SHOPPERS were 'shocked' yesterday morning after a bike outlet underwent an 'X-rated makeover' in Parkstone.

Motorists driving past cycle shop Ride on busy Commercial Road, Ashley Cross, may have had to do a double-take after it appeared to have turned into an adults-only store overnight.

However, it was in fact an April Fools gag that has been weeks in the planning.

Owner Richard Hilton-Foster said he was inspired to play the joke after a number of bike-obsessed customers received telling-offs from their other halves for spending so much time there.

“It’s the sort of reaction you’d expect if they’d been visiting a strip club – not a bike shop,” he added. “We have a few customers who have other halves who don’t like them spending so much time here – they find the Ride receipts when they get home and are not happy.”

The shop has been preparing for three weeks after hiring the services of a nearby signage supplier. As well as changing its name to ‘Rude’ on one side, it also displayed a number of bike-based innuendos.

To celebrate the completion of their creation Mr Hilton-Foster – along with employees Pete Warner, Andy Phillips and Rob Webb – enjoyed a curry at nearby The Gate of India where they watched from the window as passers-by reacted to the signage for the first time.

“It was hilarious,” added Mr Hilton-Foster. “I was a little bit worried about what the reaction would be like, but so far everybody has just seen it as a bit of fun.

“We really don’t want to offend anybody and will be taking it down in a couple of days. We made sure there was a clear disclaimer to make sure everybody knows it is just a joke.”

A number of residents passing the shop stopped to look in, with all the passers-by the Daily Echo spoke to saying they saw the funny side.

Simon Bignell, 32 who lives nearby, said he was amused as he passed the shop before having his haircut at a neighbouring barber.

He said: “It’s really nice to see a business not taking themselves too seriously like this. It’s brilliant and shows they have a sense of humour.”