The future of Recyke y’bike in Durham

You may be aware that Recyke y’bike have been seeking alternative premises in Durham. We’ve been lucky enough to operate rent free with support from Durham County Council for several years but, with the demolition of the bus station this is no longer an option.

 

Commercial rents are incredibly high in Durham and shops tend to be small with poor vehicular access during the day (essential for dropping off donations or repairs and for the removal of bikes for recycling). We’ve explored leads with the university but these have come to nothing.

 

The lack of suitable property in Durham is one issue. The second is that, whilst the current Durham location meets two of our stated charitable objectives; saving bikes from landfill and providing affordable access to bikes, because of its size and location, it hasn’t been able to serve the socially disadvantaged or provide training to all ages in bike repairs and refurbishment which are also core objectives.

 

Looking to solve both of these problems we began to look at the areas surrounding Durham to see if we could find a location that would enable full fulfilment of the charity’s objectives with a population that would purchase bikes and at a rent that is affordable. Chester le Street appears to tick all of those boxes with a diverse population mix, good road, rail and cycle links and a community interested in environmental issues using the excellent Re-f-use café.

 

Trustees met last week and – after debate and careful consideration – the decision was taken to actively pursue the lease on a property in Chester le Street with an aim to moving in the summer of 2022. Whilst there are still many hurdles to overcome to get this property over the line, it appears to be the best course of action in order to have a continued presence in County Durham. I understand that this outcome will be disappointing news to many of our loyal customers and supporters who value having Recyke y’bike in Durham. I do hope that you can see a benefit in having Recyke y’bike remaining in County Durham albeit a few miles outside of the city. It’s been fantastic to hear from customers how much they appreciate the service provided by Dave and the team.

 

We’ll keep you updated as things progress over the coming months and we do hope that you’ll continue to support us in our aims to put unwanted bikes to good use, get more people cycling and more people enabled to carry out their own repairs so that more bikes can provide joy and freedom for longer.

Could you be our Trainee Mechanic?

We’re recruiting a Trainee Mechanic at our Byker branch. It’s a full time (35 hour) post paid at minimum wage. Full training and access to accredited qualifications is included so it’s ideal for anyone looking to get started in the industry. For an application pack or to arrange a discussion about the role please email sara@recyke.bike. The closing date for applications is Friday 8th October.

 

Could you be a Recyke y’bike Trustee?

Role: Trustee – Recyke y’bike

Application Deadline: 22nd October 2021

 

At Recyke y’bike we’re passionate about getting more people onto bikes. This is because we believe they’re great for the environment and address a variety of social issues too. Do you share our passion? Can you help? 

 

We’re looking for new trustees to join our board. As a trustee you’ll play a key role in setting our direction and overseeing our work. You should have the skills and experience to help us deliver our objectives and have at least 8 hours a month to volunteer. We’re particularly interested in hearing from people with a background in Human Resources, Health and Safety and youth and community work. 

 

About Recyke y’bike: Recyke y’bike is a charity and limited company established in 2006. The charity leases property in Byker and Durham city centre. Bikes are donated or abandoned bikes collected. They are refurbished by a team of staff and volunteers and then sold at a low cost to cover running costs or given away to people in need.

If you would like to apply please send a CV and a covering letter setting out why you would like to apply and what relevant skills you have to sara@recyke.bike. If you would like to discuss the role please email Sara to arrange a call. 

A volunteer testimonal

“After volunteering with many different places at Newcastle and becoming unemployed working with Your Homes Newcastle, I was really desperate to find a right job for me.
One day Paulina from Newcastle Futures, who was helping me to find a job again, told me about a bike mechanic job advertised at Recyke y’bike. I had a job interview with Recyke y’bike as a bike mechanic but I couldn’t get a position. However, falling love with bikes, experience as pro cyclist in my past and running another bike repair project for couple of years with the Conversion Group at the Old Star and Shadow building, made me to join Recyke y’bike as a volunteer to be more occupied.
I was already studying English and Electrical Installation with Newcastle College and working as a volunteer in many different places too but I was enjoying more working with Recyke y’bike. Of course it wasn’t because I love bikes; I had experience working with Sustrans and British Cycling in the past but I enjoyed Recyke y’bike more.
I would say three more important reason made me feel comfortable working with them.
1- Many amazing people, being open to people from other backgrounds, super friendly and patient if English isn’t your first language.
2- Such an amazing idea to recycle bikes, encouraging people to use bikes, helping environment and teaching people how to fix a bike.
3- Opportunity of receiving a qualification on the end.
Now, I work full time as a project engineer on power electric and I feel I belong where I work.
I still go to see people at Recyke y’bike because I feel they are my amazing friends in our community.”

We are hiring!

We’re looking for a new mechanic to join our team! 

We are looking for an experienced full- time bike mechanic to join our small team. The position will be based in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne but some cover work at our Durham shop may also be required. The main focus of the role is fixing, servicing and refurbishing bikes but you may also be asked to support with our community outreach work and delivery of training sessions.


