A Year of Highs and Lows
For many, 2020 is a year to scratch from the books. From the havoc of the pandemic on families and communities, to the harsh realities of the financial impact we have all felt, it has been a pretty tough year.
To add salt to the wound, the recent UK Government guidance has left many festive plans scuppered. It's not the Christmas many of us had hoped for.
But with many positives to focus on from the past 12 months it's not all doom and gloom. We've been reminded of the importance of looking after ourselves and our planet, as well as the value of exercise on our physical and mental health. We saw a boom in cycling during lockdown - an increase of up to up to 300% at times. Many have switched from public transport to two wheels. There's been an increased use, and acceptance, of low traffic neighbourhoods. And new Government spending has been allocated to cycle highways and infrastructure.
As Chris Boardman said of the Government’s plan: “This is the biggest step forward for active travel that I have seen in my lifetime. For the past few months, we’ve effectively had a global consultation by turning off traffic overnight and by doing this we showed that people will choose to ride bikes when they feel safe.”
For Austin Cycles, the year presented its own challenges as demand far out-paced supply with production disrupted around the world. That said, we've done all we can to make sure we're able to get as many bikes to customers as possible ahead of Christmas. This week saw record numbers of bikes heading out the door of our new distribution centre in London. More ATTO's on the streets means more people choosing cycling - a true measure of success for us.
And it's not just on the UK streets either, with new customers turning to the ATTO from Australia, Singapore, Japan, Dubai, Canada and the U.S. joining those around Europe already riding with us.
Onwards and Upwards in 2021
From the 1st of January we go again. A whole new year of opportunity. And an exciting year ahead for the team, and for all.
We've got new retail partnerships just around the corner, something that will continue to enable additional testing of our bikes, as well as new colours and partnerships too.
We are also exploring new distribution partnerships into international markets to bring the pleasure of riding an ATTO to many more cyclists around the world.
With more people cycling, more of a spotlight on cycle safety than ever, and some big steps forward with cycling infrastructure in the pipeline, we can look ahead to the next 12 months with hope and expectation.