Charlie the bikemonger…rings a bell?
Well, there is quite a high chance that you have either come across this name yourself previously, or if not, I am pretty sure that at least one of your cycling friends did. Just in case you might have to admit that you haven’t heard this name for whatever reason, Don’t panic! I will try to get you up to speed.
Charlie Hobbs, the personified Bikemonger, pops up as contributor of quality write ups in the Singletrack magazine, you might know him as the man behind the infamous Dorset Gravel Dash, you might have applied one of his products to the more sensitive parts of your body (The beautifully soothing Happy Bottom Bum Butter) or a combination of all the above. We visited his”damned fine bike shop” down South.
I recently spent some time in Swanage and I would have been a fool not to try to snoop around to find out what he is up to nowadays and to see what the head quarter looks like. Charlie does most of his business online, so you would not expect a fully fitted bike shop which it is not really (in the traditional sense of how a bike shop looks), but most importantly it holds a comfy sofa and you have access to fresh coffee. Not many products are on show, however you can collect your online purchases here. The space is filled with a whole lot of memories and bits and bobs he obviously has collected over the years during various bike adventures. It seems as if basically every little bit of decoration in Charlie’s place screams adventure and has its very own story to tell! A handful of off the beaten track adventure bikes were knocking about and were waiting to get fixed by the monger himself.
Charlie is a great guy. To be honest we had a very limited amount of time and we just popped in to say hello but ended up actually staying a while! We got given a teeny tour around the bikemonger premises where he pointed out some of his favourite souvenirs (like the bearded duck from Arizona). We heard a lot of really interesting stories about Charlie’s time in the US and also how he came to the idea to start the brand “Happy Bottom Bum Butter”… while drinking Gin with friends….who would have thought?!
I was lucky enough to get a sample of Bum Butter that I happily used on a couple of rides since…what can I say… my bum has never been happier.
Best is you go to visit him yourself when you are next in the area around Swanage. It’s worth it and then you will definitely know who he is.
You can find the shop just off the High Street in Swanage. You don’t really have to search hard, it will be right there, right around the corner of the Black Swan pub.
Charlie the Bikemonger’s website: http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Charlie.The.Bikemonger
Get your Bum Butter here: http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/happy-bottom-bum-butter-vegan-cycling-chamois-butter-6781-p.asp