David Malan describes himself as middle-aged suburban family guy trying to live a meaningful balanced life. But he is definitely more than that. He is an accomplished photographer who just loves bikes. He is also the man behind Everyday Cycle Supply Co. – purveyors of some of the finest steel frame bikes and adventure cycling gear in South Africa. I recently caught up with him to find out more about his work and adventures…
To begin, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a middle-aged, suburban, family guy trying to live a meaningful balanced life. After studying product design, I worked as an art director in advertising for many years before making a life change and becoming a full time photographer. Today I work as an architectural and interior photographer and Getty Images contributor. My side hustle is a small cycle importing business called Everyday Cycle Supply Co.
What inspired you to start Everyday Cycle Supply Co.?
I started my business when I was struggling locally to find the kind of bikes I wanted to ride. Most local bike shops tend to focus on modern race bikes, these bikes are usually specialised, almost disposable, one-trick-ponys that are only really suitable for pro cyclists, who get paid to ride them. If you’re paying for your own bike, you want a more practical, durable, affordable bike that is still great to ride and that is exactly what we aim to provide.
Our customers are not new to cycling, they have usually owned may bikes, appreciate quality and know exactly what they want, they’re also often a bit older and moving back to a steel bike from a carbon bike.
What’s are the most popular products that you sell?
Our most popular products are Brooks England saddles and SOMA steel frames. My favorite product is my own orange SOMA Wolverine (with a Brooks England saddle), it’s been on so many adventures over the years, performed flawlessly and I still don’t itch for an upgrade.
What are your dreams for the future of ECSC?
I’d like to think that we can help grow a strong culture of cycling in South Africa where people use their bikes for more and more reasons beyond just competitive cycling.
How did you get into cycling?
I got my first bicycle for Christmas when I was about 4 years old (see pic, I’m on the red one) and I’ve never not had a bicycle since then. As kids we used to hang out on our bikes. When I was in the army, I joined the cycling team and rode competitively for a while, it was my way of experiencing freedom while being in the army. Now I ride to get around, to stay fit and for enjoyment.
Do you have a favorite bike to ride?
This is a bit like my kids, are you even allowed to have a favourite?
I have three bikes (all high end handmade steel bikes): “Eddy” a classic road racing bike, “Sir” a hardtail mountain bike, and “Pumpkin” a SOMA Wolverine and my all-round adventure bike.
What’s been your greatest cycling experience or adventure?
Riding the Tour of Ara twice has definitely been one of my greatest cycling experiences /achievements. Having said that, it’s hard to have more fun with a bicycle than going bike camping with a small group of friends, whether it’s a quick overnight campout or a multi-day adventure in the Karoo. Some of the most exciting adventures are the ones that involve a night or two of wild camping!
Do you have any tips for newbies wanting to get into adventure cycling?
Start with an S24o (Sub-24-hour-overnighter) get one or two friends together and do a short ride to your local campsite, camp over and ride back the next morning. If you mess up and forget something, or it starts raining, no worries – everything will be okay tomorrow when you get home.
Also join our “Velo Adventurers” group on Facebook to connect and ride with likeminded bicycle adventurers.
This story was originally published on WRTT (We Ride The Thunder). A blog dedicated to sharing inspiring stories of people in South Africa’s cycling scene.
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