Cycle scene steps up a gear with new venture
PUBLISHED: 13:07 15 October 2015 | UPDATED: 13:07 15 October 2015
Sidmouth's first dedicated cycle hub and café is already creating a buzz among the valley's bike-riding community.
Keen cyclists Chris Eccles and Adrian Clode turned a life-long love of bikes into a business when they opened Cycle Service last week.
They are now keen to promote the sport and encourage more people to get riding.
The pair spotted the potential in the former post office building in Vicarage Road and, with Chris providing the financial backing, it has been transformed into a cycle hub, offering bikes for sale, servicing, repairs, parts and coffee.
Manager Adrian said: “The whole thing came about almost by chance. Chris asked what was going on with the old post office building because he wanted to start a cycle service place.
“I had been looking at places myself, but everywhere looked like a stereotypical little shop. When we saw this place, it’s got scope and there is so much we can do with it.
“People can come in and drop their bikes in for a service and have a coffee while they wait. We have also had a lot of people just coming in for coffee.”
He said there has also been a lot of interest in electric bikes.
Adrian – who has been racing bikes since he was 15 – admits the Sid Valley could be more cycle friendly, but he is keen to help people become more confident riders to increase the numbers that travel on two wheels instead of driving.
“One of the things we will look at is offering coaching and support to beginner riders and people who are not confident on a bike,” he said. “One of the biggest problems is perception – people see riding on roads as dangerous so don’t do it.
“They fill up the roads with cars and it just makes it more dangerous.
“If we could half the number of cars on the road, it would be much better.”
Adrian and his team are qualified bike mechanics. The café is managed by Clare Boxley.
Chairman of Sid Valley Cycle Club, Ron Clint, officially opened Cycle Service on Saturday (October 10), when contestants took it in turns to compete in the Wattbike challenge to see how far they could ride in one minute.