Bike shops, cycle mechanics and community centres in more than 150 locations across the country will be part of Cycling UK’s free pop-up bike-fixing services, aiming to fix thousands of damaged or forgotten bikes.
The charity has estimated that there are more than 16 million unused bikes in the UK. Many bikes could be ridden again after a quick maintenance and safety check, and 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, enabling NHS and other vital workers to continue to travel to work safely by cycle.
Jenny Box, head of behaviour change and development England for Cycling UK, 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.”
Cycling minister Chris Heaton-Harris added: “We want to help as many people as possible to dust off their old bikes and get pedalling again. That’s why it’s great to see Cycling UK’s bike repair workshops back again, supported by Government funding. Through initiatives like this, and our own ‘Fix your Bike’ voucher scheme, we’ll get more people on their bikes and choosing healthier transport choices.”
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 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, Cycling UK said.
The Big Bike Revival Pop-Up Dr Bike programme is funded by the Department of Transport and administered by Cycling UK. It runs until 15th November and is complementing the Government’s £50 Bike Repair scheme in England. Scotland has its own scheme, the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme.
Read the August issue of BikeBiz below: