Cyclewise launches a fabulous new training and e-bike hub in the heart of the forest.
CYCLING experts Cyclewise is opening a bespoke cycle training facility in Whinlatter Forest.
The two storey modular building replaces an old wooden shed – making the business better equipped to provide for the huge rise in interest in cycling.
And it gives the family run teams behind the bikes a chance to keep a fleet of 40 e-bikes charged and ready to roll for customers who need a little assistance on the uphill section of trails.
Craig Scott, one of the directors said: “We’d outgrown our shop because of the increase in the number of visitors who want to go mountain biking and e-biking. Combined with the growing demand for our range of courses, from British Cycling Leadership Qualifications to Mechanic Skills courses, meant we simply needed more space.”
“We are delighted about this new development which is open and ready for Summer 2021, stated Amy Scott, finance director. “We successfully won a Rural Development Growth Programme Grant through the Rural Payments Agency, and secured the recent tender for Whinlatter bike hire concession with Forestry England. All of us at Cyclewise are proud to have finally finished the project, which we have been desperately keen to do. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the grant and we are so grateful.
“This new development helps sustain our existing business, create new business opportunities and enables us to expand into the booming interest in electric mountain biking
“Our families love the bike trails in the forest and being able to offer more e-bikes to rent means that we can share that enjoyment with more people. Electric bikes have opened up the fells to new users, who are may be older, recovering from illness or injury, be less fit, or not as confident. It also means a mixed ability group of people can enjoy cycling together at similar speed.
“The hub gives us a new base for our kids mountain bike club – Cyclewise Academy. As a Cumbria Tourism 2018 Adventure Experience Award winner, we are keen to deliver a quality service and facilities and attract a wide variety of users to cycling.
“And we’re creating jobs – two full time positions. We strongly believe other local accommodation and cafes will also benefit from this project, as well as support an increase in visitors numbers to Whinlatter Forest and the local area.”
The project builds on the outstanding natural capital of Cumbria’s forests and fells with a high quality, nationally-recognised cycle hire, service, sales and training centre. By expanding its bike rental business, its training and storage facilities and through the development of its e-bike service, Cyclewise will be increasing the capacity of its business to cater for a wider audience.
It enhances Cumbria’s standing as the go-to adventure capital of north west England. The project is based on an activity with minimal environmental impact – cycling; indeed, through its health benefits, the inclusivity brought about by the expansion in e-bike hire and through the fostering of long term behaviour change (to cycle more rather than to drive) – this project can certainly be seen as encouraging greater sustainability. The development of e-bike rental means that cycling becomes open to a far wider audience.
Offering a wet weather activity also helps to extend the season for tourism. The facility to charge e-bikes obviously caters for local cycling within Whinlatter, but it also starts to develop the network of e-bike cycle charge points across Cumbria, enabling greater connectivity and capacity for longer e-bike adventures. The development of classroom facilities allows for a higher quality skills training offer as well as somewhere to get out of the wet weather on extreme weather days for our school/ community groups and private bookings. The project thereby supports the sensitive, prosperous and sustainable development of Cumbria’s tourism sector.
Cyclewise is a diverse cycle business run by two families. We operate two cycle retail stores with professional and accredited repair workshops. However, we are much more than just a shop! Cyclewise is recognised by British Cycling as a Centre of Excellence and a leading provider of mountain bike leader qualifications. We also offer a range cycle skills training courses and deliver Bikeability, which is the new cycle proficiency training, to 4,000 school children per annum. Finally, we offer bike rental at the trail head of Whinlatter Forest with quality range of mountain bikes on the fleet in a variety of sizes and models.
Over the last 10 years our Cyclewise Whinlatter premises has enjoyed a unique opportunity to be part of Whinlatter Forest and have recently won the tender for a new ten-year lease on site with Forestry England. Cyclewise Whinlatter bike hire and shop opened its doors in June 2008 with a fleet of 20 bikes and which has now grown to a fleet size of 130 bikes offering a range of models and sizes. All aspects of our retail, hire and training sales has grown over the years, developing the Cyclewise brand into a well-established and well regarded local Cumbrian business. We opened our second cycle retail shop, Cyclewise Cockermouth, in December 2015. Now in 2021 we have expanded again, with a new training facility and fit for purpose storage facility for the fast-growing electric bike market.