Charlie Departs Singletrack World To Spend More Time With His Bikes

by 54

So, I have decided to retire, really badly, because, quite simply:

It does not cost a lot to be poor and ride your bike all day.

2015, A Surly sticker

How I Ended Up Here

I’ve been riding bikes offroad since the 1970’s, then grew up a little bit. I wanted to work in the bike world but no one would employ me. So I started “Charlie The Bikemonger” as an ebay shop and eventually it became a high street shop pumping out singlespeeds, fat bikes and all kinds of cool niche stuff. I sold the business as part of successfully completing my marriage (aka divorce) and then joined Singletrack in 2019 where I have looked after their marketing and merchandising. 

Young Charlie and Olive at the Bikemonger shop.

What’s Next?

There are a lot of bums in the bicycle world and they won’t butter themselves. Happy Bottom Bum Butter is a very popular chamois cream, a significant sized business and keeps me fairly busy. Singletrack members will find a cool 25% discount code in the Singletrack Discounts portal.

bum butter eyes
Tonight Mathew I have bums in my eyes.

There is also the Lezyne Kinesis Dirt Dash bikepacking events that I run with round the world singlespeeder Markus Stitz which are expanding too with new events. Watch out for a turbo cool Yorkshire Coast event in 2024. Check out the short film below for a taste to bikepacking the Dirt Dash way.

Beyond Business

On the personal side, beyond work, I am leaving to spend more time with my bikes. I am going to get my dog a passport, make the most of my Brexit 90-day European allowance (I’m still bloody angry. The only country ever to introduce sanctions against itself!), load up the van, and then surf and play on bikes forever, or until I get too old, whichever comes first.

25 years ago… Centre page spread in the now defunct “Surf” magazine.

Yeah but you’re gonna miss Singletrack

Singletrack has been great. By far the best PAYE job I have ever had. I would encourage everyone to support Singletrack as one of the few remaining mountain bike media outlets. You really should be a subscriber (click here for subscription deals). They are a great bunch and I sincerely wish them a fun and successful future. 

I am going to miss Singletrack… the buzz of working in a newsroom, the turbo strength coffee, Benji’s slaying tech statements such as “bike design is just all bloody circles and triangles”, Amanda’s honest confessions (rabbit eggs?), Mark’s professional balancing act of being dead pro whilst knocking off early to go skateboarding. Hannah’s insightful and powerful opinions (Hannah is proofing this and suspects this is a euphemism). And the rest of the gang for doing what they do so well.

Do I Actually Ride A Bike?

It is true that I don’t ride as much as used to. But I am 51 years old so I don’t have to. It’s OK to take it easy and just please yourself. And it will please me greatly to get more riding in. Anyway, I have pulled together a wee gallery of me actually on or near bikes.

Last Words…

If I had to give you some advice, the first would be “Ask yourself… what if it all goes RIGHT?“. The second comes from a 1970’s surf film maker. These are very good words and have guided me for many years.

“People spend their lives pursuing things to make their lives better – but these thing are not better than life”

Albi Falzon introducing “Morning Of The Earth”.
Just be sure and tell ’em I’ll be alright

Have fun, ride bikes, stay rad, think it, feel it, ****ing do it.

Love is the answer.


Make Charlie’s Last Day A Nightmare

Charlie didn’t write this bit… If you’d like to make sure he’s really busy right up until the carriage clock presentation, go and order a few bits from the shop…

Join us

Full Subscriber Benefits

From unlimited access to content to discounts and offers on gear and services. All full membership comes with unlimited digital access & ad free website

This category can only be viewed by members. To view this category, sign up by purchasing Singletrack Membership.

Group Test: 29+ Mountain Bikes

We review three 29+ mountain bikes from Jones, Salsa and Trek. Are wagon wheelers here to…

How Does The Female Hormone Cycle Affect Cycling Performance? Part 1

Hormones, the ‘chemical messengers’ that tell our bodies what to do and when to do it,…

Singletrack Editors’ Choice Awards | Mark

Over the last year, our writers have tested a bucketful of bikes, a barn load of…

The 7 Top Apps That Will Make Mountain Biking More Fun, Safer, and Social

There’s an App for reminding you to drink enough water, there’s an App that can add…

Author Profile Picture
Charlie Hobbs

Merch & Marketing Manager at Singletrack

Grumpy, happy, hairy, overweight and awesome. I started riding offroad in 1978, and never stopped. I was once Charlie The Bikemonger, I invented orienBEERing, the Clunker Classic, and the Dorset Gravel Dash. I own the Bum Butter brand and I'm a co-owner of Dirt Dash Events. I also work at Singletrack, I have the self-appointed job title of "Overlord of the leftovers" and look after the merch shop, and marketing. Other interests include skateboards, surfboards, motorbikes, and cooking (I invented the Beefer Reefer).

More posts from Charlie

Search the forum using the power of Google

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)
  • Charlie Departs Singletrack World To Spend More Time With His Bikes
  • kayak23
    Full Member

    Oh no. Sorry to see you leave Charlie but you’ve clearly got exciting notions of things ahead.
    Best of luck for the future 😊👊

    Full Member

    It’s been a blast Charlie… Enjoy the new life fella.

    Full Member

    Sorry to see you go Charlie, All the best.

    Full Member

    Enjoy the next phase… I’m just a little bit jealous. I remember popping in to the shop in Swanage (12 or so years ago?) for a chainring and came out half an hour later with a chainring, a bunch of  ‘this machine kills facists’ stickers and a better outlook on life.

