow is hosting the 2014 Commonwealth games doesn’t hurt either. Needless to say when you have the likes of Sir Chris Hoy et al representing our fine nation in cycling it’s a good time right now.”

So perhaps it’s little wonder that Mackie thinks it’s high time for a Scottish Bike Show to arrive: “Scotland has been without a show for too long now and it’s cherry ripe to do it this year because all forms of cycling are becoming more mainstream. There needs to be representation from the Scottish angle because we aren’t represented down south in the existing cycling events in any great capacity. So the event offers the ideal showcase in the central belt of Scotland.”

The show is to take place in Glasgow’s SECC, one of the top three venues in the UK, according to Mackie. “It’s accessible, in the central belt of Scotland and is an award-winning venue. So it makes sense to set the precedent that this is a serious show with the best facilities available.”

Take the high road
While Scotland may naturally conjure up images of mountain biking for many, the Scottish Bike Show is taking care to appeal to all parts of the market, a fact exhibited not least of all in its recent announcement of a significant BMX feature.

Mackie says this is a sign of the inclusive spirit of the burgeoning event: “The way the show is now, there is a lot of diversity in terms of brand representation for all sectors of the bike trade. This is going to grow right up to a week or so prior to the event. All aspects are pretty much covered in display and product and the BMX display is going to be, I have been told, amazing.”

It’s early days for sure, but hard to resist asking how Mackie forsees the show developing over the years. He tells BikeBiz: “This has to be an annual event. This year is looking to be a great show and there is so much scope to develop it into one of the leading consumer events in the UK – why not? We have the infrastructure, environment and talent up here in abundance, so there is no reason why TSBS couldn’t be a regular in everyone’s calendar. Eurobike watch out!”

The enthusiastic Mackie concludes: “We are excited, our exhibitors are excited, so I hope everyone has a great time and the first show is a great experience for everyone.”

Pic credit: Andy McCandlish

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