Tim Skinner is a self confessed two wheel tragic. When he is not busy tending to one of Maitland’s hippest new café offerings that is. He operates the High Street cycle hub called The Bikesmith & Espresso Bar. (Tim is the Bikesmith element).
‘I love cycling and I love coffee and for me they both have complementary sub cultures that go together really well’ he said.
Since opening the doors to his café workshop in November 2015, Maitland has definitely got behind the unique business model that literally offers a full range of bike service options for you while you sip.
‘People will come in for a service and have a coffee while they wait, or come in to grab a coffee and pick up an inner tube. We even have people ride from Newcastle to have lunch and then jump back on the bike home’.
Pop a chain? The Bikesmith has you covered. To say this locals gem was simply coffee and bike repairs would be to undersell it. Although that’s exactly what you will get. Repairs, service and minor tinkering on your ride while you wait. It won’t feel like waiting though as you enjoy the coffee, cold drip or piping hot.
TIM’S TOP TIPS FOR TWO WHEELING AROUND MAITLAND
Track: Maitland Park
Perfect for: Beginners, families
If it’s a family ride then Tim heads over to Maitland Park. ‘That’s the city’s best shared use pathway and perfect for kids with training wheels to big kids on mountain bikes (like me!)’. There is a 2km cycle track that starts near the aquatic centre and loops back via the sports fields.
Track: High Street, Central Maitland
Perfect for: Mobile history buffs, beginner cyclists
A major heritage precinct that when riding from the east gives you a nice approach to Maitland Regional Art Gallery, showing the blend of old and new. Another plus, there are numerous coffee shops along the way on both sides of, and throughout The Levee Shared Zone. Once you get to Maitland Library, a ride back along the shared pathway of the river side gets you off the road for a time and provides a great perspective of both the river and the buildings that back on to its banks.
Track: Lorn to Largs via Morpeth
Perfect for: Intermediate cycling ability
Feeling more adventurous? Tim suggests a leisurely 20km cycle (the long way) to Morpeth. Starting at the Belmore Bridge and heading north through Lorn before turning on to Glenarvon Road. As you make your way to Morpeth you will take in some iconic parts of Maitland, along picturesque country roads, the track is mostly flat. As you go over Morpeth Bridge, head towards Largs before completing the ride down Paterson Road and back into Lorn. It’s a good loop cycle and suited to people of average fitness levels. You’ll see farmland and historic vistas.
Track: Duckenfield to Woodville
Perfect for: Intermediate cycling ability, road or mountain bikes
If you are looking for something a little bit longer, Tim says the ride from Duckenfield to Woodville can be piggy backed onto the Lorn to Morpeth cycle and offers advanced cyclists a trip outside of Maitland and into neighbouring shire of Port Stephens. Head north from Lorn to Woodville, then on to Hinton via Clarence Town Road, before cutting back over the Morpeth Bridge and heading west back to Lorn via High Street, Maitland to complete the loop. It should see you nudge the 30km mark.
Story by Tess Campbell.