It’s been a turbulent month for Bristol’s bike shops, with the news that both the Specialized Concept Store and the Zero G chain have gone into administration. We don’t know any of the the background behind the business shutting down, but as one ex-employee pointed out on our Facebook group, anyone assuming that local business owners are raking it in thanks to a man with sideburns doing rather well in the Tour De France is sadly mistaken. We’ve been supported by many local bike shops in the past, including Zero G, and we wish the owner and former employees all the best for their future.
So it’s excellent news that in the same 30-day period, two new bike shops have opened in Bristol, both of which are offering something different.
First up, Roll for the Soul is a new bike café and workshop on Quay Street, dead in the centre of Bristol. Set up by founder Rob as a social enterprise first and foremost, they’ll fix bikes at cost, as well as selling a great range of coffee, cake and Mediterranean-inspired food. Upstairs is a big meeting room that we’ll no doubt be availing ourselves of at some point, as well as a mahoosive telly to watch your favourite bike races on.
Anyone looking for bike bling to drool over should head elsewhere, as they only sell the bare essentials at present (although they’re starting to build up a nice range of riding tops, T-shirts and some lovely artwork), but as somewhere that’ll be a focal point for Bristol’s cycling community, we’re really excited about it opening. They’re also doing free bike tune-ups this week as part of Bristol Cycle Festival, so if you know someone currently riding to work on a creaky horror, send them here!
The other big news this month is that Ashton Court visitor centre is finally home to a bike shop, as well as a café. Sam and Matt AKA Pedal Progression have stepped up and taken over the space, and will have some tasty-looking hardtails for hire, as well as being Bristol’s only Norco dealer.
They’re still getting set up at present, so be gentle with them, but it’s great that after months of waiting, the franchise has gone to two local riders who are so active on the scene (you may have bumped into Sam digging at Belmont, or Matt heckling on the finish line at BikeFest). The correct adjective would appear to be “stoked”.