ONE of Bingley’s oldest businesses is closing after 40 years.
Keith Lambert’s bike shop on Whitley Street, Bingley, will close in October as the current owner looks to pursue a different career.
The store was established in 1979 and opened by Mr. Lambert, who grew up in Bingley, was a professional cyclist for 16 years and won several international medals.
However, over the years Keith’s family have run the shop, but current owner Adam Thompson, who took it over in 2017, has faced many challenges.
“It used to be run by my girlfriend’s family, but a few years ago I took it over to keep it in the family.
“When I agreed, we had to move to a less central location because the owner wanted the original store back, and it just didn’t work out.
“It’s a shame, I feel guilty for letting the family business down after lasting so long, but there have been problems with the current market.
“It’s almost as cheap to buy bikes and parts online as it is to buy from suppliers and I need a stable income for myself and my young family.”
When the well-established store announced its closure on Facebook, messages from disappointed customers poured in.
One person wrote: “So sorry to hear this. I bought my first bike from Keith. He gave me endless support. A sad loss for the commune.”
Another added: “It must not have been an easy decision.”
They added that they hoped someone would like to sue the company.
Adam said Covid was having a detrimental effect on the business, and although there was “sudden demand” for the bikes, there were issues with the supply chain which meant sales were still suffering .
“Even at a time when we could have made the most of it, we couldn’t. If we had had access to the rooms like we did before Covid, we would have laughed and there would have been a lot less stress,” he said.
The cost-of-living crisis also played a role in the company’s decline, as people are more “pocket conscious” these days, Adam said.
However, Adam said if anyone wanted to “try out the store” and pick it up, they would be open to discussion.
The shop will officially close at the end of September.