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Pop-up Bikes - Parking, Maintenance and Coffee Pedalling
by Startacus Admin
At Startacus we try not to complain too much - it generally doesn't do any good...but if there’s one thing that we simply can’t abide, it’s sitting in seemingly endless queues of traffic on our way to or from work - it just makes our blood boil!
If you listen to the hype you would believe that cycling is the magical answer to all such traffic-related misery, but sadly no - cycling carries its own set of challenges such as, where to park, where to change and where to freshen up so that by the time you get to work you're so stressed out that you might as well just have stuck with the car in the first place! It seems that commuting is forever destined to be a miserable labour which caps each end of our working day...
Or maybe not! Something wondrous is happening in Manchester city centre, that promises to take some of the woe out of cycling to work and at the same time reward cyclists with the convenience that they have long been promised. Introducing Pop-up Bikes - Manchester's original cycle cafe...
Pop-up Bikes follows a simple ethos - to provide cyclists with indoor parking for their bike, changing facilities, access to bike repairs and a café for refreshment. The idea for the venture came to founder Dipak Patel in 2011 when, after scouring the city centre for a bicycle parking space he was forced to leave his bike in the hands of a club security guard. Dipak vowed to do something about this lack of cycle facilities and thus Popup Bikes was born. A great idea you might say, but what makes this any more noteworthy than any other start-up? Quite a lot as it happens...
Essentially this innovative and ambitious start-up has combined a number of services that cyclists require and housed them all within one location for convenience and accessibility. The bike parking itself is designed to be low cost and not-for-profit with parking from as little as £0.77 per day - owing to the fact that the facilities are making a clever use of the deflated lettings market by locating in a disused retail space. This gives cyclists the peace of mind of knowing that their bike is safe from thieves and vandals at a price that is very affordable.
Another great aspect of Pop-up Bikes is the on-site maintenance and repairs services which are available 6 days a week 7:30am to 7:30pm meaning that your bike will be ready for you when you come to collect it. The cycle café offers a host of refreshment for parched cyclists with direct trade UK roasted coffees, teas and infusions (parking is included in price) and a range of sandwiches and other nibbles to help you refuel for the day. After all this there are bathroom and changing facilities to get yourself ready for work or any other engagements!
We applaud Dipak for his contribution to the cycling movement but most of all we admire him for being a shining illustration that if you identify a niche in the market and develop a well considered business to plug the gap there is much success to be had.
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