Sparkling debut for automated ‘bikewash’
Computer expert Devray Denwiddie aims to clean up in the bike-washing business.
For the Bermuda Government employee has opened the island's first automated “bikewash” after years of research.
The Bike Spa machine, based at the back of the Riviere family's existing Bull's Head carwash off Dundonald Street in Hamilton, offers an automated machine with hand-finishing.
The business opened up just before the Cup Match holiday and Mr Denwiddie said: “It's going pretty well; we did a soft launch then we opened fully the week after that.
“So far, it's been received really very well. We've had several types of bikes, from large to small and a couple of custom bikes, whether they be limited edition or sprayed and detailed.”
He added: “We've already had a couple of repeat customers and so far things have been pretty good.”
Mr Denwiddie, a graduate of the New England Institute of Technology, said he first thought of the idea after he cleaned a borrowed bike when he was home on vacation from college years ago.
He explained: “My godmother lent me her bike and when I give something back, I want it to be in as good or better condition than I got it.
“When I was washing it, I thought there's got to be a better way to do this — it was really hot and I'd been in Rhode Island and I hadn't acclimatised.”
Mr Denwiddie, now 35, and a friend studying engineering at the same school tried to build their own machine, but could not come up with a viable solution — so he opted to try and track a ready-made one online.
He said: “I eventually found one overseas and brought it here.”
Bikes are pre-washed by an attendant using a power hose to clean hard-to-reach spots such as the underside before being run through the Bike Spa.
The machine rinses off the bike then applies soap and rinses, with a final spray of liquid wax and a further rinse.
The attendant then finishes the process by hand with a final polish.
Mr Denwiddie said that the Bull's Head carwash, which has existing waste water disposal to government standards, was the ideal spot for the new venture.
He added: “We have to be responsible with the run-off water and where it ends up. Some of it was down to that and partly how I was received by the Rivieres, and how they were able to assist me as a young entrepreneur.
“They've helped me a lot; they're the only automated carwash on the island, so it's a perfect fit.”