A cycle shop that was hoping to send 80 bikes to Africa as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations smashed its target thanks to generous Marlovians who donated more than 200 bikes to the cause.

Saddle Safari, in Dean Street, marked its milestone birthday with a series of charitable events, starting by collecting used bikes at the weekend to send to Re-Cycle, a charity that then sends them to Africa to be used by people who need transport and are unable to get around.

Owner Andrew Rackstraw said the appeal had gone “unbelievably well” and praised the “excellent” community spirit of Marlow residents who donated a total of 210 bikes.

He said: “This is the biggest single haul from a single place the charity has ever received.

“Not only was the volume great but the general quality and condition of the bikes was outstanding.

“Our customers have given bikes that have genuine value and will require very little repair.

“They just kept coming. I am staggered by it. We thought we wouldn’t get more than 40 because of the weather.

“We had no idea quite how many we were going to get. It was superb.

“I think it was a really excellent community spirit and community show. Marlow has done us proud.”

The bikes were taken to Re-Cycle, which sends them to poor people in Africa who spend hours each day walking to access healthcare, school and work, on Monday this week.

They are repaired by trained mechanics before they are donated.

An email to the shop from the charity, seen by the Marlow Free Press, said: “A huge thank you to everyone who donated a bike to Re-Cycle through Saddle Safari last weekend.

“The event was a massive success and the collection has generated over 100 per cent more bikes than expected.

“Your bikes will help to change lives in Africa. They will be heading to Gambia and Ghana and will be donated to our partners The Wonder Years of Excellence (WYCE) in Gambia and the Village Bike Project in Ghana.

“Each bike will potentially help to provide a whole family of up to six people with a means of transport.

“We can pack around 500 bikes into each container we send so the 210 bikes collected from the event held by Saddle Safari is almost half a container load of bikes.”

As part of its celebrations, the shop will also host a pop-up cinema tomorrow (Thursday) evneing with beer and ice cream, with all proceeds going to the charity SportsAble, and will put on a family fun day on March 17 with a range of activities.