A vandal has delivered a “kick in the teeth” to Angus Cycle Hub staff working flat out to meet rocketing demand for bikes during lockdown.
The hub’s van was keyed while parked near the social enterprise’s Arbroath base.
The vehicle is still on the road but Cycle Hub director Scott Francis said the attack was an unwelcome setback for the group which has recycled hundreds of bikes – many for key workers – since the pandemic broke.
“The annoying thing is that someone has deliberately done it – it’s a big scratch down one side and across the back, and I just can’t understand what they would gain by that,” said Mr Francis.
“People have been shocked someone would do that, but at least the van remains in use because it’s something we couldn’t do without,” he said.
“Our graphics guys at Icon in Dundee have already said they will do what they can free of charge, but it just feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth when we are working flat out.”
The hub has sent out 300 bikes during lockdown, around half of them refurbished cycles handed in to Angus skip sites.
Last year the team recycled around 400-500 bikes in total.
Mr Francis said: “What we are seeing is that bikes which might previously be donated for recycling are now being put in for a service because so many families have taken to cycling. We are still getting bits and pieces, but that has largely dried up with the skip sites being closed.
“Although they are about to re-open, the recycling centres will not be accepting bikes so we are asking people to consider dropping them off to us, perhaps during their essential journeys such as shopping trips.
“Even inner tubes are getting hard to order. We have a tub of old ones and may soon have to start repairing them if we run out.”
He said people in the cycle sales trade were saying they had sold as many bikes in the weeks of the lockdown as they would normally sell in a year.
He added: “We have been doing what we can with our staff to recycle and get out as many bikes as possible.
“We are quite lucky in that we’ve got two workshops so we were able to re-jig things and have people working apart in the units, and anyone who can work from home has been doing so. Like everyone, we have had to adapt, but it has really been a very busy time.”
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