A passion for cycling and a deep-seated love for the glory days of the sport’s past have led to a Pendle man opening up a new business.
For several years Sean Kirkwood admits to “pratting about in his shed” repairing old bikes.
But now the retired social worker has set himself up as professional bike mechanic.
And he is gearing himself up to bring old steel bikes back to their former glory.
Sean has been a keen touring cyclist for many years and a member of the Burnley and Pendle Cyclist Touring Club for around 35 years.
And with legendary Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx as his sporting hero, he is now catering to a need for old style bikes among the cycling populous.
As music aficionados yearn for the days of vinyl, a multitude of cyclists hark back to the glory days of old steel frames before carbon took over.
Sean opened his new business in Colne Market Hall last week and said: “I have a passion for renovating classic old bikes and parts.
“I have a limited stock of classic steel bike frames and original components from the 1970s to the 90s along with some original accessories.
“My aim is to keep beautiful bikes from the golden era of cycling in circulation, but I can also custom-build bikes to meet the needs of the individual customer.”
With cycling still firmly in the national sporting DNA Sean is sure there is a gap in the burgeoning marketplace for a bespoke service.
“We live in a world of recycling and up-cycling and I felt there was a need for a little bike shop in the middle of town,” said Sean who also lives in Colne.
“I have a real interest and passion in restoring old frames. I can have them completely stripped down and repainted if necessary, and even find authentic decals to finish the job off properly.
“It started as a hobby. I was pratting about in my shed and then selling things online, but I realised there was a lot of interest and Colne Market Hall is such a vibrant place that I decided I should give it a go.
“I can also offer complete bike service and fitting and make sure that people have the right bike for their style of riding.”
A marathon-running veteran who has also taken part in many triathlons, Sean is a keen member of Colne Amateur Swimming Club and has also conquered the Munros, the Scottish peaks of more than 3,000 feet.
He has worked with the British triathlon squad, and famously the Brownlee brothers, as an on-site bike mechanic and also been involved with many sportives organised by locally-based Pennine Events.