I spent some of this morning with my boys down at Veloheads a new business come social enterprise in my neck of the woods, down the Avenue in Starbeck. Harrogate has it's fair share of bike businesses. Why am I getting excited about this one, I hear you murmur with barely repressed indifference? It opened for business this morning and I had the heads up, as I met the owner a couple of months back.
Carl Nelson said owner, seems to have a different agenda to most businesses. Sure he wants to make a living, who doesn't, but 10% of Veloheads proceeds will go into local cycling projects. Unsurprisingly this got my attention. He is keen that there is a plan to develop infrastructure locally and that is just the start of his ambitions.
He also sees Veloheads as a place for local bikey types to meet and have a brew and plan global domination or at least how we really turn Harrogate into a bike town. If there has been a flaw with what Cycle Harrogate has been about it is that we are a largely web based organisation that has struggled to make the jump into a more real, less virtual world.
Greeenway he has bike hire available as well.
Whilst he is covering all the bases and more, a couple of days a week he will be offering workshop training to local school kids who might otherwise slip through the academic net and end up the ghetto that is not in education or training, he already has these places filled. This is good stuff you have got to love it.
You know having met and spoke to Carl, I see someone this town should be proud of and who we should all get behind. When someone is doing rather than saying, when they are putting their money into something and they want to build something sustainable for both them and the community. It is time to really get behind them. So Veloheads gets my vote. I hope as a town we support them and this can be a catalyst for an even brighter and stronger local cycling culture.
To this end next Saturday the 15th November at 10am Andrew Jones MP and Rebecca Burnett Harrogate Borough Council Cycling champion are coming down to wish him well and help launch what I hope will be something all Harrogate bike riders want to support and who knows contribute too.
So if you can why not get yourself down to :
Unit 5bProvincial Works
That's halfway down the Avenue in Starbeck on the left as though you were going to Winkies or SAS. Or on the right if you come down the Greeenway. I want to show Carl we support what he is doing, that all this noise that me and a few of you have been making on twitter and facebook actually has human faces. I want to let our MP know that as cyclists we value Andrew Jones' support, but that we have ambitions to do more in Harrogate for all things bike. I will be there, probably after I have finished the Park Run. I really hope to see you there too.
If we build it they will come.