New bike business will help the young and disadvantaged

Tobias Sage, left, and Jon Thorne at Back2Bike, which opened in Ferring on Saturday. Picture: Derek Martin DM16111328a
Tobias Sage, left, and Jon Thorne at Back2Bike, which opened in Ferring on Saturday. Picture: Derek Martin DM16111328a

A new social enterprise scheme in Ferring is aiming to provide opportunities for the young and disadvantaged.

Back2Bike is a small business with close links to Re-Loved, which is part of the inc. charity run in partnership with Jubilee Community Church in Worthing.

Run by Tobias Sage with help from husband and wife Jon and Sue Thorne, it opened in Ferring Street on Saturday.

The team is keen to be part of the local community and plans to sell affordable second-hand bikes as well as carry out restoration and repairs.

Tobias explained the background: “Before I met Sue and Jon Thorne, I had separated from my wife and, to keep busy, I started renovating old and unusual bicycles.

“I also got into buying and selling bikes. At the time, I rode a Schwinn Stingray Chopper – basically a motor bike with pedals instead of an engine.

“I started by helping out at a shop in Rowlands Road and realised that customers often spend their money in the town centre, missing out on shops a little further out.

“I spent two years networking Worthing and the surrounding area by riding a circuit linking businesses together and at the same time talking about my bike ideas.

“Without a venue, I worked from the back of the Bait Shack in Rowlands Road for a year then, when the Bait Shack closed, we have spent the last month preparing to open our own shop, Back2Bike Retrofix.”

Jon will be helping Tobias in the workshop as a cycle technician.

He said: “I have been interested in cycles since I was young. In the 1960s I would renovate bikes. At one time, I had a tandem and a tricycle and a number of ‘mess bikes’ and I’m now a great fan of vintage bikes.”

Sue is the company secretary and will help Tobias and Jon with the administration for Back2Bike and in the shop.