Are you one of the 1.3m people who bought a bike during lockdown? Maybe you’ve been following this year’s Tour de France and fancy yourself as the next Pogacar or Cavendish? One thing’s for certain when it comes to cycling – you need to know there’s a nice place on your route to stop for a drink and slice of cake! MeCycle Café and Bike Workshop, Ainsdale, is perfectly positioned to offer just that and we spoke to the team to find out more.

table holding a plate of cake, a black cup of coffee, and a small model bicycle

Tell us a bit about the business

MeCycle Café & Bike Workshop is a social enterprise owned by Autism Initiatives, a national charity founded here in Southport. It was established to provide placement opportunities and work skills for young people in the region so they can gain future employment and increase their confidence and self-esteem.

We began refurbishing bikes in 2011 and opened the café and shop at Ainsdale in 2013 to increase our capacity and to encourage more people locally to cycle. We support the view that increased cycle use helps the environment, as well as your own health and wellbeing.

What can people expect from a visit to MeCycle?

We have refurbished the store to include lots of original features and exposed wood and brick. We only use recycled furniture too! We sell a range of new, electric and refurbished bikes as well as cycling accessories from the shop, and the café has a great selection of locally made cakes, fresh coffee, soups and sandwiches seven days of the week. Best of all the money you spend is going to a good cause!

interior of a cafe with a striped bar in bright colours and a large blackboard menu

What do you love most about what you do?

It’s so rewarding when someone we have supported gets a job, and when we help someone start cycling. The business benefits so many people in a variety of ways and makes it all worthwhile.

How did you adapt your business to deal with the impact of lockdowns?

Bike shops were classed as ‘essential retail’ during lockdown so thankfully we were able to remain open throughout the pandemic. Cycling became incredibly popular and sales have been fantastic. On the flipside the café, like all others locally, took a hit in income with either closures or restricted services. Once we were able to reopen, we risk assessed everything and added safety measures to reduce the risk of infection for staff and customers. We have additional outdoor seating in place and encourage everyone to support your local businesses to get up and running again.

What do you love most about Sefton?

There are so many fantastic cycling routes, covering everything from coast to countryside. Whether you want to tackle Liverpool to Southport, or just explore a small section of our coastline, there’s something for everyone. We are so lucky that Sefton is very flat and has dedicated cycle routes, making it ideal for families and beginners to get going!

Favourite cycle route?

We never tire of riding through the woods from Ainsdale to Formby. You can totally immerse yourself in nature, and if you’re lucky you might spot a red squirrel. You can stop for a picnic there too!

red squirrel in the pine woods surrounded by pine cones

MeCycle Café & Bike Workshop, 59 Station Road, Ainsdale, PR8 3HH

01704 212763

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