    Can you do one last sticker run before you let the door close behind you?

    Full Member

    Best of luck Charlie! Enjoy every minute of it!

    Full Member

    Welcome to the club Charlie – a wise person once said “you don’t defer retirement, you lose it” so I decided to quit while I could still do all the things that I spent my time at work wishing that I was doing.

    Full Member

    Good luck Charlie!

    Full Member

    Have fun out there 👍

    Free Member

    a wise person once said “you don’t defer retirement, you lose it”

    I like that

    Full Member

    Cheers Charlie, I’ll have a hipflask of something brutally awful on the bike ready for when I bump into you at some random event with other beardie buffoons on silly bikes.

    Big absinthe fuelled snogs


    Full Member

    Enjoy your next adventure Charlie. I’m sure you will be missed by STW but as you say “what if all goes right”. Peace.

    Full Member

    I had the pleasure of talking to Charlie at Mountain Mayhem, the first year it came back and he seemed like a thoroughly nice bloke. All the very best with your plans/non-plans.

    Full Member

    All the best Charlie!
    What about stickers? Your future must contains stickers! This sounds like a ‘hold my beer and watch this!’ moment 🙂
    Still using, 16yrs later, amongst many things bought from you, my Timbuk2 large commuting Rastafarian bag that you sold my mum who bought it for my Christmas many years ago. She phoned you up, unsure what colour to get, and you asked her “is your son a conservative guy?”… 😆

    Free Member

    Dammit, I want to retire….

    Have fun, ride bikes, stay rad, think it, feel it, ****ing do it.

    Love is the answer.


    Full Member

    Best of luck bumming about Charlie. Was a pleasure to chat with you a few years ago at Kendal Mountain Festival. May your merch be forever speedily dispatched.

    Full Member

    It’s OK to take it easy and just please yourself

    I’ve been doing that since I was a teenager….oh, wait..

    Good luck Charlie, sounds fab. My only claim to fame is having sat on that sofa in the Swanage shop (I think with a basset hound?) While you printed off some local routes for me on an old fashioned piece of paper

    Full Member

    Have a good one kiddo. See ya round.

    Full Member


    Life is too short not to make the most of it.

    Full Member

    I have never regretted retiring, there are lots more interesting things to do than work.

    Have fun.🙂

    Full Member

    All the best for the future Charlie!

    Full Member

    All the best wishes Charlie – good luck.

    ps. the pet passport is another Brexit casualty … don’t get me started!


    Free Member

    From Frizzell’s to Arse Butter millionaire (in pennies?). Enjoy it all. Still have a ‘toughen up princess’ sticker on my town bike.

    Full Member

    Good luck Charlie, have enjoyed your presence on here. Enjoy the biking retirement 

    Full Member

    Best wishes fella.

    Great comments on here too – may help push me to push the button on less working days and more playing days. (By coincide it was exactly what ai was talking about with the fella in my garden wielding a chainsaw on a tree for me, 10 mins ago as I took him a brew).
    Spooky !

    Full Member

    All the best Charlie, you only live once so you may as well enjoy it 👍

    Free Member

    My scars from the Clunker Classic still ache when it rains*.

    Enjoy the next stage Charlie! I’m actually rather jealous. 🙂

    *This is a complete lie. Everything healed up OK, although I can’t speak for the other hospital visitors that year.

    Full Member

    Good luck, Charlie. Early retirement is the business!

    From a fatbiker with one-and-a-half Dorset Dirt Dashes (and a broken collar bone) under his belt thanks to you.


    Free Member


    Somehow managed to post twice.

    Full Member

    (Sort of) retired at 51 – mega! I was going to say make the most of it, but clearly that’s the point.

    I’m definitely having at the Yourkshire dirt dash, the others were always just a bit too drivey for me.

    Full Member

    Have a good retirement life doing shit that makes you smile Charlie, and keep on with your guerrilla marketing campaigns, never miss an opportunity to sticker bomb every **** thing possible.
    A couple of pics from SSWC 2007 Aviemore

    Jules was impressed by her upgrade to Surly tits in her first experience of a single speed event

    Full Member

    Chapeau! Have fun dude.

    Free Member

    Enjoy retirement Charlie!

    I can just about remember the SSUK you ran as one of my favourites 😉

    We definitely do need a final sticker run though, I’m almost out of ‘Your 4×4 makes you look fat’ stickers!!

    Full Member

    Good luck you big hairy beast 💪 that was a grand day out you organised with Charlie Kelly and Joe Breeze 👍 

    Full Member

    @burchy1 Great idea. I don’t have time to sort new stickers out in the closing days at the glorious and joyous Singletrack Towers… but I think a resurgence of stickers of wisdumb out of is a great idea.

    Full Member

    Happy retirement!

    Full Member

    I hope this is genuine retirement and he has not been charmed by Big Bum Butter industries to join corporate life.

    Full Member

    Sorry to see you go, but glad you’re off to do things your way. All the best.

    Full Member

    Have a wonderful time!

    Full Member

    …how’s that work, I’m older than you and yet again you beat me to it

    Carry on spreading the love 🙂

    Full Member

    All the best Charlie. Was great chatting with you outside the Old Dungeon Ghyll  pub in Great Langdale just after lock down. 

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Search the forum using the power of Google

Singletrack Black Friday Offer

30 days AD FREE Full Digital Membership For 99p