Cycle centre and shop in Hawstead is already on the map for cyclists
- Credit: Archant
A cycle centre and shop at a former derelict pub in west Suffolk has already become a destination for cyclists in its first year since opening.
Maglia Rosso opened at the former Metcalfe Arms pub in Hawstead after father and son team, Barry and Matt Denny, saw the potential in the building.
Now cyclists are travelling from outside of the county, including Norwich and Cambridge, to make use of the shop, cafe, servicing and repairs and information on local bike routes.
Barry, who is vice president of the West Suffolk Wheelers cycling club, said the business has been able to harness the current enthusiasm for cycling in Suffolk, which will see both the Women’s and Men’s Friends Life Tours pass through this year.
The county council has also launched Suffolk’s Year of Cycling to get more people on their bikes and the Women on Wheels event in west Suffolk this July, in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care, is specifically aimed at women.
Speaking of Maglia Rosso, Barry said: “It’s not just a local bike shop, we want it to be a regional success with people coming from all over, and that’s happening already.”
He added: “We are getting cyclists in from all over East Anglia on a Saturday and Sunday; from Ipswich, Norwich, Cambridge, Hadleigh.”
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At Maglia Rosso people can also hire bikes and there is a five-acre field for cyclocross - which is a type of bike racing - where youngsters aged from eight to 15 can learn skills with the help of coaches from this week.
Barry said non-cyclists also popped along to use the cafe, and the venue also hosted social events.
“My son and myself are keen to make a success of it. It’s a business plan we have for the next few years. We have started, but we have a lot more to do as yet and are building up our following,” he said.
He said the shop had sold more bikes to women since opening than to men. “The big growth area is women coming into it,” he added.
On the first anniversary weekend from April 24 to 26, there will be a celebratory event on the Friday evening from 7.30pm and a demonstrations day on the Saturday, including advice, special offers and a cyclocross challenge.
Then on the Sunday there will be a 25-mile and two 50-mile escorted country rides. Participation is free, but booking is advised. Call 01284 386884. Visit www.magliarosso.co.uk