Bike in Customs

We're always being told that we're in a global economy, so why have I just had to pay so much to get my new bicycle, a new world tourist, through customs? Is the UK being protectionist about bicycles?

Ah well, I should have done my research more carefully to avoid the surprise - but from past experience it wasn't easy to put a hypothetical to the customs people.

Anyway, I should get it tomorrow. Exciting.