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Standing behind the bar, pouring a drink for someone on Wednesday night seemed like a very alien experience and at the same time a very settled one. Alien because if you’d seen what the bar and cafe had looked like a week ago you may not have believed that we’d be here now. Settled because I’d finally brought so many bits of my world together – It just feels right…

Back in the winter Olly and I had first met to discuss plans for the new shop and before that point I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to be on board – what changed that? Simply spending a few hours in the shell of the old building, hearing Olly’s ideas, plans and dreams was the major factor. His passion and approach were a complete breath of fresh air and I immediately knew he was someone with whom I could build something original – something real.

One of the interesting things was the rumours which circulated as our plans began to be revealed. In my unique position in the industry I overheard some fantastically wild ideas about the owner’s pro racing career, the budget, the staffing, how and why another bike shop would never work, how and why another cafe would never work, how it would work, how it was far too big inside, how it was far too small inside and of course how the use of a wind tunnel may affect the local electricity supply.

Wind tunnels aside I can firmly say that we’ve created a cafe, shop and workshop which will truly exceed everyone’s expectations. The enthusiasm and determination of every single person involved has built an environment which you cannot fail to be inspired by. We’ve got the shiniest coffee machine, the best beer, the neatest workshop with the finest tools, the best stocked shop, the perfect atmosphere and most importantly the strongest staff. In fact we’ve kind of shot ourselves in the foot because we don’t really have any excuses now!

Even the builders have been clean, tidy and pleasant – it may help that they basically work for Olly’s wife, but even so, as I sat down to lunch at our massive communal tables yesterday, with most of the people that have been involved, it really felt like we had shared the whole process. I really do appreciate how lucky I’ve been to be a part of that and to be one of the people steering the ship makes it even more exciting.

Saturday, April the 12th, will be our official public launch and you’re all of course invited. I’ve had the pleasure of showing a few people around this week and I can’t wait to give everyone else the guided tour. Everything will be up and running from 9am so whether you’d like to drop by for a coffee or a beer, to book your bike in for servicing, browse our shop or just talk about the bike racing on the big screen we’ll all be here.

Photos by Glen Whittington.

Glen rides a Colnago Master and races a Scott Addict at local road races. He races a KTM Aera Pro 27.5 hardtail in the UK National Points Series, the Eastern XC Series and the Southern XC Series. He receives personal sponsorship from Helly Hansen and THE.ÆIGHT.BICYCLE.CØMPANY. He’s also supported by Lazer helmets.The KTM team is supported by Continental Tyres, Torq Fitness and Four4th Lights.

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