Edinburgh Bicycle Heads for London

Posted by chdot on January 16, 2007

recycles news 1983
Whether it ever reaches there, (or even plans to), remains to be seen! The UK’s biggest bike retailer, London-based Evans, has reached Glasgow (Braehead). Now the two largest bike shop chains are set to compete for customers in Manchester when the Bike Co-op opens in Rusholme in the spring.

It began trading (as Recycles) on the first of August 1977 at 3 West Crosscauseway. Three Edinburgh cyclists decided that there was a market for a shop that fixed bikes, sold basic spares and second-hand cycles. At the time many shops seemed to have permanent “No Repairs Meantime” signs on their doors.

Business was reasonable, but not good enough to employ all three over the winter. However the expansion process had started as one of them created Edinburgh Cycle Hire, (not the business of the same name currently in Blackfriars Street), which opened in summer 1978 in Alvanley Terrace. For a few years there were shops on two sites, then the original one closed and the enterprise consolidated by Bruntsfield Links. It gradually took over the whole terrace, became the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative and added stores in Aberdeen, Newcastle, Leeds and – soon – Manchester.

Manchester is a city with a cycling reputation, not least because of its Velodrome. By contrast, cycling city Edinburgh seems set to lose its Velodrome with the redevelopment of Meadowbank. Sports money in Scotland is going to Glasgow to build a new Velodrome as part of the bid for the Commonwealth Games 2014.

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