For many of us, the last time we were on a bike it had high handlebars, a banana seat, was adorned with stickers, and had something stuck in the spokes to make clicking noises as we rode along. Taking a bike out for a spin at the recently-opened Bike Hub at Archerfield’s Walled Garden will remind you how much fun and wildly liberating cycling really is.
Most people remember all too well their first attempts at riding a bike; being lovingly helped along by mum or dad, the thrill of moving faster than you ever have on two wheels, and that feeling of accomplishment once you realise there’s no longer an adult’s hand on your back helping you balance.
The thrill of riding a bike continues for some well into adulthood, but many of us ditch the bike in favour of a car as soon as we’re able to drive. For Richard Dowsett, the thrill has not waned. An avid cyclist, Richard set up Leith Cycle Co ten years ago and his newest venture – The Bike Hub – combines his passion for cycling and his love of East Lothian. Based at Archerfield Walled Garden, The Bike Hub opened its doors on 16 June this year and aims to be a one-stop shop for cyclists and the hub of biking in East Lothian. Richard said “We are creating a destination cycling location in East Lothian that will house everything cyclists need. It’s not only a shop, but a place where people can meet, get engaged and get active.”
There are so many reasons to get back on a bike especially over the summer months but, not everyone can be bothered with the hassle of loading a bike into the car to then drive miles to find the perfect cycling location. The Bike Hub makes it as easy as, well, riding a bike! Located on the beautiful Archerfield Estate, there is a huge variety of cycle routes including the John Muir Way, coastal paths, and roads through East Lothian which take in beautiful viewpoints, visitor attractions, historic sites and seaside villages. There is also an extensive network of traffic-free and relatively flat routes ideal for the whole family. For those seeking a bit more of a thrill, fat bikers can take advantage of the coast and wooded areas.
The Bike Hub has an extensive range of hire equipment, from balance bikes and lightweight children’s bikes to all terrain hybrids, mountain bikes and electric fat bikes. For those with children there are child seats, tag-a-longs and trailers. Co-owner Sarah Dowsett laughs “On our opening weekend, we had a family kitted out with child seat, trailer and tag-a-long. They said they’d be out for an hour or two, they enjoyed the trails so much they were gone for the entire day!”
If having spent a day cycling round the beautiful East Lothian countryside you’ve been well and truly bitten by the cycling bug then you can purchase your own bike from The Bike Hub plus – -they offer servicing and repairs. You can join Richard for their regular Thursday evening ride outs, which are suitable for all abilities. With plans to host maintenance classes, kids’ bike clubs and more ‘Ride With Me’ cycles, there really is no reason not to visit the Bike Hub and get back on your bike.