Medium rsz bespoke biking photo

Heather Evans - Bespoke Biking


Heather is a fellow of SSE Hampshire, she graduated from the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme in October 2014

Bespoke Biking was set up by Heather to encourage visitors and residents to enjoy the benefits of cycling. Launched in 2012, it offers cycle training and Bike clubs for children, and led rides for adults and tourists around the beautiful city of Winchester.

Always ambitious, the SSE helped Heather develop her vision to open a community bike hub in Winchester – a one-stop-shop where people could try, hire or swap bikes, join rides, meet friends, sight-see, have a great coffee and learn how to look after their bike. All this and provide employment and empowerment for those who might need it.

Heather said: "Thanks to the amazing support given by so many people, including the SSE, YMCA, South Downs National Park and Hampshire County Council, my dream of opening the Winchester Bike Hub is becoming a reality.

The YMCA has provided the venue for the Hub at St John’s House in Winchester and facilities for bike maintenance. Winchester County Council has provided bike racks outside the YMCA and the South Downs National Park has provided an invaluable grant for equipment.

Hampshire County Council through its ‘My Journey’ initiative has provided promotional materials and is supporting a series of events designed to make cycling more accessible for the local community.

The Hub will offer a monthly package of activities including Pedal2gether – a chance for the whole family to follow a guided bike ride and discover new routes. The rides will be held once a month at the same time as a FREE Dr Bike facility, offering free bike checks and basic repairs.

There are plans to provide training for bike mechanics and a bike hire scheme later in the year. This is going to be a true community social enterprise – all for bikes, not for profit.