Quest Magazine - Home

Could cycle maintenance be your next career?

Could cycle maintenance be your next career?


15 Jun, 2021

Find out more in this Q&A with Dave Ball (pictured above), a level 3 student in Cycle Maintenance and Repair at Cycle Systems Academy …

What position did you hold in the military? I was an Engineering Officer in the Royal Signals. Basically, my job involved managing communications equipment during peacetime or at war.

How long did you serve? 32 years!

What drew you to bicycle maintenance? I started life as a technician, working in a workshop at a workbench, repairing radios and computers. So I wanted to get back to my roots – to a workshop environment. I am interested in bicycles, and tying the two together means I can bring together a hobby with the kind of work I love.

What do you plan to do with the qualifications you’ve gained at Cycle Systems? My aim is to open a small workshop, specialising in high-end bicycles, because my passion is engineering excellence and I am interested in what I can offer over and above other shops as a mechanical engineer. I see a market opportunity for very high-quality repairs and the high standards at Cycle Systems reflect that.

How do you feel about running a business? I feel OK about that actually. I have also worked in defence procurement and have an understanding of how business works on a large scale. I am also planning to do a small business accounting course as part of my resettlement and I’m sure that will stand me in good stead.

What do you think of the Cycle Systems Academy? For Service leavers there are two things they want in their training – one is training that’s relevant to the market today, the other is that the qualification they get is recognised by industry and beyond. Cycle Systems ticks both of those boxes.

One of the things I like about the Cycle Systems Academy is that, instantly, you are working with people who have been in the industry for years. It’s a comfort – the industry obviously sees this as a course they are willing to pay for. The other good thing is that you get to meet people and, through that contact, you can understand their opinions of the industry, see where things are going and help to formulate your business plan. If there were only military personnel here it would lack that dimension. It’s a good stepping-stone into the world and the quality of the teaching is outstanding – the knowledge stretches far and beyond, right to the edges of this industry.

Anything else? I have already recommended the course to others, and I’m already reaping the benefits as people are coming to me to have a look at their bike. Now I just need a workshop!


Click here to find out more about courses at Cycle Systems.


Get in touch

Tel: 020 8638 8824



Other Stories

So much more than a weekend hobby ARTICLES
15 Jul, 2021

RAF Reserve Gary Forder is living his childhood dream of serving in the Armed Forces, and enjoying all the benefits and


Related Articles

Case Studies See all

James Pope
James Pope
Final Rank:
Years Served:

Having enlisted in 1985, former Royal Navy WO1 James Pope, 48, left the Armed Forces in October 2016 because of ‘life aspirations’. He says that, ‘After 32 years and several high-profile jobs...

Read more »
The ELC advantage
The ELC advantage

Using his ELC, Stuart Keillor, a Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy currently working as a programme manager at the MoD London, has combined his military career with continuous learning opportunities,...

Read more »