Tales from the workshop: Cumbria’s The Bike Inn shares one its success stories

The Bike Inn, a cycle mechanic training school in Cumbria that has been training workshop staff for more than 30 years, shares one of its success stories

This piece first appeared in the June edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here

During 2020 Shavari Vidwams embarked on an adventure to The Bike Inn in Appleby, Cumbria, from Mumbai, India. Having already completed a frame building course in India, Shavari’s next challenge was to complete our professional mechanic course, which incorporates a level three IMI qualification. Shavari’s aim was to expand her mechanical knowledge to enable the opening of a cycle workshop back home in Mumbai.

The travel restrictions that were in place during this time meant Shavari spent 15 days in quarantine, but despite this she said it was worth every second. With the support of her friends and family the logistics were possible and Shavari was “one day at a time moving towards her goal.” Shavari completed the three-week on-site course, from learning about traditional headsets and bottom brackets to electronic gears and e-bikes. During these intense weeks a lot of skills were learned, including wheel building, a dark art to master!

As well as mechanic sessions, Shavari fully embraced her time in the local area: discussing random things with the neighbours where she was staying, exchanging food through windows, experiencing snow while walking towards The Bike Inn, mechanic classes, practical work, study, coffee, exchanging ideas, feeling super cold in the workshop, trying to take notes of anything and everything she could to further her knowledge, throwing her clothes away to pack her newly purchased tools in her bag… the list goes on.

Once Shavari completed The Bike Inn’s professional course, it was time to travel back to India and put into practice her newly learnt skills in her workshop based in Mumbai. Shavari’s reputation now precedes her, with people travelling varying distances to have their bike serviced by a professional female bike mechanic!

The Bike Inn staff are never more than a phone call away for her and any of our past students. We enjoy seeing our graduates succeed whether they’re local, or have travelled halfway around the world.

Do you have a funny, eye-opening, or important story from the workshop? Email rebecca.morley@biz-media.co.uk or alex.ballinger@biz-media.co.uk for a chance to feature in BikeBiz.

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