Kenilworth bike repairer aiming for record year
A Kenilworth cycle enthusiast who donates a portion of his bike-repair business's profits to charity is aiming for a record-breaking 2017.
Tony Sewell, 41, of Finham Road, known as ‘The Cycle Recycler’ donated a good chunk of his income in 2016 to various local and national charities.
He gave £225 to Myton Hospices, £150 to Dogs Trust Kenilworth, £80 to the British Heart Foundation, £75 to Zoe’s Place, and £50 to Kenilworth Food Bank, along with several parcels of food.
Alongside cash donations, he gifted Pawprints Rugby with a Raleigh Chopper bike and offered his services for free as a prize in various raffles.
Now he is aiming to repair a record number of bikes this year to raise even more money for charity.
Tony, who runs the Love Kenilworth Facebook page, said: “I love my town, and to put money back into charity is not a problem.
“This year I really want to do more for charity but it’s a case of getting the message out there.
“It’s also an extra incentive for people to do business with me.”
Tony developed a love for bikes while working in specialist cycle shops when he was young.
After stints in various other jobs, he decided to repair old and broken bikes as a way of earning a bit of extra money.
Tony decided to take it up full-time a few years ago after health problems and caring for his mother meant he had to stay at home.
He runs his business round the back of his house with 50 to 100 bikes in his back yard at any one time, most of which he sets aside for repair.
Tony admits he cannot repair them all as some are either too old or damaged. He scraps these bikes for parts which he then uses to improve other bikes.
Trade has got better for Tony year on year. In his first year, Tony was repaired and scrapped around 350 bikes. This improved to around 750 bikes in his second year.
In 2016, Tony repaired more than 1,000 bikes, close to three a day, and scrapped 250. He hopes he will repair 1,250 bikes this year.
Tony said: “It’s not just the sale side of things, the repair side is great as well.
“A lot of people can’t afford repairs from big cycle shops - some charge to even look at the bike.”
Although Tony is unsure what charity he will donate to at the end of January, he is open to suggestions.
He is thinking of contributing his £5 delivery charge for customers in Leamington, Warwick or Coventry to charity this year.