2022 absolutely can do one.
I don’t often share my thoughts so bluntly, and if I’m honest, I mostly tend to sanitise each word that comes from my mouth.
This holiday season marks the end of year 3 since we launched Fustle to the public and it’s been both exciting and excruciating all at the same time.
As a small family business, we don’t really get the opportunity to separate our work from our life, and our life from our work. Would we change that given the chance…? Well that depends what day of the week you ask me that question!
Both my wife Julie and I have been involved in sports and in particular cycling, for as long as we care to remember, and to have carved out careers in that industry, for which we are extremely grateful, however, it’s somewhat of a double edged sword, when it comes to the whole ‘work/life balance’.
In an attempt to avoid this blog sounding unnecessarily doom and gloom, I do also feel extremely proud and grateful for many things that 2022 has delivered (in between the jabs to the jugular)
This year saw a shift to more domestic sales of our bikes, right here in Northern Ireland. It’s a country we are proud to inhabit and one of our core values has always been to try and contribute to, nurture and grow the cycling industry here, so to see our bikes rolling out the door without their carton, and being hung on the back of a new customers car or ridden away from our workshop is extremely rewarding.
This year saw us roll out a series of #fustlefamily ride outs and as numbers started to swell from one month to the next, it brought us so much joy and excitement to see these folk enjoying our bikes on the terrain that they have been painstakingly developed.
More importantly, we have discovered something totally unexpected and invigorating as we got to know each and every one of these magical misfits, each one as unique and interesting as the next.
If we have come to learn anything from 2022, it is that despite what is going on around us, going for a bike ride with friends, strangers or colleagues, can do wonders for your outlook on the day and bring you right back to that feeling of freedom and carelessness you had as a child. And if you ask me, that’s what life is missing some times.
I’m not ashamed to tell you that 2022 was our worst performing year yet, as we encountered stock shortages, delays, higher costs for virtually everything that goes into bicycle production and business, yet… I am sitting here writing this, with a cautiously optimistic feeling that no matter what challenges may face us in 2023, it’s nothing that a few skids, a muddy face and a coffee stop with friends won’t fix.