Mechanics pumped up to support cyclists in need of a little push

Rich Wevill's picture

Mechanics pumped up to support cyclists in need of a little push

Thousands of damaged or forgotten bikes will be repaired and ready to ride thanks to a new scheme helping people to get fixed up and fired up to cycle.
  • Cycling UK rolls out scheme to help would-be cyclists get their bikes fixed up 
  • More than 150 centres across England will host pop-up bike fixing services for those in need of minor repairs 
  • Full details of venues in your area providing services  

Bike shops, cycle mechanics and community centres in more than 150 locations across the country from Gateshead to the Isle of Wight will be part of national cycling charity Cycling UK’s free pop-up bike-fixing services. 

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, 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.”  

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.  

Cycling Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “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. With the impact of the COVID-19 crisis it is not easy to pay for essential bike repairs right now, so the scheme aims to reach out to those who would be tempted to cycle but may need help to get their old bike roadworthy again.  

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: cyclinguk.org/big-bike-revival-pop-repair-service

To view the portraits of those who are pumped up to carry on cycling visit cyclinguk.org/pumpedup/portraits.  

Contact information 

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, Richard Wevill on 07786 381648 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org.  

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org  
  2. A selection of Big Bike Revival images available free to use by the media here: https://www.skyfish.com/p/cyclinguk/1779388/41929031 
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