Name: Alex Jarvis
Job Title: Sales
Saddle Safari Employee Since: March 2017
Rides: Cube Stereo 140 HPA pro
Info: Alex joined us in March 2017 after leaving college. Interested in bikes for the last ten years he is a keen mountain biker and the king of Swinley Forrest. We will add some more information once he has been with us a bit longer.
Interesting fact: Alex can do a wheelie with no front wheel
Name: Matt Langridge
Job Title: Weekend staff
Saddle Safari Employee Since: 2013
Rides: Willier (road bike), Ridgeback (Hybrid), whatever else he can get his hands on!
Info: Matt is one of the most genuine people you’ll meet and when talking to him it’s evident just how much he loves cycling. With an addiction for self punishment, he regularly attacks the infamous Winter Hill. Rather than climb to the top and continue with his ride Matt prefers instead to head back to the bottom and tackle it another 6 times! This often takes place before most of us have managed to get out of bed!
Info: In his previous career Matt was a member of the Thames Valley Police. Along with a number of other interesting roles, he was one of only a small number of officers to be qualified in bicycle self defence. In short, he’s like Bruce Lee on wheels!
Name: Ben Drew
Job Title: Workshop Manager
Saddle Safari Employee Since: February 2013
Rides: Jawbone 24” jump bike, 1950 Dawes Aristocrat fixie/single speed
Info: As a highly skilled cycle mechanic, Ben was previously an instructor at the Cycle Systems Academy in London. Whilst there, he trained many other cycle mechanics from all over the UK. Behind his laid-back image Ben is an extremely professional individual, with an eye for detail. Outside of riding he enjoys Snow Boarding and is also a keen Drummer/singer.
Interesting fact: Ben is the founder of the Mountain Mulisha MTB Club. He previously set-up and ran his own successful bike shop in the south of England.
Many people may not realize that Saddle Safari originally opened in1993 as a small cycle hire business. Back then the focus was set purely on offering tourists and locals a simple and fun way of seeing this beautiful part of the world.
:Owner Andrew back in 1993. A young man with big plans!
With a modest budget and a lot of enthusiasm we took on Marlows ‘Old Slaughter House’ that had only stopped its business 6 months previously. Some original customers may even remember the shop in its original state with meat hooks hanging from the rafters. It came complete with a leaky roof and resident rats!
:An Inside view of the shop complete with hanging meat hooks!
Not long after, a friendly regular client showed interest in purchasing a pair of bikes. This subsequently proved to be a critical turning point in the direction of the business. Gradually we evolved into a traditional bike shop improving the shop with a window and ultimately the luxury of toilets and heating!
:A new Shop front was added to give Saddle Safari a more welcoming look.
As demand grew so did the need for staff . Sam was our first employee in 1994 followed by Mike in 1997. Dan, Mark and Bryn followed afterwards,Most of whom are still with us having at least 10 years of service. Our greatest asset is the experienced staff that we have managed to retain giving Saddle Safari a broader range of experience and expertise than almost any shop in the country. We are also a unique shop in that we have 4 members of staff qualified to Cyctech level 3, which is the top level of mechanical qualification in the country. Click the picture below a look at our staff profiles…
:The guys at the Brompton factory
As cycling has become increasingly popular we took the opportunity in 2012 to move location and expand the shop. We now enjoy a purpose built cycle shop on dean street around the corner from the old premises but with three times the space. The new shop benefits from a large professional workshop, a fantastic range of clothing and changing rooms and a bike fit area, all of these things allow us to offer a wider range of products and services however customer service is still the lynch pin of our shop and we look forward to greeting you soon.
Name: Barry the dog
Job Title: Shop dog
Saddle Safari Employee Since: 2012
Rides: Running alongside Andy’s trike
Info: Although Barry has a very limited knowledge when it comes to bikes, he more than makes up for it by sniffing random objects. He can often be found lounging in the sunny spot by the shop door or wandering about looking for affection from whomever is closest.
Interesting fact: Barry is a bit of a Casanova when it comes to furniture, cushions and peoples shins!!!
Name: Rory Wells
Job Title: Sales
Saddle Safari Employee Since: 2016 Part time
Rides: Trek Boone 7, Trek Madone custom build, Dolan DF3, LaPierre X control
Lives: Walters Ash
Info: Rory joined us after finishing at Loughborough University in 2016, He has been riding bikes for as long as he can remember and first started competing in mountain bike orienteering. Since then he has taken up racing in a number of different disciplines including Road, Time Trial, Track and Cyclo-cross, he can often be seen out on the lanes of the Chilterns or at local races in his bright purple university kit. Rory has competed with varying degrees of success in most different disciplines of cycling and is always excited by the chance to chat about new cycling equipment.
Interesting fact: Rory has spent the year working as a brand ambassador for 3T cycling.
Name: David Nally
Job Title: Sales Part Time
Saddle Safari Employee Since: 2016
Rides: Trek 1.1 Road Bike, Trek 3900 mountain bike
Info: Dave joined the shop in the summer of 2016. working at weekends around his time at school, Dave’s enthusiasm for bikes is instantly noticeable and very contagious. He can often be seen about the shop at the weekends pumping up tyres or checking over the bikes and he is always eager for a conversation about bikes.
Interesting fact: when pressed for an interesting fact about himself Dave’s response was “My ability with chopsticks” we keenly advise you to ask him about these mysterious skills
Name: Mark Wright
Job Title: Shop Manager
Saddle Safari Employee Since: 2003
Rides: Trek Superfly FS (MTB), Trek 2.3 (road bike)
Info: Aside from being one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, Mark is the front man in the shop and manages all of the
day to day activity. He has a background in FMCG sales, is a qualified water sports instructor. He still windsurfs regularly. Mark is trained in Bike-Fit and is also a keen motorcyclist.
Interesting fact: Mark purchases TV Chat EVERY week and has a personalised autograph from Ronnie Corbett!
Name: Michael McGrath
Job Title: Senior Mechanic
Saddle Safari Employee Since: 1997
Rides: Trek Fuel 100 with Alfina 8speed hub (MTB), Genesis Altitude (MTB)
Lives: Lane End
Michael came to work at Saddle Safari on Election Day 1997. He has a wealth of experience with bike tinkering and has been building his own bikes since he was a boy. He has a good historical knowledge of all types of bikes and is abnormally fast when riding downhill!
Interesting fact: Mike is somehow able to repair almost anything be it bike or non-bike related.
Name: Daniel Slyfield
Job Title: Web Manager, Mechanic,Seinior Sales, Bike fitter
Saddle Safari Employee Since: Full time since 2002, Part time since 1999
Trek Stash 8 (MTB), Trek Domane 5.2 (Road) Federal Ty Morrow (BMX), Echo Pure 26’’ (Trials bike), Inspired Fourplay 24’’ (Street trials bike), Pashley 26mghz (trials bike), Flyer Custom build (Fixie), Old SchoolBike (MTB)
Info: In-between other jobs Dan has worked at Saddle Safari since he did work experience whilst at school. He is a qualified Bike-Fitter and Cytech Level 1,2 & 3 mechanic, but has also taken over the Web/Online side if the shop. Dan is a passionate Trials and BMX rider and also teaches mechanical training for those wishing to learn more about their bikes. He has also travelled to every continent in the world (bar the poles!). Outside of the shop Dan also works as an international stage mechanic for Ride25 as they make their way around the world.
Interesting fact: In 2010 Dan was chief mechanic on the gruelling 3005 mile Race Across America (RAAM) for the Sir Steve Redgrave Team. This event is commonly known as the toughest cycle race on the planet!