The Bike Inn has a long history and much revered reputation within our industry. Most of today's bicycle mechanic training schools have built their own businesses on the Bike Inn model in an attempt to emulate our successes and rival our position in the market. 2021 sees the 30th anniversary of the Bike Inn in it's current guise - that's 30 years of offering full time courses with professionally accredited qualifications.
The school is overseen by Jon Colborne - a highly respected wheel building master, and himself a Bike Inn graduate. After gaining his qualification, Jon continued to work with the then owners Alf and Theresa Webb, helping them to expand the school and build their benchmark reputation. When Alf and Theresa reluctantly retired in 2017 it was only natural that Jon should take over the business, and it was then that he decided to move it back to his home territory (and cycling nirvana) in Cumbria.
It has always been the ethos of the school to offer the best, most comprehensive, and most relevant course structure to assist cycling professionals, avid hobbyists, future mechanics and those wishing to make a career change to gain the most useful knowledge they can. The IMI accredited courses fit that bill perfectly. They are internationally recognised qualifications - proven by the number of foreign students we have travelling to the UK specifically to attend the Bike Inn - so you can sure that if you go to an IMI accredited mechanic anywhere in the world, be it in India or Inverness, you will always receive the same level of top quality service.
We also include in the course structure advice and information to assist new graduates seeking to set up their own business - whether as a mobile mechanic, event support provider, custom bike engineer or repair workshop. As well as being able to provide them with all the tools they might require from the most reputable brands, at very competitive prices (making use of our trade associations).
To complement the professional IMI qualifications we have also developed a range of short courses of between 1 and 4 days, either to allow existing mechanics to delve deeper into areas such as hydraulics or wheel building, or to offer the avid amateur knowledge and skills relevant to their own bikes with a general maintenance program.
Here at the Bike Inn we are all about the cycling community - from our social media pages, to our Strava cycling club, graduate forums, and even branded cycle wear in the iconic Bike Inn orange and black. Our team are all Bike Inn graduates (of course) and we also run our servicing, maintenance and repair workshop Helmwind Cycles at the same location. Is it any wonder cyclists from far and wide find our premises to be a little bit of bicycle heaven?
Meet The Team...
Jon originally trained at the Bike Inn when it was located in Spalding, Lincolnshire - and when owners Alf and Theresa Webb retired in 2018 he took over the business and relocated it to it's current home in Cumbria.
Jon has worked tirelessly to bring the Bike Inn racing into the 21st century, making it the industry leading educational establishment that can boast itself as the place where the trainers train! He has also expanded the scope of the Bike Inn's course schedule to offer a wide range of short courses.
Away from work Jon is an avid foodie, and can whip up a mean dinner with little more than his trusty wood fired stove, and some locally sourced ingredients.
Martin graduated from the Bike Inn in 2015, and has returned regularly to help out in both the school and the workshop - until the summer of 2020 when he finally accepted a permanent contract here with us.
Being an ex Royal Air Force engineer he is a highly skilled diagnostician, and with an exceptional eye for detail and an 'I'm not stopping 'til I've fixed this' attitude he has quickly become a key member of the team. Martin also has the accolade of being the GB Age Group Triathlon Team bicycle mechanic, travelling across Europe and beyond supporting our athletes as they compete internationally.
Martin is currently undertaking a rigorous training regime, in preparation for taking on the infamously gruelling Race Across America event in 2023.
David is a born-and-bred North East man, with an eclectic career behind him before he retrained at the Bike Inn.
Always an avid cyclist, and with experience in the education sector, David was an obvious choice for presenting courses when the Bike Inn relocated north, and he joined the Helmwind team at that time too.
He commutes weekly from his family home in Co. Durham, and runs our pick-up-and-drop-off service for the eastern side of the North Pennines.
David has travelled extensively, and also owns a small property in Spain where he undertakes performance coaching for cycle athletes for short periods over the winter months.
Mark has had a successful career in his own right, but when he decided to take early retirement he found he had too much time of his hands and started looking for something more to fill his time. Being an avid cyclist, and a local man, his path inevitably crossed with Jon & Co at Helmwind Cycles (our repair/workshop sister company) ... and the rest, as they say, is history!
Mark teaches at the Bike Inn a couple of days a week, as well as continuously reviewing the written course materials to ensure they are fully up to date with all the latest specifications.
When trying his hardest to be semi-retired Mark manages to relax out and about on the fells, either on his bike or on foot - often with his camera in hand, and always accompanied by his faithful hounds.
Henrietta is most definitely her father's daughter - and the apple has not fallen far from the tree! Known affectionately as simply 'H' she is also a Bike Inn graduate, and the driving force in the Helmwind Cycles workshop when it comes to get things organised. She has recently started teaching in the Bike Inn school too, as well as being an assessor for course 'homework'.
H splits her time between Cumbria and mainland Europe, where she trains and competes at UCI level for the Dutch based GT Krush TUNAP women’s pro cycling team. In order to keep her fitness in peak condition to optimise performance there is no such thing as a rest day for H - she trains every day - rain or shine - cycling or running, and working on her strength and conditioning in the gym.
When in Cumbria, H is almost always accompanied by her 'partner in crime' Maddy - who has rapidly become a permanent and much loved member of the team.
Everyone knows that the real star of the show at the Bike Inn is Maddy!
She has only been a member of the Colborne family for a few months, but has already stolen the hearts of all her colleagues, as well as rapidly befriending all students and customers. Originally meant to be 'retired' from her farming career, she now works hard to maintain her svelte figure accompanying H on her training runs, or chasing various wildlife across the fields and fells.
Maddy has two favourite spots at the Bike Inn, and demands that her bed be moved between them on a regular basis depending whether she wishes to be in the school or the workshop. Maddy could be your new best friend too for the price of a Boneo.
You can follow Maddy's adventures on her Instagram page Mardy.Maddy