Cyclists in West Yorkshire with a damaged or forgotten bike will be able to get riding again thanks to a new scheme helping people to get fixed up and fired up to cycle.
Bike shops, cycle mechanics and community centres in Leeds, Bradford and more besides are among the 150 recipients nationwide of grants from cycling charity Cycling UK to offer pop-up bike-fixing services in their local community.
The charity has just launched its Pumped Up campaign to celebrate the excitement and adventure offered by cycling. The charity also knows that a bike can be a transport necessity too, with almost a quarter of UK households not having access to a car, a bicycle could be vital for getting around for work, shopping and seeing friends and family once it has been brought back to working order.
Cycling UK estimates there are more than 16 million unused bikes in the UK which are collecting dust in garages or sheds. Many bikes could be ridden again after a quick maintenance and safety check, the mechanics at the summer Dr Bike sessions will focus on common problems like loose brakes, jumping gears and flat tyres.
The scheme will build on the success of the Big Bike Revival for Key Workers project which Cycling UK ran in England and Scotland this summer and enabled NHS and other vital workers to continue to travel to work safely by cycle.
Jenny Box, the charity's head of behaviour change and development England said: “Through launching our Pumped Up Portraits photographic project, it is amazing to see the range of backgrounds and diversity of people cycling in the UK. All these people really love their bikes and value their time cycling for many different reasons.
“The quieter roads during the first part of the coronavirus lockdown gave us a glimpse of what life might be like if more people used cycling for short, everyday journeys. We want many more people to feel inspired to get out on their bikes and taking their old or unused bike along to one of our ‘pop-up’ Dr Bike clinics enables them to get it fixed up for free right there on the spot.”
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spoken of life after the pandemic as being a ‘golden age for cycling’ and the nationwide community bike triage scheme has the potential to help thousands more people to be able to experience the benefits of cycling. Thanks to the funding and support of its members, Cycling UK has been able to lobby Government for the recently announced increase in cycle funding, as well as for safer roads and open access to routes.
Last year, the Big Bike Revival fixed almost 8,000 bikes and interacted with more than 58,000 individuals across England. More people have been out on bikes since the introduction of lockdown measures in March, with figures showing a 147% increase in cycling. The Dr Bike service aims to reach out to those people who would be tempted to cycle but do not have a working bike to be able to do so.
The mechanics will spend a maximum of 30 minutes on any one bike and those requiring more major repairs will be referred to local centres participating in the Government’s Repair Voucher scheme. However, many of the maintenance tasks and safety checks can be completed in around half this time, so to benefit, all you need to do is visit the Cycling UK website and find your nearest centre and contact them directly to find out the availability of dates.
The Big Bike Revival Pop-up Dr Bike programme is funded by the Department of Transport and administered by Cycling UK and runs until November 15. It is complimenting the Government’s £50 Bike Repair scheme in England. Scotland has its own scheme, the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme.
To find out more about the scheme and see details of the venues which are participating, visit our website: https://www.cyclinguk.org/big-bike-revival-pop-repair-service