Castleford bike shop aims to be hub of community
In 2018 Richard Barker and his twin brother Christopher decided to convert an old workshop that had been in their family for years into a cycle shop.
After a massive renovation project it opened one month into the first lockdown in 2020 - just in time to capitalise on the public’s renewed interest in cycling, and it has been growing in strength ever since.
Richard said: “The Francis Street building was the workshop for our dad’s business The Washer Shop which stood on Bridge Street. He started working there as a 15-year-old and bought the business in the 1970s.
“When he died we spent a couple of years clearing out the premises - which, many years ago, were the stable block for Grace Brothers scrap yard but then I had health issues and it was put on hold for the best part of a year.”
A chance meeting with a couple of cycling enthusiasts persuaded the twins that it was in the ideal location for a cycle shop: they joined forces with fellow director Gavin Richardson and plans to open the shop were put in motion.
Richard said: “As well as selling and repairing bikes we aim to be a focal point for the community and welcome anyone who wants to come in for a chat, a coffee and a cake.
“We have coffee beans from North Star Coffee Roasters, cakes from a local artisan bakery, and both outside and inside seating areas - complete with wifi.
“Our philosophy is that we don’t sell anything we wouldn’t use ourselves.
“And, for every bike we sell we make a donation to the charity One Tree Planted which aims to restore forests, create habitat for biodiversity, and make a positive social impact around the world.”
A number of bike clubs already use Cykel House as their base with more expected to come on board early in 2022.