GETTING more people on bikes.
That's Mark Renshaw's vision with his latest expansion of Renshaw's Bikes in Lithgow.
The professional cyclist who is now retired, is known for his performances on the world stage. He currently operates Renshaw's Pedal Project in Bathurst and is set to open up his second shop at 199 Main Street, hoping to benefit the bike enthusiasts of Lithgow.
"Most people would know that I spent a long time in Europe as a professional cyclist, I did 16 years racing, claimed world titles and competed in the Tour de France" he said.
Since retiring from his competitive days Renshaw and his wife Kristina swiped into retail with the vision of encouraging people to get on bikes.
"We opened the Bathurst store a year-and-a-half ago and it has been well received. We have a great following and we've got some great customers in the Central West," Renshaw said.
"Because of this we wanted to expand the business hence Lithgow being the first step. There is no shop currently there so it was a good opportunity to expand," he said.
He said there was a huge growth market for cycling in Lithgow with Hassans Walls and the latest pump track. "There's some things happening behind the scenes in Lithgow with some aggressive marketing from Council, there is the aim to have cycling be a lifestyle, leisure and fitness," he said.
"So for me, my vision is the same as the Bathurst store, to get people on bikes and enjoy cycling, because it's brought me so much of my life, it's been a huge part of it."
"I see kids and how happy they are when they're riding a bike, so I'll hopefully bring that to all the kids and families in Lithgow and people who can get up on Hassans and the pump track and learn new skills on a bike."
Renshaw hoped to open within the next few weeks, COVID-lockdown pending, and said he had recruited locals to run the store. "We've had a couple of little setbacks with this lockdown which has been a little bit of a shame but we are almost ready to go," he said.
"We've got 90 per cent of the stock already for the store and we've worked really hard on recruiting some people from Lithgow."
"We'll also have Brett Egan who has been working in Bathurst for a year now so he's going to take a lot of experience from this shop, the culture and the feel and really, it's going to be interesting to see how it's received and how popular it is in Lithgow," he said.
Renshaw also hoped to host an official opening at the pump track with the support of Lithgow Council when COVID restrictions ease.
"We've had discussions with Council to be part of the opening, we plan to be there when they do host it.
"We'll have some mechanics there checking over bikes, giving people advice, we're going to have some nice bikes on display - a bit of eye candy to show everyone.
"We've also got some giveaways from some of our brands that we sell, even scooters, as well as bikes so I'm really excited to be there at the pump track."
Due to COVID Renshaw hasn't been able to ride the track yet but says he can't wait to give it a go.
"I haven't had a chance to ride it yet so I plan on hopefully getting a couple of good riders who can come and do a bit of a show for everybody and look at what's available and what's possible to do on a pump track," he said.
The store will be open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and on Saturdays 9am-3pm.
"The weekend hours might trim a little bit during Winter just depending on how well we're received," Renshaw said.
He wanted to thank the residents of Lithgow who have already shown support online and provided positive feedback.
"We have had a huge demand already for servicing and so much positive feedback so there's a lot of anticipation around when the store is opening but we're working really hard to make it ASAP," he said.
"It's crazy to think a town with a population of around 20,000 people don't have a bike shop, so we're hoping to fill that gap."
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