I shall start by saying that I don’t often spend money on ‘stuff’.

By ‘stuff’, I mean ‘gadgets’.

Admittedly, I play a bit of golf and occasionally buy new equipment for it, but it has been ingrained in me, by my wife and my 2 children, that any nice things that are purchased are to be shared by ‘the 4 of us’, or, of course, any of the aforementioned as individuals. I wouldn’t be so selfish as to transact at any meaningful level for myself exclusively, without expecting some form of backlash. I may enjoy my daily £3.50 flat whites in my favourite café, but anything north of £100 requires a meeting in the kitchen, where some seriously contemplative questions are inevitably asked, mainly by the opinionated 9 year old member of the advisory board.

Things changed during lockdown.

Maybe it was the round-the-clock involuntary family time. Maybe it was the fact that money was hard to spend, and looking online at things you didn’t know you wanted became a pleasant way of killing an hour or two. Maybe, and more likely, it was that I was getting on my wife’s nerves, and she was desperate for me to do something which didn’t involve her having to listen to me complaining about something business-related, on some pointless Zoom call, to someone who felt the same.

My first purchase, rather excitedly, was a Peloton. I was egged on by a few mates who were showing off about what an amazing piece of kit it was. As a marketing bloke, I was instantly sold on the brand, the look-and-feel of the adverts, and the sheer quality of the website. I am so into analysing brands that I think I ended up buying it because I liked the check-out page functionality and tone of voice employed by Peleton’s marketing team, and not because I had seriously considered the health benefits of buying a stationary bike, plus all the branded extras, including, but not limited to, Peloton shoes, Peloton water bottle, Peloton weights, Peloton heart monitor, and of course, the obligatory Peloton t-shirt.

By way of a short review of Peloton, I would say it’s revolutionary. Its technology is superb. Its staff are brilliant. You can ride with your Peloton ‘friends’, you can stalk the data of your Peloton enemies, and you can analyse and see genuine improvement in your performance and fitness in no time. It was a brilliant buy.

I have now converted my garage into a mini-training facility (another lockdown measure) and the Peloton sits there, looking resplendent. Some weeks I use it nearly every day. Some weeks I don’t use it at all. Whatever my usage metrics are at any one time, I certainly don’t regret a penny of that purchase, or the ongoing subs that make Peloton a potentially world-beating business model.

Take my money.

40 Peleton rides later, worryingly, I felt I was in the midst of a lockdown meltdown. Cabin fever. After much consideration, I felt it necessary that I should acquire a ‘real’ bike, one that actually leaves the vicinity of my house when I pedal at 20mph.

It was at this time that an old friend of mine told me she was peddling (excuse the pun) these trendy hybrid electric bikes, and maybe it would interest me in borrowing one for a few days.

I’ve realised that I’m very easy to sell to.

One look at this bike, and the subsequent rides that I went on that weekend, resulted in me signing on the dotted line.

The bike is called Synch.

It can last all of 50 miles on a 5-hour fast charge, travelling at speeds of up to 16 mph, with a 5-speed system. It’s an urban electric bike with a unique retro look.

I’m not a man that enjoys drawing attention to myself on the roads. I drive a white Smart Car, and have done for years. I drive a Smart because it ‘does the job’. I can park it on pavements and evade confused traffic wardens. It’s great on fuel. Strategically, it enables me to duck out of any annoying ‘lifts’ that involve distributing large things that require a decent sized boot, without recompense. ‘Sorry pal, I drive a Smart Car’ is a line I have used countless times over the years. Quite often, it’s just me in the driver’s seat, and my golf clubs in the passenger seat – we’re quite happy flying under the radar, and going about our business around town.

The same cannot be said of the Synch. Everywhere I go, I get stopped by passers by, tourists, fellow cyclists, joggers, old people, young cool kids on skateboards, you name it. This thing has cross-generational, and cross-market appeal. I feel like a celebrity of sorts. As Bournemouth is such a small place, and my routes are very consistent, I have started recognising my fans, giving them a wave, and trying not to fall off my bike whilst doing so.

It has also changed my daily routine. I now get up at 6.30am, get a podcast downloaded, jump on the Synch, and head down to the beach in Bournemouth, up to Sandbanks, and back to Bournemouth. It takes me about 30 minutes usually, and when I get home, I feel energised. The ride gives me the headspace to have a good think about the day ahead, get some fresh sea air, and most importantly, given the nature of an electric bike, enjoy the ride itself.

I am often enjoying the ride so much, gazing out to sea, that I lose track of my time and pace. It’s not uncommon for me to be overtaken by 80 year olds on their ‘normal’ bike, who are obviously out there to give themselves, and their heart, a morning pounding. I have found that it’s hard to compete with the levels of dopamine released when I push a few buttons and, without exerting any extra force, overtake them again with effortless ease. I don’t even look back to check the astonishment on their face, or if they’ve been derailed by the invisible wake created by my Synch. I feel entitled to come first, owed to superior technology. Better luck next time, grandma.

After extolling the virtues to anyone that will listen, quite a few of my friends have been trialling the Synch recently, as the company is based in Poole, and Chris, the owner, is very accommodating. You can hire Synch’s from a few places in Sandbanks and take them out on an hourly rate too.

I’d recommend buying one – it looks great parked up next to my Peloton. I often just stand there, looking at my self-indulgent purchases, and thanking my lucky stars that lockdown happened, enabling me to get my average transaction value up, without any fallouts within the camp.

My Synch was £1,600.

The good news is, you can get 10% off if you send me an email. I’ll put you in touch with Chris and his team personally.

You won’t regret it.

Josh

Email: josh@joshuasimons.co.uk

Learn more about Synch bikes > https://synchgo.com/

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