Laura Brooks wanted a new bike, but couldn't afford to buy one, so with the help of a Cycling UK project in Reading she learnt the skills to help her tranform an old racing bike into a beautiful classic.
classic bicycle

Cycling UK Cycling Development Officer Javed Saddique has launched a new project in my home town of Reading. The scheme, which is based at Reading University helps to  teach people basic bike maintenance and renovation skills to fix up a second-hand bikes.

My dream was to own a ‘racer’

It all started when I kept on gazing at others people bikes ‘checking them out’, I found I was particularly drawn to racing bikes, the lightness, the speed! It was already too late, I wanted one long before I ever admitted it to myself, but knew I would never be able to afford a new one!

I have always been a keen leisure cyclist,  I have a Ridgeback, complete with a basket and flowers, which has always been good enough. My ‘ladies’ bike gets me from A to B and on a few trains,  through a few stations, that is all. However,  the more you cycle the more you feel the need to own a whole fleet of bikes!

What more could I ask for? Lots of new knowledge, skills and a new bike, all for a small donation!

Laura Brooks
Volunteer Support Officer

I thought about trying to get one through a police auction, but you can’t go and look at it before you place your bid, and how are you supposed to know what condition it is in, and if it is in bad condition I didn't really have the skills did to do up or even fix a broken bike.

Javed's project recycles bikes which had become useless, forgotten items, left behind by Reading University students. They are collected up and used to give people first hand experience of the skills to they need to fix up and renovate a bike

I was given the chance to learn to clean chains, pump up tyres and change wheels. But that is not the best part…once the bike has been revamped and given a new lease of life you will then have the chance, for a small donation, to walk away with the newly refurbished bike, which you have just restored!

I attended a maintenance course for a few weeks, and at the end I was able to ride away with a ‘new’ racer for a small donation to the project. I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous, white, ladies Peugeot, and I am completely in love with it and feel confident about my new skills!

To find out more email [2] who works in partnership with Cycling UK, Reading Borough Council and Reading University [3], helping more people to get cycling!