The Cycle Recycler started when I was a carer for my late mother. I needed something to occupy myself while being flexible enough to provide the care and assistance my mother needed.

I struggle with ill health myself having 5 heart attacks and quadruple bypass surgery on December 17 plus anxiety and depression, my last heart attack was in May this year.

I started in the trade back in 1989 when the first mountain bikes came out I wanted one as I had a Raleigh Flyer Road Bike but my parents, like so many at the time, wouldn’t support two bikes for a 14 year old. So I went to Kelvin Cycles and said I would work all summer for them if I could save to get a mountain bike.   Most days I swept the shop and learnt how to fix bikes and put new bikes together getting an insight into the cycle trade.

Getting my NVQ in retail as there was not a full qualification for cycle repairs in the 1990s. I looked at an apprenticeship with Raleigh Nottingham as I wanted to be a frame builder and work on bikes like the Raleigh Banana I had always wanted (I’ve had 5 now).

I’m a huge Raleigh fan: I have 1976 Raleigh Chopper 1982 Raleigh Grifter and a 1986 Raleigh Burner amongst my collection of bikes. This fell through as Raleigh was sold off yet again and was moving production abroad so I went off and did other things occasionally popping back into the trade.

Then in 2013, I started doing second-hand bikes to raise extra money for myself slowly building what we know now as The Cycle Recycler.

August 2014 I suffered my first heart attack and decided that I needed to be able to work when I can so I went full time as The Cycle Recycler. In the years since I’ve evolved into a social enterprise business now and through my work with Kenilworth Lions I always had a sense that if you have a talent that you can share you should. So I helped various charities going into inner-city schools and deprived areas fixing children’s bikes for free. This led to a realisation that I could also help charities with my work so I decided small jobs that only require a tip and delivery charges could be donated to worthy causes. Then as I got more bikes donated I thought the best way was to split the profit from all donated bikes 50/50 with charities, sometimes more depending on the request of the donor. The reason we split the profits is to reinvest the funds into doing more repair cafes and donating bikes to various causes and people.

But I can not do this without my customers and the support I receive from you all.


Check out my latest inventory of bikes on facebook, every Friday 6pm GMT.