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Where did it all begin?

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

For those don't know already given the page you're on, I'm Rusty, the owner and 'spanner monkey' that created the RustysBikeShop workshop a few years ago. I've often been asked how it all came about so I thought what better way then to tell you through my own words here on our site.

My love of cycling has started at a young age and having grown up in the South of France my only mode of transport to get to school each day was a rusted old MTB that was thrashed every weekend in the woods. After suffering with a bent wheel for a few months, with the constant rubbing on the rear of the frame, it was about time to beg borrow and steal some tools from my grandfather. Admittedly I had no idea what I was doing removing bolts tighten limit screws but that didn't stop me trying. After endless late nights I managed to solve both indexing and truing issues. Safe to say the nipples of the rear wheel were damaged beyond repair but there was still a sense of pride that I managed to solve the issue without asking a grownup to do it for me.

Fast forward a few years and my return to the UK, I had spent a few years in the Forces bouncing around both Europe and the Middle-East but I often found that in what little my spare time I had I would continue to cycle and spanner bikes from friends and family alike.

My Boss soon realised that I had a flare for fixing rusted bikes after he arrived wet and sodden to work one morning with a rear puncture and no clue how to fix it. Ten minutes later and a hot brew in hand I became his 'right hand man' for all manner of bikes. Always strange to see your Sergeant arrive on his wifes dolly bike for parade of a morning in the hope that I could spare some time to fix his fleet of family bikes. News must have travelled fast as I was soon contacted by the units Mountain bike and triathlon clubs who were after a spanner monkey to support there regional competitions. It's true what they say, those that can't, teach! Although I thought I could keep up with the best of them on the trails, this sadly wasn't the case. So after some initial outings with the squad I was told to remove my MTB board shorts in exchange for a spanner.... and I guess I've been in that domain ever since.

I left the Forces after some 15 years of service and although I missed those who I served with I certainly prefer the work life balance that I have now.

So how did we get here I hear you ask. With bikes still a huge part of my life after leaving the Forces, I would often find myself sat in the garage until the early hours of the morning fixing my own bike. Unbeknown to me, my loving wife decided to take a picture of me spanneering late at night (in what's now known as the workshop). 'Wouldn't it be great if we could support the local community by fixing bikes on our estate?'. I have to admit the thought of getting people back on their bikes, especially during the height of the pandemic sounded amazing but surely who would want an ex-forces grunt fixing their pride and joy. Well, what can I say but how wrong was I! After Mrs C created our Facebook account, we were inundated with people from all walks of life in desperate need of a spanner monkey.

Safe to say it was rather chaotic for the first few weeks until we found our feet. From covering a full time role, being a father of two (three if you include the wife) to spannering until late each evening but we finally managed to make it work.

Fast forward more than two years and I guess we must be doing something right as we are still going strong!?! From the creation of our very own website, to our Instagram page and even customised merchandise from both LeCol and Velosock. We have even added new service packages to cater for our growing demand and even offer 1-2-1 tuition for those keen to learn more about how to repair your own bike at a fraction of the cost.

'' What sets us apart from all the rest is our drive and customer first approach.''

We have been astounded by the support of the local community since we started trading and hope to keep you all on the road for as long as we can.

So until the next time, as always, Stay safe and keep rolling.


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