Local couple team up to lovingly rebuild 'better bikes'
Colin and Cheryl Denver were appalled to see vintage British bicycles end up in the landfill. So they set to work re-cycling. And the rest is history...
"We set out to rescue a few, and it went from there," Colin told Ealing Today. "To us, the vintage bicycles, in particular, are beautiful and I'm sure if they could talk, they'd have a story to tell ! Thats why we got into it."
Cheryl and Colin buy or are given old or scrap bicycles from all over the home counties and central London. They then either strip them down for parts or re-condition them into decent usable bikes.
"Most of the bikes we get are old british made ladies/children/gents bikes, most made before the bike companies moved their production to taiwain etc," explained Colin.
They sell those bikes on at a cost of just the labour and time that it takes to turn them into safe decent condition bikes. "We use mainly secondhand parts we add old wicker baskets to ladies bikes and carrying racks to the gents bikes," he said. "We can add other items to the customers requirments - we always try to fund them from secondhand parts."
"Doing what we do makes decent second hand bikes available to most people. This saves them money, so instead of buying a new bike - many cheap bikes only last months or a year - they get a good make of bike for a very reasonable cost that will outlive the cheap bikes in the stores.
Cheryl spends much of her time scouring the internet and car boot sales for second parts, old bikes, and most importantly old vintage wicker baskets to put on the bikes.
Colin works as a part time chauffeur for a company based in the Home Counties, but dreams of giving it up to focus on working on the bikes.
"My wife and I are trying to make this a full time business, but because of only a small amount of cash flow, we can only do this part time," he said. "We have e-mailed Mr Ken Livingstone about what we are doing to see if any grants or start up funding is available, we have not heard back from him as yet."
The couple don't have a shop. "We work out of a small lock up garage that we rent but we would like to make this a full time business, helping all in London and the home counties to get on decent safe bikes."
The couple's love of old bikes is matched by a concern for the environment recycling old cycles has a ring to it!
"Cycling is on the increase in this country," said Colin. "Its a way of saving money for people getting to work and keeping people fit, let alone the green issues that go with it, stopping old bikes being buried in landfill sites, and if we could open a branch in every major city in England this would cut down the production of new bikes. There are many issues that have a plus for getting on a secondhand decent bike, and the bike being maintained using secondhand parts."
"The used bikes we sell always include a lock that we supply free of charge, and make sure the customer is happy with the bike before they ride off into the sunset."
August 2, 2007