Ian has had a varied career in IT, starting out in the world of IBM mainframes in the 1980s, became a PC C++ developer in the 1990s developing a number of Windows products in partnership with professional experts in their industries. During the 2000's Ian also consulted on a significant number of problematic large IT systems, using his skills as a problem solver - in which he learned that those big "impossible" IT problems were rarely difficult to solve, often they were just problems that people overlooked because it couldn't be that simple!
In 2011, Ian had a sabatical from IT and ran a successful cycle maintenance business. Ian found that the skills in cycle maintenance were similar to problem solving in IT - and typically the bikes that arrive at a mechanic only come when they have a problem!
Ian has now combined his two main skills to develop the Pocket CycleTech app.
Martin Wilkins was a motor mechanic, but with the increasing complexity and cost of running a shop for modern cars he made the switch to cycle maintenance. Running a successful business near High Wycombe, he blogged about his business ideas. The advice he gave was so useful that he realised that people needed his insights. From this start he set up the CycleTech network, an affiliation of like-minded individuals who used Martin's model and advice to set up mobile businesses. Now there are around 50 members of the CycleTech community.
Ian came up with the idea of the Pocket CycleTech app when he realised that as a mechanic he wanted to know how a bike had been used to best diagnose technical problems, and also that he had acquired a lot of knowledge about the likely causes of common problems - but that most riders simply get on their bike and pedal, without any understanding of how the bike worked.
The Internet has lots of How To instruction guides and Pocket CycleTech does not seek to replace that. Instead its aim is to help keep an accurate record of how a bike is used to assist the user or a cycle mechanic understand how a bike has been used to ensure maintenance is effective and cost efficient. Secondly, it provides a set of hints to guide a user or mechanic to likely causes of particular symptoms.
Initially it is only available for Android but an iPhone version is planned for Autumn 2017.