Buy a Refurbished Bike – Wednesday 8th May

Local based charity Life Cycle UK is encouraging anyone thinking about starting to cycle this Spring to come to their latest refurbished bike sale on Wednesday 8th May. The sale will offer a range of affordable bikes of various sizes, styles and prices, refurbished by prisoners at HMP Bristol under the supervision of Life Cycle’s experienced mechanics.

Held by the fountains opposite Bristol Hippodrome from 11am – 2pm, there will be a wide range of bikes available on the day, ranging in price from about £60 – £130, although there will also be a few higher-end models. Bikes are available on a first come, first served basis and the sale is part of a regular programme organised by the Lottery-funded Bike Back project:

Bike Back takes unwanted bikes, donated to the scheme by members of the public, to Bristol Prison, where they are stripped down, cleaned and then rebuilt by prisoners under the tuition of an expert mechanic.  Life Cycle then sells the bikes at low cost with the aim of helping more people on low incomes to cycle. All the funds raised at the bike sales are put directly back into the scheme.

The project, which has been running since 2010, has proved to be a real success in terms of providing prisoners with opportunities to learn new skills. So far 170 prisoners have had the chance to participate with some really positive feedback. One commented:

“I knew the basics, from working on my own bike, but I didn’t realise there was so much more to learn.  I have learnt masses – and not just about bikes.  I have learnt general things about employment, looking after tools, keeping the workshop clean and tidy. I am feeling much more positive now. I’ve got my mind set on other things and I want to try and get a job when I leave.”

The project has refurbished and sold over 450 bikes so far, meaning fewer old bikes going to landfill and more getting re-used in the local community. Feedback from the project shows that the affordability of bikes is key to enabling more people to buy bikes and get out cycling.

The Big Lottery Fund is supporting the project for the next five years, giving the scheme long-term security and ensuring an ongoing supply of refurbished bikes for Bristol whilst giving prisoners at HMP Bristol ongoing opportunities to learn employability and mechanical skills.

Poppy Brett, Director of Life Cycle, commented –

“Bike Back is win, win, win all the way. It helps prisoners learn new skills; it helps the environment by reducing waste and it helps people on low incomes get bikes and get cycling”

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