It was a cold overcast Thursday at the beginning of October, if I remember rightly there was some rain in the air too.
Five years ago on 4th October 2012, only months after the greatest Olympics ever, I got out of bed at 5.30am and headed down to Sheffield Station for the first time with my tools packed in my car and a smile on my face. After a few weeks of negotiation I had managed to get agreement from East Midlands Trains to provide a maintenance service for cyclist using the station one day a week. My chosen day was Thursday and just about every Thursday for 2 years I pitched up in the disabled parking area, what is now the Cycle Hub, and offered help to those commuters on two wheels. Some days were quiet some days were cold, very cold and sometimes I encountered famous people as they visited the station. Sitting in the cycle store watchin the world pass by was a fascinating experience.
My customers came from all over the country but mostly from Sheffield and over those two years I perceived a change, those cycling commuters who used my service were grateful that I was there to help, saving them endless hours ferrying their bike backwards and forwards to bike shops at weekends to get repairs.
Since then its been a bit of a whirlwind, after East Midlands Trains decided to build the Cycle Hub I was asked to open up a shop there to continue the support we've been giving for the previous two years. I couldn't wait. On 13th August 2014 only a month after the Tour de France had traversed the hills of Sheffield I opened my first Shop.
We've been open now as a full blown bike shop for 3 years here at the station and we're grateful for the response we've had, I've been supported by a great team of young and older bike mechanics. Everyone has been really supportive of the business and what we do; helping to keep cycling commuters riding. Our range of bikes has expanded from just Marin Bikes at the start to now offering high end steel bikes by Ritchey and The Light Blue or nippy folding bikes by Bickerton.
Our fleet of hire bikes has seen unprecedented demand with the fleet growing from 8 when we started to 15 now with the inclusion of Brompton hire bikes too. We've been able to make cycling a possibility for so many people.
In 2016 I opened our Secondhand Bike Shop in Neepsend where we provide servicing and refurbish secondhand bikes for reuse. Providing a cheaper access point for cycling and in some cases finding some classic bikes to use on Eroica.
In 2017 we opened our Nottingham Station Shop, again providing support to commuters and helping to maintain and run the new Cycle Hub there.
We're working with Sheffield and Nottingham Councils to help get people cycling and support those activities that make our cities more livable. We're working with Rail Companies to develop better ways to promote cycling and help those customers who do cycle get to the station easily and safely while providing sufficient facilities for them.
The next 5 years will be exciting and varied that's for sure, but we'll continue to provide the service to commuters and we'll be there to keep you riding.
Why not take a moment to visit one of our shops, there is lots to discover and lots of helpful advice available from our friendly staff Click Here to locate your nearest shop.