History of the Gove site
Billy Gove was a famous local Ballarat identity, well known amongst the Ballarat families for his quality bicycles and friendly service. Many locals can remember buying their first new (or used) bike from Billy and the 'rack' out the front and were saddened to know that his business and building may be sold and lost forever due to his retirement.
We are very happy to have been able to retain the history of this famous local site and with a complete renovation, we have been able to ensure that Billy and his legacy live on.
Below is an extract from the City of Ballarat website:
Architect/Designer: Tom Reisacher
Builder/Tradesperson: DJ Renovation & Building
This 100 year old heritage place have ensured that the tradition of Gove Cycles lives on by retaining the former use and former name of this historic business and building. The original exterior fabric has been retained where possible and restored to a high conservation standard.
Below is an article published in the Ballarat Independent in November 2011:
Gove Cycles has been keeping the city on two wheels for more than half a century.
At its peak, founder Bill Gove was selling 1000 bikes a year, all of which were built in what is now a bowling alley at the top of Armstrong Street.
When Mr Gove retired in August last year, the cycling city looked set to lose one of it key foundations.
More than a year on, the store has been reopened with the addition of a cafe. Arthur, who will compete in his 10th ironman triathlon next year, jumped at the chance to buy the business after he was made redundant in his job at the Ballarat Telstra store.
"The choice was commute to Melbourne daily, give up cycling or pursue a dream and that's what I've done," Mr Shaw, who is no relation to Ballarat cycling great Dennis Shaw, said.
While the name of the business has been retained, much has changed.
The rusted bikes at the front of the store have gone as has the chaos and disorder of the repair shop and showroom.
Gove Cycles is now an outlet for Specialized and holds all the hallmarks of a well oiled, modern bike store.
"We're only a new business, we're the first bike shop to have a cafe in it," Sharine Shaw, who manages Bike Rack Cafe, the cafe side of the business, said.
Perhaps lured by the coffee, Ballarat cycling enthusiasts seem to have been converted.
"Saturday you couldn't move in here, we had to turn some people away," Mrs. Shaw said.
The cafe can seat 22, but that will grow to 38 next week when it will be able to set up tables out the front.
While much had changed at Gove Cycles Arthur Shaw says Bill Gove's legacy won't be forgotten.
Like most Ballarat residents, Shaw purchased his first bike from Mr Gove as a youngster.
A wall of the cafe is covered in Gove Cycles memorabilia and a book could soon follow.
"Our philosophy is that we want to keep that iconic business going for another 50 years," Mr Shaw said.