Pace Cycles and Eurest to run Dalby Forest bike hire and café

The Forestry Commission have today announced that Pace Cycles and Eurest Services will operate the bike hire centre and café at Dalby Forest near Pickering in North Yorkshire.

The news comes following the realisation that Purple Mountain, who have been running the café and bike centre facilities at Dalby for the past six years, lost out in a tender process that drew interest from 15 businesses from around the UK.

Alan Eves, Forest Management Director, said: “The high level of interest underlines Dalby Forest as a prime biking destination. We chose the winning bidders for their experience, expertise and commitment to build on our reputation as a family biking centre offering world class facilities on and off the trail.”

Pace Cycles, founded locally in Kirkbymoorside, is one of the leading UK mountain bike brands and has been making complete bikes and parts for 25 years and testing them in Dalby Forest.  Last year they moved their operation into Dalby establishing a demonstration centre for its range of bikes and a national suspension service centre.

The CTC is a not-for- profit member-based organisation which has promoted cyclists’ rights since 1878.  The linkup between two aims to encourage more people to saddle up in Dalby, offering events, guides and instruction, while looking after the needs of accomplished bikers keen to tackle the forest’s acclaimed single track network.

Adrian Carter said: “We’re really excited at this opportunity and the prospect of partnering with the CTC who plan to promote Dalby as their Centre of Excellence for cycling in England. We will be creating a new business to operate the site and expect to make it the number one cycling destination in the North.”

Eurest Services is part of Compass Group UK and Ireland and has operated the Treetops Café in the £2.3m Dalby Forest Visitor Centre since 2007.  The new offer in the Courtyard Café will complement the existing Treetop Café offering and will also feature more energy based foods for the hungry and thirsty bikers.

Richard Taylor, Business Director for Eurest Services said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be awarded this contract and expand on the services we provide to Dalby Forest visitors. The Courtyard Café is a popular destination within the Forest and we look forward to providing customers with a wide range of food and drink offers to suit their needs.”

Alan Eves added: “I’d like to place on record my thanks to Purple Mountain, who have operated the bike hire centre and cafe since 2006. They have played a significant part in Dalby’s emergence as a major biking destination.”

The new contracts will run for three years from 1 April 2012, subject to review.

Are you a regular user of the Dalby Forest trails? What do you think of this news?

  1. Stuart

    I’m 50 / 50 on Purple Mtn loosing the bike shop part, but giving over to Compass the courtyard isn’t right.

    I for one will be bringing my own sandwiches and snacks (which is my cheaper to do) and possibly a flask.

    I think it’s wrong to evict small companies/independents and replace them with large multi-nationals, it gives the wrong feel.

    To see how is should be done just look at http://www.oneplanetadventure.com/ over at LLandegla, amazing food and shop. I’m always in there buying drinks and food post ride.

    I have large corporate rubbish food at work, definitely not a treat after a weekend ride.

  2. Duncan

    I can not really comment on the bike shop part of the Purple Mountain offering (never used it) but the cafe bit was pants. I was ready to spend on cakes and drinks (with young children in tow I had no choice) but the selection was so underwhelming that I threw them in the car and went elsewhere.

    I agree that a small company/independent would be nice but more important to me is that there is an tempting offering. No reason why a large multinational could not do that, just less likely that it will.

  3. Ian

    I live very local to Dalby, so close in fact that I invariably ride in so my need/usage of the facilites in Low Dalby is limited.

    However I would agree with Stuarts comments above adding the following;

    I feel the bike side of business can only improve, Purple Mountains interests did not appear to reach far beyond cycle hire i.e. the ABBA syndrome (money, money, money) , PACE on the other hand have a proven track record in all things MTB and can offer advice both technically and practically to those both new to MTB and the more experienced rider.

    Regretably the catering side of the scenario gives me serious cause for concern, in a nutshell; if Eurest serve up the same sanitised, pre-packed, tasteless, totally un-neutritional, over priced rubbish they currently serve in the visitor centre we (the regular riders of Dalby) will inevitably have to bring our own refreshments with us. And I feel that Eurest are probably to big to give a “damn” if we do all vote with our feet.

    I will bemoan the loss of home/fresh cooked food…….

  4. chris

    Im agreed the bike shop is fair play and especially as its another local company PACE and the CTC although we all take the piss out of them they actually do a lot of good for cycling so to me thats fair play.

    But awarding the cafe to compass is just stupid, have you ever eaten in the visitors centre, let me tell you I have…. its crap plastic food and its bloody expensive. they will turn the courtyard into another version of that, a place with no character. Unlike the cafe as it is at the moment.

    Anyhow rant over its bad luck on purple mountains front and i for one wont be going into the cafe if it does change hands i think it will be pack lunches and a flax of coffee. to be honest I am starting to prefer llandegla more and more. Seems to be so much more investment going into it.

    And this is coming from someone who was totally against the selling off of our forests. My mind has been opened upto what can be done with a private forest. proof in the pudding Llandegla vs Dalby

  5. jonathan epworth

    I didn’t realise that Purple Mountain were doing such a bad job? On my visits to Dalby they have been warm and friendly. I even took my 3 year old to a Halloween ride. Seems Pace moved in not so long ago and now they have moved in for good. Just another bigger and better promise of bringing more interest to the sport of mountain biking with an underlying interest of profit. Good luck. I won’t be coming back to Dalby as I prefer Kielder. What’s next on the Forestry Commissions list. A retail outlet?

  6. MikeA

    It’ll be a very sad day when Purple Mountain closes at the courtyard.
    I for one won’t be frequenting the cafe once they go,coffee and cakes in Thornton Le Dale from now on.
    Epetition here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-purple-mountain-cafe-dalby.html

  7. Paul Cox

    The problem with a corporate company taking over as at Coed y Brenin when they moved across the road a few years ago the quality of food goes down while the prices go up , generally the atmosphere suffers and the menu moves away from beans on toast and a brew to paninis and choco mocko lattes .Sadly when money is involved things seldom change for the better.

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