‘Interest has exploded’: New cycle shop owner struggles to meet demand
PUBLISHED: 12:32 03 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:32 03 September 2020
A new cycle shop owner is struggling to find new stock amid the booming popularity of cycling following the lockdown.
Roger Tugman, 53, took over Aylsham Cycle Centre in White Hart Street three weeks ago.
Mr Tugman, who lives in Dereham, said he had been “amazed” at how brisk business had been as ever more people discovered the benefits of pedal power.
He said: “It’s been massive. One supplier says they won’t have any new stock available until next April, but another one said they’d have more stock at the end of this month.
“Interest in cycling has just exploded. It’s one of the few pluses come out of the lockdown, I suppose.”
Mr Tugman said most of his business currently was selling second-hand bicycles - which were significantly easier to buy than new bikes - and repairing bikes.
He said: “The one thing we are fully stocked with is e-bikes - the people who make the ones I buy are built in Denmark, so it’s a more steady manufacture.
“There’s also been a lot of people coming in to use the government’s Fix Your Bike scheme. The idea is to dig your old bike out of the shed and I can sort it out for you for £50 and it’s covered by a voucher.”
Figures from the Bicycle Association show that bicycle sales rose by 63pc between April and June compared with the same time last year - with demand strongest for bikes costing less than £1,000.
Mr Tugman said he was made redundant from his previous job earlier this year. He had also previously rented out bicycles from his house.
He said: “For the first time in my life I had a few quid in the bank, and a friend of mine emailed me an advert about the cycle centre becoming available.
“I’ll be adding a bike hire service from here as well - I’ve had a lot of people in the shop talking about hiring bikes and the lack of availability of it. The location is excellent for it.”
Mr Tugman said he hoped renewed popularity of cycling would become permanent.
He said: “People are thinking about cycling a lot more - it was one of the only things you could do earlier on in the lockdown.”
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