Over the last 2 Sundays, we have supported local people to have their bicycles serviced and repaired. 19 bikes have been sorted for use, including small childrens’, teenagers and adult bikes.
This was a scheme funded by Cycling UK and Transport Scotland to enable people who might not otherwise be able to get their cycles sorted for safe use. Thanks to the support of Cycling UK’s area development officer Gordon Webber, we teamed up with local bike mechanic Scott Walker who had actually spent the early years of his life living in Tamfourhill and Bantaskin. He was thrilled to be able to support local people through this scheme and revisit some old haunts at the same time!
A service and repairs up to the value of £50 was available which enabled brakes, gears, tyres, bolts etc to be checked over. Some small repairs could be carried out within this but if any work was needed beyond what was allowed in the funding, Scott would advise of any costs. As it turned out, with his wide selection of spare parts – a lot of which were recycled – he was able to support everyone without the need for any additional charges. For the various bikes Scott attended to, he fitted replacement (new) innertubes, brake cables, derailleurs, pedals, springs and bolts. A couple of bikes were given advisory notices and at least one of those has been given to Scott to use for spare parts in the future.
The sessions were set up around the community for ease of access, and to ensure compliance with current restrictions, they were undertaken outside and in strictly pre-booked slots. Sessions were held outside Tamfourhill Community Hub, Camelon Juniors Football Club, Camelon Community Centre and Camelon Community Hub. The latter two sessions also benefited from the kind loan of a gazebo from Friends of Nailer Park – handy with the weather we encountered on both days! We also answered a request to offer training to a local teenager during one session, and Scott was happy to pass on his expertise.
Here are just some of the many photos taken over the two weeks:
During the sessions, Scott and I discussed various options for building on this activity. This discussion was taken further as Gordon Webber from Cycling UK visited the first and last sessions. He saw first hand the benefit of how this scheme supports people, including a young girl cycling around Tamfourhill Hub car park on here newly serviced and repaired Hannah Montana stabilisers bike, that had been brought along with pedals chewed by a dog and various other issues. He also loved the training potential of the project to pass on skills to young people which would hopefully encourage them to use cycles more.
So, where next?
- Firstly, we are exploring the possibility of having a local collection scheme in January for old bikes where Santa has brought a new one, or if you’re just having a clear out. The donated bikes would either be repaired for a possible bike library, stripped down for spare parts to benefit other bikes, or, in response to a post shared by my colleague John Hosie (Community Safety Engager) the other day, to be used as planters to be placed around the community.
- Secondly, we are considering running this bike repair scheme again in the Spring if there is enough demand.
- And thirdly, we will work with Cycling UK to explore funding for a bicycle mechanic training scheme.
The question for you is, would any of this be of benefit or interest to you? If so, please let us know either by commenting below or on the social media post you may have accessed this blog from, or by contacting me (Dan) on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07444 873151.
We were really pleased to bring this scheme to the area. Just one of many things to truly support you in this amazing community.