Cycle friendly Wetherspoons

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Sweep
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Re: Cycle friendly Wetherspoons

Postby Sweep » 31 Jan 2019, 4:39pm

mm

I'm not sure mjr understands the term "friendly".

Remembering.

I used to lead a hell of a lot of rides for a London cycling group -usually trips off into the countryside.

I would always reccie the rides, one to check that I wasn't going to get lost, but also to find a good pub stop for lunch. The criteria for this (me being me) was first that they had good beer, then food at a reasonable price or at least with low cost options (as we wanted a broad range of folk on the rides and I wanted to avoid the experience with one fellow leader who once took us to an expensive gastropub with portions than wouldn't fuel a gnat through the afternoon) and - and I now remember using this term at ride planning meetings - that the pub was "cyclist friendly".

This basically meant that the landlords wouldn't get sniffy at our presence and that we had somewhere handy to put the bikes where they would be secure/and or in sight. The ideal was that the pub had an open access garden but other features were also considered friendly - bike secure, bike in sight, willingness of landlord to let us carry the bikes (wheels off floor) through the pub to a rear area. And on that last basis the revered Dog and Bell in Deptford, a pub with no racks at all of its own, was so cycle friendly it was for years used as the basis for many a london cyclist planning and social event.

In fact now as I remember I remember selecting a spoons in Oxted (we rarely went to spoons as our rides were very rural) where we could see the bikes locked to sheffield stands (publicly provided) through the pubs large windows.

Folk were always happy with the pubs I selected on this definition of "cycle friendly".

And my first post made it clear what I considered cycle friendly features.

It seems that instead I should have been sending the friendly landlords close typed questionnaires about their compliance with the 2007 Norfolk Parking Standards. The Dog and Bell would have failed miserably.

And as for the charge that spoons >> instead of endlessly ducking them by taking over old buildings (King's Lynn, Downham Market, ...)

I am at a loss to see how anyone could object to old buildings being kept in use as public facilities.

And thanks mjr for reminding me about Downham Market, for once spring returns I intend, in a friendly kind of way, to pedal off to that nice part of the country. Will of course report back.
Sweep

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mjr
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Re: Cycle friendly Wetherspoons

Postby mjr » 31 Jan 2019, 6:11pm

Sweep wrote:And my first post made it clear what I considered cycle friendly features.

And no discussion or dissent is allowed, eh?

It seems that instead I should have been sending the friendly landlords close typed questionnaires about their compliance with the 2007 Norfolk Parking Standards. The Dog and Bell would have failed miserably.

Who needs an quesionnaire if you're visiting? What kind of bonkers bureaucrat are you?

Personally, I think country pubs could be held to a lower standard simply because there's a lower risk of bike thieves at them - but interestingly, Norfolk doesn't, so we get good the same great parking at new trip attractors built out in the villages too.

And as for the charge that spoons >> instead of endlessly ducking them by taking over old buildings (King's Lynn, Downham Market, ...)

I am at a loss to see how anyone could object to old buildings being kept in use as public facilities.

Of course that's not the objection! :roll:

It's that they're not friendly because they could very cheaply install decent cycle parking voluntarily during their renovations, but I've never seen W do it and because it's an old building, they don't need planning permission and so aren't required to. The local ones have yards or gardens, but the gates stay shut - a big locked gate ain't friendly IMO. YMMV. Wetherspoons - doing the bare legal minimum.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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MrsHJ
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Re: Cycle friendly Wetherspoons

Postby MrsHJ » 31 Jan 2019, 6:28pm

Answering Swwep’s questions:

On pay, as I think at least one person has pointed out upthread, it has never been a well paid sector.

I think you declared upthread that him indoors is a publican so you may have a personal angle on this.

