A slightly higher than usual likelihood of rain has turned the UK from the world's foremost emerging cycling hotspot back into a nation of bus-riding sedentary couch potatoes, as bike sales plummeted this year thanks to the poorer summer weather.
The stats appeared in a financial update from hardware seller Halfords, the place where the mainstream user goes to buy bikes -- when the sun's out. Halfords said that its bike sales dropped by a huge 11 per cent in the eight weeks to August 28 when compared to sunnier 2014, as men left their lycra shorts in the wardrobe in favour of wearing onesies and drinking massive cups of cocoa on the sofa in front of Countdown while tweeting rude things to Rachel Riley.
That's a drop of 18,000 actual bike sales on the previous year, with the decline mainly coming at the cheaper end of the pricing scale and leaving its premium Boardman range untouched. Halfords explained: "The disappointing Cycling performance was primarily driven by mainstream bikes, as well as associated parts and accessories. We consider this to be principally market-driven, reflecting greater levels of discounting as well as poor weather deterring casual cyclists."