The Family Bike Club was established in 2022, is a not for profit organisation that offers a range of family bikes and cycling equipment for hire, bike servicing and repair, led rides and more – visit The Family Bike Club for the full range of services on offer.
The Family Bike Club is located at The Old Bookstall, Enfield Chase Railway Station, Windmill Hill, Enfield, London EN2 7AA.
Enfield Chase Railway Station is an all-rounder when it comes to active travel. The location provides rail, bus and cycling facilities including cycle hoops and covered bike parking.
The Journeys and Places team visited The Family Bike Club to chat to Luke Balnave, the founder, about the club.
Why did you decide to set up The Family Bike Club?
I really enjoy cycling, remember the enjoyment me and my kids got from cycling when they were younger and I wanted to share that with other families. However, I felt that parents might find it quite intimidating to start cycling on the road with their children and wanted to do something to help. I believed that families needed support, somewhere they could go and get advice, reassurance and help about what sort of bike and equipment would best suit their needs and then be able to hire it – a one stop shop. I found when talking to local people there was an appetite for an enterprise like The Family Bike Club and a lot of goodwill – as was evidenced by the generosity of local people when I was crowdfunding for it. Also, we don’t have many bikes shops in Enfield and thought to myself, ‘if we don’t have sufficient provision locally, how can we expect people to cycle more locally?’
What do you offer?
We provide bike and equipment hire, sell child carrying accessories and balance bikes for children, and offer bike repair and servicing. We also run led rides to encourage families to give cycling a go. Recently we ran a led ride to the food market at Forty Hall which was very successful.
How do you feel since setting up The Family Bike Club?
I can’t lie, it has been a challenge. But I love it, it’s very rewarding and doesn’t feel like work to me. On the whole, the reception that we have received from local residents and commuters has been really positive.
What have you noticed since setting up The Family Bike Club?
People have told me that it’s great to see some bike provision in this part of the borough. Train commuters have popped in to ask more about the service we offer, more people seem to be using the bike rack outside the station, and I think us being here has generally raised awareness of cycling with commuters using the station.
What’s next for The Family Bike Club?
There are several things that we would like to expand on. If anyone has a bike that they would like to donate to us, we will happily refurbish it and sell it on at a reasonable cost, just contact me directly. We are currently looking for an apprentice mechanic, so if anyone is interested please get in touch. As we are a not-for-profit social enterprise, if there are any retired bike enthusiast out there who might be interested in volunteering some time to help run TFBC, I would be very interested in hearing from them.
Whilst we were visiting, Tony, who is one of The Family Bike Club’s new customers, popped in and told us: “Before this shop, I was considering giving up cycling as it was becoming more difficult to get my bike serviced and repaired. We needed a local community bike shop for help, support and expert advice and The Family Bike Club fits the bill. I love cycling, it keeps your mind and body young and has certainly changed my life for the better”.
Find out more information on The Family Bike Club on their website. You can support them by donating to their crowdfund page here.