Cyclists have given Dundee Cycle Hub the thumbs up.
The facility, from the team behind Angus Cycle Hub in Arbroath, has been years in the making.
Under the glaring eye of Storm, Dundee Cycle Hub officially opened at the weekend, the latest addition to the city’s ongoing waterfront transformation.
Cyclists and families flocked to the site to see what all the fuss is about.
We spent the day with the team, speaking to cyclists to get their views on the newest facility in the Dundee cycling scene.
What does Dundee Cycle Hub offer?
As well as getting yourself a bike — with prices ranging from the hundreds to thousands of pounds — the staff at Dundee Cycle Hub can also carry out maintenance work.
“We’ve carried out 253 bike interventions, basically making bikes safe, over the summer,” Iain Hay, cycling development officer with the group, said.
And that was before they established a physical presence in Dundee.
Iain, who lives in Arbroath, took on the role with Dundee Cycle Hub after retiring from a 44-year military career.
“I have always been a cyclist,” he said.
The first thing Iain, who is a qualified cycling instructor, did when joining Dundee Cycle Hub was establish a network of cycling groups in the city.
We cater to all skills and prices.”
Iain Hay, Dundee Cycle Hub development officer
Iain said: “I’ve worked with Syrian refugees to get them cycling and will do the same with the Afghan refugees when they get here.
“I take them out and teach the highway code, things like that.”
Iain has also worked with GPs at Wallacetown Health Centre, teaching them some cycling basics so they can head out, when appropriate, on a bike while doing home visits.
“We cater to all skills and prices. People can come here and build up their skills and knowledge with us,” he added
Hopes the Hub will be welcoming to budding cyclists
That is a sentiment echoed by Scott Francis, founder of Angus Cycle Hub.
He said: “It took three to four years to get everything sorted out and in place. Of course the pandemic knocked it back a bit.
“We want to encourage newcomers as well as experienced cyclists. We don’t want newcomers to be intimidated, but by having more experienced cyclists here they will be able to learn from them.”
He is particularly proud of the location.
“It’s along the cycle routes so is a great place for people to stop for a break.
“And being on the waterfront, we’re tapping into the tourist and cycling markets, but it will also benefit the local people of Dundee.”
There are lots of projects being talked about.”
Scott Francis, Dundee Cycle Hub founder
While thinking there are still improvements to be made in Dundee’s cycle infrastructure, Scott said the city is making “great leaps and bounds”.
“There are people within the council that really want to improve things for cyclists.
“There’s a lot of projects being talked about.”
As well as the cycling side of things, Dundee Cycle Hub is also a place where people can stop for a coffee and a bite to eat next to the recently opened urban beach.
Scott hopes to expand the cafe offering in time.
A good brew to give you an extra boost
That will be music to the ears of Auchterarder cyclist Chris Jackson, who travelled to Dundee for the launch.
He said the secret to a good bike shop is excellent coffee and cake.
“A lot of people wouldn’t think of that, but if a place has good coffee then cyclists will head there just for that. It gives you a boost when you’re out riding.”
The 50-year old has “always been a cyclist” but ended up doing it more after the birth of his children.
The retired police officer is impressed with Dundee Cycle Hub.
“It will be good for the community and it will become a real cycle area,” he said.
What do other cyclists think?
Husband and wife Lindsay and John Grieve are also impressed with the new site.
The couple, who live in Inchture, are self-described “lockdown converts” to cycling.
Lindsay said: “Since getting a new bike in June I have done 1,200km. It’s been really good for getting to know the area.
“We’ve been all over Perthshire, Angus, Fife and Dundee.”
She said Dundee Cycle Hub “does everything I would want it to”.
“We’ve got friends in their 70s who want to start cycling and I think places like this can really help,” she added.
John said it’s a good way for newbies to get on the saddle.
It will be good for the community.”
“Big bike shops can perhaps be intimidating for people who aren’t cyclists. It can be difficult to find out about cycling.”
One word of advice from Lindsay is for Dundee Cycle Hub to “get out there and advertise what they do”.
“We know about this because we are cyclists and were looking for it, but if I wasn’t a cyclist I’m not sure I would have known about this or what they do.”