Today’s colourful identity is Josh Blake the owner of Renegade Cycles. ITC chose Josh as Renegade Cycles has been operating for 20 years. Josh is also on the board of Lane Cove Alive and is passionate about a vibrant Lane Cove.
Why did you start Renegade Cycles?
It must run in the family.. My dad started his own business after years in the corporate world and he never looked back. I got the same bug to do something I really enjoyed.
What is the philosophy behind Renegade Cycles?
To help our customers have the most rewarding and enjoyable cycling experiences
Why did you choose Lane Cove to set up Renegade Cycles?
I bought a map of Sydney and pinned every bike shop on it. Then I got some data about cycling by council. The best opportunity for a new bike shop back in 1993 was actually in Blacktown/Baulkham Hills but that was too far for me. Lane Cove was next. I came up to the Plaza one weekend and I really liked the atmosphere. The rest is history.
All your staff look very fit – are they required to pass a test or prove they are true cyclists?
Yes they all have to ride. You can’t stand in front of a customer and enthusiastically deliver the right solution unless you ride yourself.
Do you try and employ locals?
Yes. More than half of our staff live in Lane Cove.
What did you do before you owned the business?
I was the Finance Director for a large environmental services company.
Why are there now so many MAMILs around and what is a female MAMIL called*?
Ha! Despite the look, Lycra© does serve a useful purpose as everyone who wears it can attest. Keeps you much cooler and more comfortable. A female MAMIL? No idea but definitely better looking than the male. (Note ITC is not a MAMIL but the basket on her bike looks pretty).
What is the number one benefit your clients say to you about cycling?
They feel great.
What other shops would you like to see In The Cove ?
Sports, men’s clothing, a delicatessen, kitchenware/cooking and a bit more nightlife are all opportunities.
You are on Lane Cove Alive – that is great you are volunteering to promote Lane Cove – why did you decide to do that?
It operates on a lot of levels. It’s not just about business but also about how culture, art, architecture and public space can create a dynamic place for the entire community to enjoy if done well. I like being a part of that.
What is your vision for Lane Cove and the Lane Cove Plaza?
A vibrant Village community atmosphere with more people walking and cycling to public spaces and engaging with each other. Basically “Life between Buildings”.
Finally, which celebrity would you like to have as a client?
All of them! We’ve had quite a few over the years. All really nice and unassuming too.