Retired Olympic star Sir Chris Hoy said he sacrificed short term financial gain by delaying the arrival of his HOY Bikes range until after the London Olympics, so he could devote more time to the project. The six-time Olympic gold medal winner said the bikes could have been in stores before the 2012 Games, where he took two golds.
“It’s been exciting,” said Hoy, who visited the south-west of England yesterday. “It’s been a long time coming and I’ve worked really hard on it and these guys [Evans Cycles] have too. The first time I went past an Evans store and saw my big beautiful face there and then the bikes next to it, it was brilliant.
“We could have rushed it through and got them out before the Olympics, which would have been the short term, financially successful thing to do, but I wanted to be able to commit to it the way that I have done. I’ve got involved at every single stage and we’ve got a product that I’m really proud of. I’m looking forward to seeing people riding them in the streets.”
After visiting Bath, where he was greeted by hundreds of schoolchildren at the newly opened Odd Down Cycle Circuit, Hoy visited Cardiff. Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Glasgow are also on the agenda before he finishes off the tour in his home city of Edinburgh.
“But everywhere you go the energy and everybody enjoying it just carries you along,” he said. Asked what he wanted when he reached his home city, Hoy said “a bed”.
Hoy, 37, joked that his itinerary was more rigorous than anything the upcoming Tour de France could throw at a rider. Despite retiring in April the Scot said he was riding four times a week and going to the gym twice.
Evans Cycles’ chief executive Nick Wilson, accompanying Hoy on the tour, said a “few thousand” HOY Bikes have been brought into the country, but that the early objective is to get customer reviews of the bikes, not hit volume targets.