A Bolton cycling shop has closed after almost 50 years.

Ryan Phelan from Smithills - bought the MK Cycles shop on Tonge Moor Road in 2012, after it originally opened in 1976.

Ryan and his partner Laura later moved the business in 2017 renting a unit at Belmont Works due to the prices and size of the shop at the time.

Now the couple, who have two children, Ava and Ralph, are looking forward to spending time their family.

Laura said that although the cycling industry was 'quite fruitful' during Covid, but that the pandemic did take its toll on the industry with a disrupted supply chain making it harder to get in stock.

The Bolton News: Laura in the middle with some customersLaura in the middle with some customers (Image: Public)

She added: “And two years ago, Ryan lost his mum.

“And his best friend Tom Benson also died in a car crash.

“They passed away within two months of each other.

“When people pass away you re-evaluate everything and although Ryan was passionate about cycling, it just wasn’t giving him that sense of being he needed.”

Laura also says that the business took up a lot of their time outside of work and 
Ryan did not get to go  out on his bike as much as he wanted.

Ryan had always had a passion for the outdoors and bikes and started working at MK Cycles when he was 15, making it almost 23 years since he worked there.

It was so successful that Laura decided to join him in 2017 and left her job in charity to come and help at the shop.

The Bolton News: Ryan holding the blue t-shirt up during Lagans charity cycle rideRyan holding the blue t-shirt up during Lagans charity cycle ride (Image: Public)

Looking back Laura says that they will miss the customers the most because they became more like family, and the shop became more like a workshop.

She said: “Our customers were the best and I know everyone says that, but they were like family and friends.

“We became incredibly friendly with them, and I think that’s what kept us going for so long.

“People would come in for a brew and a piece of cake and stay for hours.

“We would put a log burner on, and we huddled around, and it was like a workshop.

“It wasn’t about the shop; it was about the family we built.”

Both Laura and Ryan have embarked on new journeys.

Laura – who is already trained in reiki and holistic healing – is set to launch her new website in June for The Avery Tree, which will sell a range of spiritual items, including plenty of crystals.

Ryan has also started a new business - Smithills Handyman & Landscaping - which has received a huge amount of interest already.

MK Cycles officially closed last Friday (April 28).

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.