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…

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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

Viewing 14 posts - 41 through 54 (of 54 total)
  • Charlie Departs Singletrack World To Spend More Time With His Bikes
  • 123decibels
    Full Member

    All the best to you Charlie! Have fun

    Full Member

    Enjoy spending more time with your bikes and hope they take you to lots of lovely places. All the best Charlie!

    Full Member

    Enjoy yourself Charlie.

    Our only interaction was while you were still down in Swanage and I was after some Gevenalle shifters which you graciously sorted for me by mixing and matching stock to put together only what I needed. A few years later I actually bought the now-missing-parts rest of the kit from bikemonger cheap as you’d made what was left useless to just about anyone else!

    Full Member

    Good luck Charlie. I’ve dragged my Yorkshire-based riding mate down for a couple of Dorset Dirt Dashes.

    I sense he’ll be planning revenge and drag me north. Yorkshire coast sounds fabulous. Can’t be worse than the twin terrors of Hambledon and Hod Hill. Can it?

    Free Member

    Not my cup of tea but i wish you all the best for the future mate .

    Full Member

    Have fun Charlie. I remember when you sent us a Pug to do beach sampling… fat bike riding while in work thanks to the Bikemonger… and the start of an out of work Surly/Salsa habit.  Cheers. Hamish

    Full Member

    Wow. An exciting decision. What a treat to give yourself.

    Enjoy the bumming around.

    Full Member

    Good on you Charlie….enjoy dude! 🙂 

    Free Member

    Sounds like a brilliant plan. Have enjoyed your contributions over the past few years – even have a Not Grumpy/Jumpy as my work mug to dispell the notion that I’m a grumpy sod (I’m not!!) Also the brotha dn cheese scone thing was pretty memorable 😀
    Go surf those trails 👍

    Good luck


    Life beats work hands down in the balance of things.


    I wish I could jack it all in. Enjoy!!!

    Full Member

    Both sad & good at the same time… Enjoy!

    Full Member

    Good luck!

    I still have the Cross Check you sold me and some of your stickers on my bikes. I would happily buy more along the lines of “I brake for cake” and “Education is important, but getting rad is importanter”.

    Free Member

    ‘You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning’ sticker on my toolbox supplied with a beautifully engineered eccentric bottom bracket from charlie the bikemongers.

    Enjoy the retirement, it’s bloody ace.

    Full Member

    Good luck, please continue making Singletrack Salvation too! The smell is just so much better!


Viewing 14 posts - 41 through 54 (of 54 total)

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