Biketreks Ings

Store Story

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

Starting all the way back in 2012 after a very successful London Olympics the new owner of Biketreks Simon and his architect brother in law John Holt sat down to devise a plan. Their aim was simple - they wanted to build on the cycling frenzy that ensued after the Olympics and develop a building that was modern, airy and bespoke that housed their own passions for cycling. With plan in hand they set about finding a location for this building and a bike shop with the vision that they had - this is when they met Mr Andy Stephenson (or Rambo as I affectionately call him!).

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

With Biketreks approaching 25 years old Andy was looking to expand outside of Ambleside and having looked at many potential development sites nothing quite came up to scratch. Through a chance meeting Simon presented his plans to Andy and he was on board, Biketreks 2 was in the planning stage! Owning anything that is located in the National Park when you are looking to change it can be a nightmare and after 2 years of "discussions" with the planning board Simon and John were finally allowed to start work on redeveloping the Ings service station site. The plan was to house a brand new cycling shop, a cafe to replace the Little Chef we all knew and loved and to modernise the petrol station as lets face it it looks like something out of the 80's!!

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

Planning permission was granted in May 2014 for a grand designs meets homes on the Med building that incorporated numerous modern building techniques using locally sourced materials. At the head of the project was Micheal Perris from Britican who found a team of local contractors to take on the project that covered a 7000 square foot site with an extensive car park and landscaping throughout.

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

In April 2015 Sam and Elliott from LA1 Contractors worked with Craig of Atkinson's Contracting and the lads from the steelworks at PMS Penrith to put in the foundations and the steel structure that would form the basis of the building. It was decided to keep the building as simple as possible in its construction to keep the building spacious, full of natural light and to keep it blending into the Lakeland surrounding as much as possible. Simon decided to make the huge gable end of the building in glass and then follow the theme around the site meaning the reflections of the trees makes it blend in seamlessly.

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

As winter approached the decision was made to get the zinc roof on and the glass in as quickly as possible to keep the Lake District weather out and then to focus on finishing the cafe part of the estate once we were all sealed. For the cafe side of the business Simon approached Andrew Southcott who is the proprietor of Cafe Ambio which has a few sites throughout Cumbria along with an outside catering venture. Talking Andrew through Simon's vision for the site, Andrew signed up to provide exceptional locally sourced food at the service station.

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

At the same time as Andrew Southcott decided the project was a goer, another Andrew, Mr Stephenson was having other ideas. Having built the Biketreks business up over 25 hard years he'd decided he'd put the business up for sale so he could get out and ride his bike in essence! Something of a panic ensued for Simon who now had a purpose built building for Biketreks with no guarantee of a tenant as Andy had effectively pulled the plug! After showing various other local businesses around the site there was plenty of interest from others but Simon had always planned for it to be a bike shop, that was the vision, so he took the crazy decision to buy the business off Andy securing his own tenancy in effect! A new era of Biketreks was beginning!!

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

The cafe site was finished and opened in Easter of 2016 which drew a line under one big project - just 2 more to go! In the bike shop Jim from Park and Whitely and Adam Pashley had started the mammoth task of fitting the underfloor heating, first fix for electrics and building the plant room to house the gubbins for the entire site. The concrete floor was poured and structures started going up courtesy of the LA1 chaps. Suddenly a shop started to take place rather than a building site. With Simon in charge the plan evolved exponentially with his love of clinically clean bespoke shops that our very own Keith frequents also. With this in mind the interior changed numerous times building on ideas we'd seen at other sites until eventually we were happy with what was coming together. Equipped with Jim the Sparky, Sam the chippy and our very own blacksmith the fixtures and fittings were coming together quickly which gave the impression we weren't far away from completion.

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

With Rambo leaving / abandoning me at the the end of March I took the decision to start working out how many staff I'd need to assist me in this new venture. I worked on the basis of replicating Ambleside as a starting point and going from there. It was March at this point and to my surprise it didn't take me long to find the 5 staff that I needed as they'd all worked for me before! I stole Sam back from Giant in Kendal to head up the service centre, Simon (or Rufus as we call him so we don't get him and the boss confused) from Aragon's in Penrith and Martin came back out of "retirement" up in Scotlandshire to work under Sam's guidance. Tom H came back having played at outdoor instructing for a few seasons which left me needing one more. Ideally I needed a manager so racked my brains with Keith who we could approach, and in the end we both came to the same conclusion that we'd try and steal Mike back from Wheelbase!! He didn't take too much persuading and in May he joined the team on the proviso that his new shop would be done by June-ish!!!!

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

At this stage the shop was looking like a shop if you used a lot of imagination and vision, we had no stair case in place and I now had more staff in Ambleside than I knew what to do with! So it was time to broaden their horizons and send them to the building site! Tom P turns out to be a master painter and is responsible for almost every brush stroke in the building, Tom H was a kitchen fitter in a previous life so has spent a lot of time screwing things together and tidying up, and as Simon disappeared for his summer holidays Mike became the project manager for the site!

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

People started to see the shop coming together and finally we opened the doors in September just in ready for the new season of autumn and winter. Since Andy left and I effectively took over the daily reins we have taken on plenty of new brands to inject some energy into the building and made the decision to split the stock between road, hybrid and children's stock in Ings and mountain bikes in Ambleside. We can service any type of bike in either store and we have equipment and clothing to suit all disciplines in both stores too.

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

So with 2 huge projects now completed for Simon he is taking on project 3 of finishing the petrol station side by knocking it all through and installing a new frontage and shop called Simply Fresh which follows the same ethos of locally produced and sourced food at a convenience. Once completed Ings will be the place to be with the new site providing free parking, a great place to eat, a superb shop to buy your groceries in, and one hell of a bike shop!!

Biketreks Ings, Cumbria

I'd like to take the time to thank all our contractors who have given up their lives to more or less live on site for the last year, my staff for putting up with all the hassle I've caused them by turning them into builders rather than sales people for the last 6 months, and for you guys for bearing with us whilst we've moved stock around to get open. My final thanks goes to the big bad boss for giving me the opportunity to expand the business into this stunning location and allowing me to run things my way for a while - time will tell if I listened to and learnt from Rambo for all these years or not!!!

Finding the Store

Call 01539 431 245
Email ings@bike-treks.co.uk
Address Biketreks Ings, Kendal, LA8 9PY
Opening Times
Monday
9:00am - 5.30pm
Tuesday
9:00am - 5.30pm
Wednesday
9:00am - 5.30pm
Thursday
9:00am - 5.30pm
Friday
9:00am - 5.30pm
Saturday
9:00am - 5.30pm
Sunday
9:00am - 5.30pm

 

Store Manager Mike

Mike, Biketreks Ambleside Manager

A man who truly flies the Biketreks flag high, having competed under our name. He project managed the build of the store so he literally knows the store inside and out. He's the road cycling encyclopedia that you need to better yourself as a road cyclist.

Team Ings

 

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