plan2ride is the realisation of a dream for Tongwynlais residents Raoul and Louise Tufnell. The couple are close to the launch of a business that combines their passion for cycling and the outdoors.
Raoul and Louise bought the premises three years ago, seeing its potential for an outdoor activity business close to Cardiff but with access to the countryside. The couple moved into the village in the summer of 2014 and began making their dream a reality.
I went along to take a look around the premises and see how it’s taking shape. The first thing that surprised me was the amount of space. The structural work is all finished and the interior is starting to come together with a white metro tiled kitchen area and exposed roof trusses.
Raoul explained that the initial focus for the business is repairs, retail and refreshments. The rear of the shop will be used for bike repairs, while the main space will sell outdoor equipment and refreshments. They plan to offer hot drinks, cakes and simple hot snacks like toast and crumpets. They’ll also stock energy drinks and snacks. The front of the site has a small courtyard for seating and storage. The business will employ two part time staff to help run the repair shop and cafe.
Louise works in the events industry and the pair have already got plans for the future. They’re looking at the possibilities of running events and even excursions when the main business is established.
Raoul is currently employed in the renewables industry but has experience working in an independent bike shop and is a keen cyclist. He’s still working out the range of gear to stock but cyclists can be confident that if they’re in the area and need equipment, then plan2ride will be there for them.
The couple are keen to cater for all levels of ability, not just the hardcore adventurers. The shop will have an accessible toilet and they want to encourage the community to be more active. They also plan to partner with local personal trainers and massage therapists to help people achieve their goals.
I was really impressed by Raoul and Louise’s focus and determination. They seemed cautiously excited but clearly passionate about their new endeavour. The business is scheduled to open in early March.