North East bike business growing as people turn to cycling

An organisation which works to promote the benefits of cycling in the North East is seeing a surge in demand for its services.

Northumberland’s Bike4Health, which was founded in 2014, has worked with numerous businesses and more than 4,000 children in 27 schools to encourage the use of bikes for health, wellbeing and sustainability.

It offers services that include coaching, route planning and a bike workshop for repairs.

Its workshop in particular has seen a rise in demand for people wanting to get their bikes ready and believes the rush is due to people wanting ways of exercising in the countryside during the coronavirus outbreak.

Founder Dave Buchan said: “There can be few better things than cycling for your health, wellbeing and mental health, and it naturally instils a positivity in people.

“This has never been more important than at the minute, when of course there is a huge amount of anxiety and worry around Coronavirus and its impact.

“We are seeing that increasing numbers of people are turning to cycling at the minute, and are coming to us to help them, which is having a big positive impact on Bike4Health.

“Our workshop is very busy and our drop-off and collection service has never been more popular. Cycling allows people to take exercise and get outside, while maintaining that social distance, and we are hearing first-hand how much better people are feeling after they’ve been out on their bikes.”

Bike4Health, which is based at Kirkley, is a community interest company. It has a full-time team of five but also employs 12 freelancers.

Its workshop is operating a pick-up and delivery system for bikes, so they can collect and return to people who are currently self isolating, to allow them to get back outside on their bikes at the earliest opportunity.

Mr Buchan said: “As passionate advocates of the many benefits of cycling, as well as of exploring the fantastic region we live in, we are delighted that so many people are turning to this to help them get through the tough times in which we currently find ourselves.”

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