Outside London
? Yes

In the interests of transparency, can we ask what he pays his bar staff?: Above minimum wage and below living wage. He only can afford one member of staff these days (compared to the fully staffed kitchen and bar of say ten years ago). He currently earns below minimum Wage. He doesn’t share his political views in the pub and does not place literature in the pub (he’s a Labour Party Member). Nor does he expect his staff to either agree with him or to publicise any political matters.

And by the by, for my initial post made clear the reasons for my appreciation of them, what is his attitude to folks wandering in and plugging stuff into the sockets? : Fine if you are a customer. Loos also fine if you ask whether or not a customer. Bikes can go in the garage at the back as the pub lets straight onto the road

Does he have clearly visible free access water dispensers on the bar? : Not sure what clearly accessible means (as most pubs don’t have american style ice and water dispensers) but he’ll fill any bidons and provide iced tap water as required.

Is it a tied brewery house or a genuinely (and I stress that word) free house?: Genuinely free house, owned by him and his family since the mid eighties, and up for sale if you are interested. Annual winners of the local flower display award but the building is eitheenth century and listed and needs work.

As for chains, the brewery chains came close, amongst many misdeeds, to having a very good go at killing the British pub and the beer within them: Indeed- his has been listed in CAMRA (his beer standards are very high but stopped being listed when he stopped rotating the beers - basically as the customer base has declined he has narrowed what he serves to manage the inventory), also listed in one of the French guides- I think the routard.

For it was no golden (ale) age: Interesting-camra helped but broadly the beer regs didn’t. A lot of breweries haven’t done brilliantly by their tenants (although some are good). There has been a big change in lifestyles and incomes recently meaning that the mid market pub is really struggling. Ideally someone will turn this one back into a hotel as it used to be (it’s a listed town house style pub) as I think him indoors has lost the energy to do it. The pub does really home made food, has excellent, well kept and local beer, a log fire and no political agenda and due to the interests of the landlord a good wine list.
Last edited by MrsHJ on 1 Feb 2019, 3:02am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cycle friendly Wetherspoons

Postby Bmblbzzz » 31 Jan 2019, 7:51pm

al_yrpal wrote:
mjr wrote:
al_yrpal wrote:
No, they dont apply in Berkshire :lol:

Of course, which is why they don't. But if the business was "cycle friendly", they'd surely meet such a minor standard for cycle parking without being forced to.


ALL of these pubs are located straight onto the pavement. There simply isnt room to put in cycle racks outside, its a common problem and applies to many other similarly situated pubs too. I always ask to be allowed to park my bike safely inside and the answer has always been yes. Thats why I regard all our local Wetherspoons as cycle friendly. With other local pubs being small and pokey I dont think I would get such positive cycle friendly treatment. Perhaps its a directive from Tim at the top. He seems to have created a vast chain of profitable pubs with a winning formula?

Al

Arguably they meet 5 of the 9 location requirements by simply being inside the pub building: near to entrance, weather protection, visible and attractive, passing surveillance, well lit. Probably many 'Spoons have CCTV too.

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Re: Cycle friendly Wetherspoons

Postby al_yrpal » 3 Feb 2019, 4:18pm

Interesting article on Tim the guvnor of Wetherspoons in todays Sunday Times. Walks a lot a drives a 7 year old Volvo, holdays in the Scillies and enjoys a pint and a newspaper in a non Wetherspoons pub. Claims to have quite simple tastes in spite of his wealth.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

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Sweep
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Re: Cycle friendly Wetherspoons

Postby Sweep » 11 Feb 2019, 10:42pm

Thanks for your honest replies up above MrsHJ.

Though as you - very honestly and I give you credit - highlight the spoons activists (and I wish them well) would have issue with your partner on the wages so I am a bit bemused by your upthread posting on the activists point on wages.

I saw your other post which you deleted and I totally understand why you did - and empathise.

Very tough for pubs the last few years - a fair few of the nice pubs I used to lead riders to have gone.

Though I must say that I don't think spoons can be blamed for this situation - several other factors which I am sure I don't need to tell you about.

all the best

sweep
Sweep