Introducing our Manager…

We talk to Bev Blakeman, our Manager here at The Cycle Hub….

How did The Cycle Hub originate?

Saddle Skedaddle wanted to help create a place in Newcastle where people could come together for all things relating to cycling.

Is the Cycle Hub just a cafe?

Hell no! We offer bike hire, plus have a small shop and a full mechanic service. We were hiring out around 100 bikes a week in the summer. Even in the winter if it is a nice day at the weekend and people are visiting they drop in and hire a bike. From here you can nip along the coast or up into Newcastle or Northumberland without going anywhere near a main road.

How long have you been working here?

Just over six months. It’s great, a really big change for me, I’ve worked in the cycle industry for three and a half years, before that for a large chain. This is much more fun! The place has a great atmosphere.

Who uses The Cycle Hub?

We get cyclists coming in for lunch or calling in for a coffee and a piece of cake. We’re also getting people from the local offices or folks wandering into the ‘toon’. I’m surprised at how many people who are not on bikes use it. We’ve not got any of them on bikes yet but hopefully the atmosphere is working on them, if only subliminally. We are on the C2C and Hadrian’s Cycleway route, two of Britain’s most used long-distance routes.

Do you get many C2C / Hadrian’s Cycleway riders in?

Loads! There is a constant flow. A guy came in last week who was doing the C2C with his eight-year-old son, across and then back again. The lad had a little road bike with his own panniers, it was so cute, he was absolutely loving it.

What is the future for The Cycle Hub?

I want it to grow so we can do more social stuff as well as building on the cafe, hire and the workshop side of things. I think we’ve got a great space for all sorts of things, in fact we have just started putting on films, turbo training sessions, yoga for cyclists and have a monthly bike jumble. We’ve even had our first wedding reception! We have started social rides once a month too and even though they started only recently we’ve had a great turnout. We are just trying to diversify a little bit. We want as many people as we can to be involved – still trying to spread the word at the minute.

What about your own cycling?

I’m competitive, so I race time trials in the summer and cyclocross in the winter. Most holidays tend to be on a bike too, I’ve ridden in France and Italy, I’ll be going to France next year to watch the tour and then ride Mont Ventoux and have my eye on lots of the Skedaddle trips!! (hint hint!)

Final tip?

If you are on a bike ride heading through Newcastle do swing by! We’ve got amazing homemade..sorry Hub-made cake and food, great coffee, cycling conversation, the best views in Newcastle and the best local ales around! Oh, and if there’s a cycling event on the telly, we’ll be sure to have it on!

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