Cycling has always been a big part of Carolyn's life, but after the birth of her four children she was struggling to find a solution to transport them all by cycle. After flying to Denmark in search of the perfect bike she decided to give up her corporate career and start a cycling business which now offers the largest selection of cargo bikes in the UK.
Carolyn Roberts said…
“My first memory of cycling is eagerly looking for bubbles in a bucket to fix a puncture with my Dad. As a teenager, before the invention of the internet and mobile phones, my bike was my transport to my social life. It was freedom. I hit the streets as the iconic Raleigh Chopper cruised into town.
“Later, with my husband, cycling was a key part of our lives. Every weekend and holiday involved cycling: from Purbeck to Cuba, we shared our love of cycling and tandems. With the arrival of children – four in total – this presented a new challenge. For one and two kids it was an easy fix, child seat then trailer, but by number three and four it was getting tricky. I spent many evenings exploring how to cycle with more than two children, but not many solutions seemed available in the UK.
“Looking for our perfect bike, we flew to Denmark and this was the key cycling change in my life. I gave up a corporate career with its smart suits, and Kids and Family Cycles Limited was born. We started with just one brand and have since imported many cycling solutions for families and businesses from around the world. Now we offer the best selection of cargo trikes in the UK, maybe even the world!
“When we started over 12 years ago, no one knew what a cargo bike was. The number of Google searches per month for cargo bikes was about 90 and there were very few retailers, and I was one of the first people to import these bikes. Operating in a niche and growing a market has been an exhilarating challenge and the market has now grown to over 7,000 Google searches per month.
“With four boys under the age of seven when I started Kids and Family Cycles, I am proud that I managed to juggle everything to grow our business and share my vast breadth and depth of cargo bike knowledge to help so many lovely cycling families and businesses to find the right solution.
I am also a great believer that, if we want to get more people cycling, then encouraging parents to cycle the school run is a perfect place to start. Parents are the best influencers for the next generation
“I am also a great believer that, if we want to get more people cycling, then encouraging parents to cycle the school run is a perfect place to start. Parents are the best influencers for the next generation. In Demark, 25% of families are likely to own a cargo bike at some point in their lives.
“The UK is now accepting of cargo bikes on our streets for family and business transport. This is partly due to the hard work and beliefs of the first UK cargo bike retailers. I have been on cycling panels, worked with local councils, featured in The Telegraph and even defended cargo bikes on BBC Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine as a guest speaker, but I still have much work to do!
“I also love supporting Cycling Without Age and Empowered People, both designed to extend the joy of cycling to the elderly and those with disabilities.
“Everyone deserves to feel the wind in their hair!”
Carolyn Roberts was nominated for the 100 Women in Cycling by her son Ralph who said:
“I'm nominating Carolyn because she's inspired and enabled countless mothers across the nation to be able to cycle the school run with their children.
"She's worked tirelessly over the last 10+ years setting up and running a cargo bike shop that was one of the first importers of cargo bikes back in 2008 and now sells the largest range of cargo trikes.
"As her son I've seen how confidently she helps other mothers feel at ease on a bike and the unrelenting work ethic she's dedicated to cycling.
"I've seen her show an incredible range of skills from marketing and sales to electrical and mechanical which has allowed her to get people cycling in a way few others can.
"Whether it's appearing at cycle fairs and charity rides or travelling to people's own homes to help them be sure the bike is right for them, I believe she should be recognised for the amount of work she's done and the number of lives she's touched.
"On top of all that what inspires me most about her is how she's balanced running her business with being a great mum to four boys, which at times seems pretty close to having two full-time jobs.
"As someone who has experienced the joy of riding in a cargo bike from ages 8 to 10, I'm sure what she's done will help spread cycle-positivity not just to adults but to all their children too.”