New "AA for cyclists" launched

Cycling UK launches volunteer ‘Pumped Up Crews’ to help cyclists feel supported on roads
  • Crew members range from 18 - 67 and can help with bike knowledge, on road maintenance, directions and high fives!
  • Pilot groups in Manchester and Birmingham launched today along with an exciting superhero ‘recruitment’ film
  • Identify the volunteers by their bright purple, yellow and pink T-shirts and Pumped Up stickers

Cycling UK today launches the first of its ‘Pumped Up Crews’ in Manchester. The volunteer crews are in response to the huge increase in new cyclists since lockdown and aim to help the extra 1.3 million people who bought a bike* since March feel more confident and happy on the roads.

The crew members are identified by their bright Pumped Up purple, yellow and pink T-shirts and the eye catching Pumped Up logo stickers. Whenever you see them feel free to call them over and ask for assistance. 

The crews are one of the many ways the charity is inspiring and supporting more people to take up cycling. Along with this new scheme the charity is launching further pop-up Dr Bike schemes offering bike maintenance as part of its Big Bike Revival. The initiative helps returning cyclists back on their bikes with basic bike repairs, safety checks and online training. 

The crews are all volunteers who are either experienced cyclists or work in the cycling industry. They can help with a multitude of everyday cycling challenges including:

  • Road safety: Tips on cycling safely
  • Maintenance: On the spot bike maintenance
  • Local knowledge: Local cycling knowledge and directions
  • Advice: Support and encouragement
The Pumped Up Crew was launched in Manchester

The charity hopes to set up crews across the country as the UK’s Golden Age of Cycling continues. Jenny Box, Cycling UK Head of Behaviour Change & Development in England, said "With a 146% increase in cycling since March it’s never been more important to help new and returning cyclists feel welcome and supported on the road. We like to think of them as the pedal powered version of the AA."

Manchester crew member Vicky Palethorpe said, "A lot of people might feel a bit nervous if they’re new to cycling so we’re here to help. If you see us we can help with advice, fix a tyre (if it’s not too damaged) or just give you some socially distanced high fives!"

Lisa Pollitt is one of our Pumped Up Crew

The current Manchester crew members are:

  • Reuben Edwards, aged 29,  – (Professional bike mechanic) He’s really passionate and knowledgeable about bikes and last year completed Cycling UK’s Advanced Maintenance course
  • Zachary James Teubler, aged 18 – bike mad since he got his first mountain bike
  • Yahya Saeed, aged 26 – works with youth sports group Tuf-c and has been cycling a lot during lockdown and is hugely enthusiastic about cycling. 
  • Vicky Palethorpe, aged 67 – cycle champion and trying to break the old man cyclist stereotype!
  • Ian o’Donnell, aged 44, - runs a successful local business so knows all about cycling to work!
  • Lisa Pollitt, aged 45, from Bolton - is a Bikeability ambassador who has taught hundreds of children to ride

The crew will be available for interview, images and filming on their inaugural ‘ride out’ at Platt Fields Park from 1000. Please note we will be following latest government advice on social distancing and group gathering.

Yahya Saeed is one of our Pumped Up Crew

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.
  2. Department for Transport figures show there has been a surge in cycling following the coronavirus outbreak. Compared with the equivalent day in the first week of March, cycling usage nearly doubled over the weekend of July 18/19. Monday July 20 – the most recent weekday for which data is available – showed cycling at 146% of pre-lockdown levels.

  3. Bike sales are estimated via Global data July 19, 2020

Press contact information

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office. Due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, currently the main press office number (01483 238 315) is not being monitored. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (0900 - 1700) please call Sam Jones on 01483 238 315 or email Out of hours, call 07786 320 713.