Bike shop wheels off with service award

Allan Boult at Blazing Saddles, Hebden Bridge.
Allan Boult at Blazing Saddles, Hebden Bridge.

Hebden Bridge bike shop Blazing Saddles has scooped a top industry award for service.

Located in the town centre, Blazing Saddles has been popular with cyclists ever since it opened 11 years ago, and today the busy shop caters for every type of rider including mountain bikers, road cyclists, commuters and even kids.

The team was awarded top spot in the Star Store category at an annual prize-giving arranged by bike industry journal, Bike Biz.

The prestigious award was presented on Wednesday 24th September in an event attracting around 200 industry professionals, hosted at the Crowne Plaza Birmingham NEC Hotel.

Blazing Saddles was nominated for the prize by a mystery shopper: an industry insider who visited the shop anonymously and rated its performance in categories like shopping environment, product range, helpfulness and friendliness.

The secret visit took place back in February and led to Blazing Saddles beating six other nearby bike shops to win that month’s Star Store regional award.

The ceremony was the culmination of all the regional heats over the last 12 months – an annual event that saw Blazing Saddles beat hundreds of bike shops nationwide, all judged over the course of the last year.

Collecting the award, shop owner John Ainscough, commented, “It’s a brilliant confidence boost for the whole team, and very gratifying to know that people appreciate the way we do things.

“It’s especially great to know that people value face-to-face service and a more personal touch, because that’s something the internet can never compete on.

“We put a lot of effort into being well stocked, well organized and always as helpful as possible, but being friendly just comes naturally!”

Shop manager, Allan Boult, went on to explain, “It’s been a fantastic year so far for us, with all the added interested of the Tour de France as well as some significant improvements to the shop.

“Right now it’s product launch season, so we’re busy choosing which exciting new bikes and kit to wow our customers with over the next 12 months.”