Not so much a shop as an institution, Ride is the traditional, family-owned bike shop filled to the rafters with the latest machinery from some of the most desirable brands in cycling. Husband and wife team Ritchie and Rebecca Hilton-Foster are the cornerstone of a business that has traded as a bike shop continuously since 1978, and which mixes old fashioned service with cutting edge products. With a comprehensive bike range - both mountain and road - that encompasses everything from entry-level offerings to custom built dream machines, and a wide selection of accessories and components, clothing and eyewear, helmets and shoes, Ride is a veritable Aladdin’s cave: the local shop where you can touch and try the products that internet retailers can only show.
If you were to list the qualities you would want in the owner of your local bike shop, you might find yourself describing Ritchie Hilton-Foster. Friendly, vastly experienced, a fount of knowledge, and armed with boundless enthusiasm, Ritch is a man for whom nothing is too much trouble.
Ride leader on the shop’s Wednesday night mountain bike expedition (including the legendary, mid-summer Fancy Dress ride) and the Saturday morning road ride, his belief that cycling is an activity to enjoy is impossible to overlook.
Ritch took the helm at Ride more than 10 years and the broad community of roadies and mountain bikers that look upon the shop as a home-from- home is testament to his unstinting dedication. From barbecues to demo days, April Fool’s makeovers to the magical Light Fantastic ride each Christmas, Ritch has things covered. Few would dare to don a Bertie Bassett costume to lead a party of 60 or so mountain bikers (similarly attired) on a jaunt across the Isle of Purbeck, but to Ritchie the mid- summer Fancy Dress ride is a much a part of the Ride philosophy as stocking the most desirable products for road and mountain.