Bike peddler goes about cycle businessA life spent on bikes and about bikes business has led John Yeomans to conclude ”it has been a good one,” he tells Sportslink Editor Maggie Coleman
As company director of the fabulously-named Bicycle Peddler, supplier of international brand accessories and nutrition based in Melbourne, Yeomans has enjoyed an adventurous life which has seen him “achieve so much in business and sport.”
The company has now moved into the wider general sports and active lifestyle area of the market with the 2015 acquisition of Bottles Plus, the company which handles retail sales and enquiries for ACT-based drink bottle producer Bottles of Australia and an area which Yeomans sees as having huge potential.
Bicycle Peddler is a family company, with Yeomans’ son-in-law Andrew Parker handling operations, son Dean Victorian sales, daughter Rebecca as accounts manager and wife Carol in accounts, and one of the secrets of its success, he says.
Another is “ that I have had a lot of luck, I like talking to people and I enjoy sales.”
And he loves bikes!
John Yeomans took up cycling at the age of 16, “after discovering that he was too small to play cricket.”
The youngest of ten children and left motherless at nine days old, he has always loved a life of adventure and this came fast as he took up racing, competiting in the 14-day Tour of Britain in 1969, racing in Belgium and competing in SunTours from 1974-76.
A member of the ProTour team in 1974 “ “I had my share of success,” he says And this includes gold and silver medals in the Masters Games in 2002.
But even star cyclists need a way to pay the bills so Yeomans was recruited to the pharmaceutical industry in the 1970’s and having discovered his talent for sales, rose through the ranks to national sales manager of big name companies Roche and Fizons. “ Not bad for a boy who left school in year ten,” he says.
In 2005 it was time to return to his first love , bicycles, and the family opened one cycle shop in Sydney which grew to three.
Melbourne was calling them home and son Dean was racing, so it was back to the wholesale side of the bike industry and Bicycle Peddler was launched, selling a revolutionary taillight from the car boot.
Says Yeomans, “It was obvious that accessories and nutrition were a source of great potential and we have amazing brands and products, most from the USA.
These include Rocket tubes, the biggest selling inner tube and a major consumable for all cyclists, supplied in plastic bags which guarantees they are free from damage.
Also on the brand rollcall is Tifosi sunglasses, best selling in the USA, sport specific and available in a range of optical strengths, and Australian- developed and manufactured Premax anti-friction creams, massage oils and sunscreens.
Extensive range of sports nutrition products come from the 3Action brand, designed for cyclists and runners, and the accessories range of Planetbike “offers great growth potential”.
Other highlight brands are Boeshield T9 lubrication, Owleye Lights, Polar Insulated Bottles and Gloworm Rechargeable Lights, possibly the smallest, brightest lights going around!
And now there is the customised drink bottle brand, BoA which is well-known in the general sports industry for great design and functionality.
Most of the Bicycle Peddler brands are marketed across Australia and New Zealand except for Tifosi sunglasses which are distributed in NZ by Gloworm.
Says John Yeomans, “Bikes were my life and still are and while the cycle industry has changed much over the years, we have a special niche and a great future.
“It’s been a great life, hard work but a great life!”
• Pictured: John Yeomans winning a major race in Moorabbin in 1968, before setting off to compete successfully in Europe.