 Day to day duties include:
– Carrying out bike servicing and repairs as required
– Assisting customers with queries and sales
– Diagnosing mechanical issues on bikes, discussing solutions and costs with customers
– Refurbishing donated bikes to make them ready for sale in the shop
– Supporting and training volunteers
  Essential experience, skills and knowledge include:
– Experience of working in a bike shop or workshop (min 2 years)
– Analytical thinking and problem solving skills
– Excellent communication skills
– Attention to detail and ability to act on your own initiative
– Self- motivated and pride in your work
– Commitment to the charitable objectives, values and ethos of Recyke y’bike

Cytech 2 or equivalent qualification is preferable but experience of carrying out bike repairs in a professional capacity is essential as well as a passion for bikes!


Hourly rate of £9.69, 5 days a week, 33 days holiday per annum (including bank holidays), workplace pension and uniform provided.
For an application pack email sara@recyke.bike. Applications close at 5pm on Friday 6th August. Interviews will take place the following week.

Recyke y’bike receive support from SOS Group

We’re delighted to be working with and supported by SOS Group. SOS Group have a long history of supporting good causes and stepped in to help out when we were struggling with our rather antique and temperamental printers. They have provided a multi functional device that lets us print, scan and copy with ease, saving time and frustration! Read the full story on the SOS website.

Top Tips for ride preparation

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! Follow these tops tips to make sure your ride is safe and enjoyable!

Food. Have a good meal the night before, not too late, plenty of carbs. Pasta is always good. Never set out without taking some snacks too, even on short rides.

Plan a route. A dedicated bike GPS is great but any smart phone will do. Mount it on the handlebars and you can just follow the line. It’ll take the stress out of navigation and allow you to plan some more adventurous routes without the worry of getting lost.

Take spares. Always have spare inner tubes (the right size helps too), tyre levers and a pump. Make sure your tyres are the right pressure before leaving. It’ll reduce the chance of flats and will make the bike roll easier. If you’re not sure about dealing with punctures Neil’s short video will help you.

https://youtu.be/CkXy5yNjSek

 

 

 

Get on y’bike for Recyke!

We know it can be hard to fill the school holidays; particularly at the moment when options are limited. So we created the Recyke y’bike Easter Challenge! The aim is to pick a level that suits you best and then tick off the miles over the two weeks. It’s designed to be challenging but achievable for those of us who aren’t necessarily regular cyclists. You can get the kids involved too! 

 

We hope that by taking part you become a more confident cyclist, find new routes and develop a more regular cycling habit. We also hope that you’ll consider getting sponsored to raise money for Recyke y’bike. Funds raised will go towards providing more bikes for people in need. Access to a bike can be life changing for someone who is struggling to afford public transport and the benefits of exercise and fresh air can significantly improve wellbeing. Finally, we hope that you tell people that you’re taking part in the challenge, spreading the word about Recyke y’bike and the joys of cycling!

 

The challenges:

Family challenge – cycle 100 miles over the two week break all together OR as a relay.

Individual (intro) – cycle 150 miles over the two week break.

Individual (advanced) – cycle 300 miles over the two week break.

All participants who sign up will be able to access a free bike safety check plus loads of ideas for routes around Newcastle and Durham to keep your rides varied and interesting. You’ll also receive hints and tips about keeping your bike running well, carrying out simple repairs on the go and cycling safely. We’ll also offering spot prizes for fab fundraising, fantastic photos, funky fancy dress and inspiring efforts! 

 

Sign up here to start receiving emails with all the info you need to get involved!

International Women’s Day #IWD2021

At Recyke we’re passionate about getting more people on bikes as we believe that bikes are brilliant and can tackle a number of health and social issues. A bike provides an affordable means of transport, it’s healthy, sustainable and lots of fun! 

We get more people cycling by making bikes affordable and by sharing our mechanical knowledge so that more people can ride confidently and keep their bikes in safe working order. We aim to create opportunities and reduce barriers for everyone, particularly under-represented groups. We’re particularly keen to support more women to cycle as statistics show that, in the UK, women cycle less frequently and cover less miles than women. To encourage more women to cycle we’ve launched an offer of 50% off essential cycling equipment throughout the week beginning the 8th of March to celebrate International Women’s Day. 

There are lots of national statistics demonstrating how women are underrepresented in cycling but let’s look at it purely from a Recyke y’bike perspective. We currently employ ten members of staff, eight are men. The vast majority of our volunteer team are men. Six out of our seven trustees are men. Two thirds of people referred to us for a free bike are men. We recognise that as an organisation we have more to do to achieve a better gender balance. 

We know that being anti-discriminatory is not enough, we need to be proactive to encourage under represented groups. Our plan to achieve this is still a work in progress but includes revising our Equality and Diversity Policy, partnering with other organisations to provide bikes, training and volunteering taster sessions, providing training for staff, volunteers and trustees and learning from other organisations who are working to become more inclusive. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts about how we can develop this work further. Get in touch!