Wonderful wheels

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Who owns the road? When one of the great advocates for the motor vehicle, the NRMA, announces it has a bicycle policy and is even calling for dedicated bike lanes you know there has been a seismic shift in the urban transport world. City cyclists are here to stay and one of the great spinoffs from this two-wheel revolution is the many small businesses which have sprung up with a mission to get us safely and stylishly from A to B.

Of course the West End is at the forefront of this social change! And it was here I found the bespoke bicycle business Metro Cycles. It seemed the perfect opportunity to ask fellow blogger and Newcastle cycling supremo Vicki Coughlan to cast her expert eye over this new neighbourhood arrival. Here is what she had to say:

‘I’ve written before about the Bank Corner Cafe and how the area around Bank Corner has become a “place” in Newcastle. Adding to the ambience of that area is a recently opened bike shop “Metro Cycles”, owned by Bernie Hocking. The shop fits in well with its surroundings, as there are always lots of bikes parked in the area during the day, so the line-up of shop bikes looks just like another part of the streetscape. All the posts here have been yarn bombed, which fits in nicely, adding to the placemaking feel of this small area.

‘With its line-up of commuter, folders, ebikes and cargo bikes and appropriate accessories for them, Metro is catering to a section of the cycling market that has not been strongly recognised before in Newcastle. This provides the opportunity for those in the market for utility cycles to shop in Newcastle rather than buying elsewhere or via the internet.

‘Bernie’s choice of bikes on his shop floor has been strongly influenced by trips to Europe and a cycling study tour he has done there. It shows in the diversity of town and cargo bike that are on display and European and British influences are also evident. Bernie, a former builder, has chosen to start his new business in the West End as he can see that it fits well with his cycling ethic: it is trendy, urban and a bit laid back, as well as being a go ahead place for business’.

So you’ve heard it from an expert. I’m looking forward to getting kitted up and fitted out and rolling through the city in two-wheeled style.

Metro Cycles, 2 Bellevue Street, Newcastle West. Phone: 4962 1060 or 0438 556 378; http://www.metrocycles.com.au; Facebook: Metro Cycles. Opening hours: Monday closed, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday – 8.00am to 6.00pm, Thursday – 8.00am to 9.00pm, Saturday and Sunday – 9.00am to 2.00pm.

Bicycles in Newcastle blog: http://bicyclesinnewcastle.com; Facebook: Newcastle Cycleways Movement.

Kimberly O’Sullivan

Have you chosen the West End as your home or as the perfect place to run your business? Do you have a West End tale which deserves a wider audience? What inspires or infuriates you about the West End? If you have a story to tell I would love to talk to you! Here’s how to find me: kimberly@netspace.net.au; 0413 250 155.

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