ONE of Bingley’s longest-running businesses is closing down after 40 years.
Keith Lambert’s bike shop on Whitley Street, Bingley, will be closing its doors in October as the current owner looks to pursue a different career.
The shop was first established in 1979 and opened by Mr Lambert, who was raised in Bingley, and was a professional cyclist for 16 years and won several international medals.
However, through the years Keith’s family have run the shop, but the current owner Adam Thompson, who took it on in 2017, has had many challenges to face.
“It was previously run by my girlfriend’s family but a couple of years ago I took it on to keep it in the family.
“When I took it on we had to relocate to a less central location because the landlord wanted the original shop back, and it just hasn’t really worked out.
“It is a shame, I do feel guilty for letting the family business down after going on for so long, but there have been issues with the current market.
“It’s almost as cheap to buy bikes and parts online, as it is for us to buy from suppliers and I need a steady income for myself and my young family.”
When the well-established store announced that it was closing on Facebook, messages flooded in from disappointed customers.
One person wrote: “So sorry to hear this. I bought my first bike from Keith. He gave me no end of support. A sad loss to the town. ”
Another added: “That can’t have been an easy decision.”
They added they hoped someone would want to carry the business on.
Adam said that Covid had a detrimental effect on the company, and although there was a “sudden demand” for bikes, there were issues with the supply chain which meant sales still suffered.
“Even at a time when we could’ve made the most of that we couldn’t. If we had access to the parts like we did pre-Covid, we would’ve been laughing and there would’ve been a lot less stress,” he said.
The cost of living crisis also played a part in the business’s decline, as people are more “pocket conscious” these days, said Adam.
However, Adam said if anyone wants to ‘give the shop a go’ and take it over, he would be open to discussion.
The shop will be officially closing at the end of September.