How times change
Day one of the shop was 1st December 1981. Nearly
two weeks after our very first bike sold
on 13th December 1981. Karen Fallaize was our
first bicycle buyer. Now Karen Despres, wife of Nick Despres
and mother of Heather both prolific cycling Hillclimb specialists.
Nick is the record holder of climbing the Val des Terres by
bicycle of 1 minute 42.6 seconds which he set in 1991. Heather is
current Age Group National Hillclimb Champion crowned in October
From those early days the shop has three distinct phases each of
1981 - 1991
This decade was reknowned mostly for the UK minors' strikes,
blackouts, hyper inflation, interest rates and mass
The shop opened initially as "Cycle Shop" and Ian Brown was
recruited by owner Phil Dupre to become the first manager. At the
time Ian was the best known local cyclist although that was not too
difficult as the standards of cycle racing in Guernsey were no
where near what we have become accustomed to in more recent
Within two years Ian Brown became sole director and owner and
the shop became Ian Brown's Cycle Shop.
By the end of this decade Ian had been to two Commonwealth Games
representing Guernsey at Road Racing in Edingburgh, Scotland 1986
and Auckland, NZ in 1990. Ian was also riding regularly for Great
Britain during 1989 and 1990. To enable Ian to continue riding at
this level first his mum Jean joined the firm and then his wife Jan
1991 - 2001
The business benefitted greatly from the mountain bike
phenomenon during this period. The next full time employee was
Shaun Sarre, recruited in 1994 as full time mechanic soon followed
by Simon Harrison as extra mechanic. Paul Brehaut made the full
time workforce up to six in 1996 as salesman.
Also in 1996 Ian purchased Moullins Cycle Shop from Roger Le
Huray and moved Ian Brown's Cycle Shop to Route Militaire to make
way for Moullins to move to the Les Banques premises. As the sales
of mountain bikes continued to grow the next big step was to set up
a cycle shop in Jersey. With Channel Island exclusivity on brands
of Marin, Specialized, Giant and Cannondale these became available
at Mark Pickford's Cycle Shop, La Motte Street, St Helier, Jersey
from May 1999.
2001 - 2011
Ian Brown's Cycle Shop and Moullins needed to consolidate
following a period of lengthy road closures along Route Militaire
in 2000 and 2001. In 2002 the two Guernsey shops combined
and relocated back to the Les Banques premises where it all began
in 1981 and back to those superb views over the Little Russell to
the other islands in the distance. It has been said that our shop
has possibly the best view of all cycle shops in the UK. It is easy
to take for granted but a fabulous tonic to see whatever the
2002 - 2005 was a period of recovery and reinvention at Ian
Brown's. The consolidation of two shops into one was ultimately the
only way forward but we didn't have time to plan for this.
Consequently we spent three years rationalising the stock and the
brands. We retained only the strongest ones. Specialized, Marin,
Giant and Cannondale are brands that we had already been dealing
with since the eighties and remain the core of our business to this
day. Added to this was Raleigh which we retained from the days when
we purchased Moullins.
Since 2005 the business has gone from strength to strength as
more people are attracted to the many forms of cycling. Whether for
fitness, for environment, for health or for sport there are many
more cycling enthusiasts in Guernsey than at any stage previously.
In 2008 Ian Brown's Cycle Shop and Mark Pickford's Cycle Shop
separated amicably and so a full circle has been completed with Ian
Brown's Cycle Shop back to the one shop at one location where it
all began in 1981.
In 2008 Paul Brehaut became a fellow director at Ian Brown's and
together we are looking ahead to the future and helping
our customers to get the very best of cycles and cycling. Damien
Larkin joined our sales team in 2010 as full time members of staff.
We also get good support from Neil Ridley.