A BULLSBROOK family’s bike-hire business has taken off at Swan Valley Central after being rejected by the City of Swan.
Husband and wife team Garrett and Catherine Hall, along with Garrett’s father Alan, bought the WA rights to the Spinway bike-hire system almost three years ago.
Originally designed to be put outside hotels in pairs, Mrs Hall said that in three years they had expanded the business to a fleet of 84 bikes in 16 different locations, including iconic sites such as Kings Park and Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour.
It wasn’t long before they set their sites on the Swan Valley as an ideal location.
“The original concept was for hotels, to have a location outside a hotel for guests but we’re branching out from that,” Mrs Hall said.
“Just driving through the Swan Valley we’ve always thought it was perfect for bike hire, it’s got great paths, great locations to visit on bikes, you’ve got lots of amazing food, some great wineries and great breweries that are all within cycling distance.”
Mrs Hall said they originally approached the City of Swan after identifying the Swan Valley Visitor’s Centre as an ideal location, but the deal mysteriously fell through.
“We’ve been attempting for the last couple of years to get them in at the Swan Valley Visitor’s Centre,” she said.
“We had approval for that site with the City of Swan, we were in the contractual stages and then the City of Swan decided they didn’t want to go through with it.
“I was sending the last details for the contract, business address formality, that sort of stuff, and we received an email from the City of Swan saying they were putting the idea on hold for the moment, and they pulled the pin.
“If you look at any local government, everyone has a grand bike scheme somehow, they’ll spend this much money on bike infrastructure and improving bike riding as a means of transport and the City of Swan is the same.
“We were really clear to them and we said we’d be happy to be based at the Visitor’s Centre to fill a need even in the interim, because we’re totally portable, we can move our stations, and we would have been happy to be the interim but they just said no, and we never got any more details.”
Despite this apparent rejection, Mrs Hall said they were still set on the Swan Valley when they received a phone call out of the blue.
“We got an email from Sonia Todorovic asking if we’d like to put the bikes out here at Swan Valley Central, and we originally said no.
“Then I sat down with Garrett and we had a think about it, and really we came to the conclusion there was no reason this wouldn’t work here.
“There’s a bus stop right outside, the City of Swan are talking about trialling a circle-route, hop-on hop-off service, and it’s not as ideal as the Visitor’s Centre but it’s still a great location.”
The hiring process is surprisingly simple, with visitors renting the bikes with their credit card, after signing off on terms and conditions.
The price starts off at $11 per hour, moving to $22 for four hours before being capped at $33 for a full day.
The City of Swan could not provide a response by time of print.