What is the Bicycle Association
The Bicycle Association (BA) is the national trade association for the UK cycle industry. Join the Bicycle Association:
• For member benefits vital to your business
• To access groundbreaking industry market data
• To shape advocacy focussed on growth
Our members include around 100 of the cycling industry’s most influential and ambitious companies, united to help the industry grow.
Meet the team
The Bicycle Association is managed by its Executive Director, supported by a team of experienced cycle industry professionals:
Steve has worked in and around cycling since 2005 when he ran Cycling England's £60m p.a. programme to promote cycling, including creating Bikeability - the modern Cycling Proficiency. Since then, he has also run a cycling-related consultancy and a social enterprise - the Electric Bicycle Network - introducing people to the delights of electric bicycles. Now as the Bicycle Association's Executive Director he's still working to get more people on bikes, and grow the cycling market in the UK.
Philip Darnton OBE
From 2005 to 2011 Phillip was the Chairman of Cycling England. He was awarded an OBE for his services to cycling in the New Year's Honours List of 2010. A former President and Executive Director of the Bicycle Association, Phillip continues to play a vital advocacy role.
Philip's grandfather started a bicycle factory, Comrade Cycles, that was continued by his father and became the second largest producer of bicycles in the UK. Philip is managing director of Schwalbe UK, distributors of Schwalbe tyres for the UK and Ireland.
Mark started attending meetings of the Bicycle Association in 1986, and has been a Board Director of the BA since 2000, in that time having various roles as Vice-President, President and Deputy President. He works with both Tern Bicycles and Bickerton Portables brands and spent much of his career trying to increase bicycle and eBike usage through advocacy.
Simon was the Group Cycling Director at Halfords and has worked for over 20 years in senior commercial positions at Asda, Argos, and 2 Sisters Food Group. Simon has led the development of the BA’s market data service since early 2018.
Peter is the BA Technical Director, running the technical advice service and providing support for members and liaison with Government on regulations, compliance, standards and best practice. He participates in cycle standards development at BSI, CEN and ISO, and works more widely to support the BA's advocacy at UK and international levels on matters affecting the industry. Peter also edits the BA's member newsletter and is content editor for this website.
Retail Trade Manager
Stephen was Commercial Director for Cyclescheme, the UK's largest Cycle to Work provider, moving into the sector from the FMCG market with 20 years experience with PepsiCo. Stephen is working with the Bicycle Association to support and drive new initiatives to support the industry.
Alec Seaman is the Bicycle Association's lead on issues around sustainability. The author of a research paper examining sustainability in the cycling industry and of think pieces published on the BA website, Alec also represents the BA at a European level as a founding member of the CONEBI-CIE Corporate Social Responsibility Expert Group.
David Middlemiss spent nine years in senior roles in the automotive fuel industry, before a shift in 2008 to a teaching fellowship at the University of Exeter. In 2011 he led the rebranding of Rutland Cycling alongside his wife Sally, culminating in an MBO, equity investment and his seven-year spell as CEO, which saw Rutland Cycling's turnover grow from £10m to £35m and from four shops to 14. David will be supporting the BA's offer to and representation of IBDs, especially via the BA's flagship Trade Network and Market Data Service programmes.
A Bit of History
In 1910, the company's name was changed to 'The Cycle and Motorcycle Manufacturers and Traders Union Ltd'. Membership included all the principal British manufacturers of two and three-wheeled vehicles (bicycles, mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, sidecars and three-wheelers) as well as manufacturers of components, accessories and specialist clothing, and the UK concessionaires for imported products in those fields.
Further name changes occurred in 1920, when the company became 'The British Cycle and Motor Cycle Manufacturers and Traders Union Ltd', and again in 1956 when it became 'The British Cycle and Motor Cycle Industries Association Ltd'.
In July 1973, because of the diverging needs of the bicycle and motor cycle industries, the Cycle and Motor Cycle Association was split into two separate, autonomous bodies, the Bicycle Association of Great Britain (BA) and the Motorcycle Industries Association (MCIA).
Today the Bicycle Association boasts over 70 members and is at the centre of the UK cycle industry.
Mission & Strategy
- Securing a strong, united and influential industry
- Giving every child the opportunity to cycle
- Making cycling an everyday choice.
Every BA activity is driven by one or more these pillars, and to ensure our focus is relentlessly on activities with member benefit, all activity must also be unique (something the industry can deliver collectively which others advocating for cycling cannot) and measurable. It must also either directly drive members’ businesses and profits, or have long-term strategic value.
Please do contact us for full details of the BA’s strategy, and how your company can benefit from membership.
Our advocacy work
- Our aim: to grow cycling
This will get more people on bikes. Everyday cycling trips - for ‘transport’- is the growth segment.
- Our representation: the whole UK cycle industry
We speak with one voice. We are a non-profit group, with no commercial interests.
- Our target: Westminster and Whitehall
We are not a consumer-facing organisation. We don’t have the large financial resources necessary to promote cycling to the general public.
- Our focus: is on issues that only the BA can address.
We have partnerships with other groups - WACA; APPCG - and work closely with them. We don’t try to replicate the work that they do already.
- Our issues: the BA can advocate only for issues on which our members all agree.
But we can inform, advise and facilitate discussion on a wide range of topics.
- Our stance: the BA makes well-reasoned proposals as advocates
We do not lobby or seek or take funds from government or third parties or any commercial interests.
- Our reputation: we aim to be objective, rigorous - that’s why reliable market data is key- and to be a critical and trusted adviser of government.
Code of Practice
Phillip Darnton, the BA's Chairman, explains:
"The Bicycle Association strives always to represent the best interests of the UK cycle industry – to government, stakeholders and the general public – with the highest standards of professionalism. It takes itself seriously, and expects to be taken seriously in return. We have set out a formal code of practice to which our members are committed. It embodies the professional standards to which we, and the whole industry, should be proud to adhere. The code is a straightforward, practical and tangible demonstration of our dedication to that professionalism in all our affairs. It underpins our advocacy work with government and other bodies, and it allows our members to make explicit their commitment to these shared professional business standards."
I need technical support, does the BA provide this?
Yes. The BA has a Technical Advisory Group, and also has a new technical advisory service available to members covering everything from support with regulations and standards to help with exports, testing, recalls and so on.
I’ve got a great idea for a cycle product, can you help?
I own a bike shop, can I join?
Yes, we have a number of retailer members, and your participation would be most welcome.
Will the Bicycle Association sponsor my event/bike ride/business idea?
The Bicycle Association uses its resources to engage in a major advocacy programme to grow cycling. We are not in a position to offer ad hoc support to individuals, businesses or organisations which we are already not in touch with. Sorry about that.
I have an idea for a bicycle business, can you help?
The Bicycle Association is a members' organisation and provides a support service for members only. Please consider joining.