We’re delighted to be able to open the doors and welcome customers to our new shop on Ropery Lane in Chester-le-Street. Our team of staff and volunteers have been working hard over the last few weeks to prepare the shop, workshop and back storage areas in order to maximise the available space and create a light, bright environment to visit and work in.
The shop will be providing repairs, servicing and also selling a wide selection of bikes for all the family. Once we’ve settled in we’ll also be offering training courses and getting out and about into the community. Look out for us at Riverside Park on Fridays over the summer!
As you are hopefully already aware we are relocating from Durham to Chester-le-Street. In order to begin the packing up process, the shop on North Road will stop taking in servicing, repairs and donations from Saturday 14th May. The last day for bikes sales will be on Saturday 21st May. We hope to be able to open on Ropery Lane, Chester-le-Street by the middle of June and look forward to welcoming you there!
A group of Tyne and Wear Fund pensioners are campaigning to free their pensions from investment in fossil fuels. They’re putting their money where their mouths are by pledging to donate up to 3% of their pension to sustainable causes. And Recyke y’bike is their chosen cause! Find out more by visiting their Facebook page or by coming along to the campaign launch event on Friday 6th May 11.30 am at Recyke y’bike’s Byker branch. There will be speakers, poetry, cake and free bike safety checks. All welcome.
As you may already be aware from previous communications, Recyke y’bike has been searching for a permanent home since receiving notice about the plans to redevelop the Durham bus station (where we were originally based). We were able to move further down North Road which enabled us to continue to deliver a service in Durham but we were operating on annual licences which gave no security and made it difficult to plan. We now believe we have found the perfect permanent home at Blackburn House on Ropery Lane in Chester le Street. The new premises are just off the A167 (see map below) so just a short ride from Riverside park. There is ample free parking outside, quiet streets to enjoy a test ride and it’s just near Re-f-use (another recycling charity) where you can refuel with hot drinks and brilliant food. We’re really looking forward to building a community offer in the local area and developing partnerships with schools and community organisations. We very much hope that our loyal Durham customer base will make the move with us (it’s not that much further than the Arnison Centre) and we hope to see new faces coming through our doors too. Look out for special offers coming to celebrate our opening which we hope will be early in June!
We’re looking for an experienced bicycle mechanic to join our team in Durham. The post is full time (35 hours/week) but we will consider requests for part time working. The post is initially a fixed term post until 31st July 2022. We are aiming to relocate from Durham to Chester le Street in the summer of 2022 and aim to make the post permeant once we have signed the lease on a new property. To arrange an informal discussion about the role please email our General Manager email@example.com or download an application pack. The deadline for submitting application forms (contained within the pack) is 4pm on the 14th January. Interviews will take place on the 21st January.
If you’re thinking of buying a bike as a Christmas gift this year here are our tips to help you make the right choice!
1. Sizing. If the child already has a bike check the wheel size (you’ll find it on the tyre) before going out to get a new one so that you can select the next size up. If it’s possible, take the child with you so that they can try the bikes for size. As well as considering if they can touch the floor and reach comfortably for the handle bars, also check that they can squeeze their brakes. Children with small hands sometimes struggle to reach the brake levers. This can often be solved with a simple adjustment of lever position. If you find a good fit for the child you can always pop back later to pick the bike up so that they don’t know you’ve bought it!
2. Bike type. Match the type of bike you buy to the type of riding you think the bike will be mostly used for. If the child is going to be using the bike for playing out then a BMX is ideal. They’re super easy to maintain as there’s no gears to worry about and lots of fun. If you’re going for family bikes rides then gears become more important. If you’re serious about cycling then buying a lightweight bike is also important to help your child cover the distance or get up the hills!
3. Longevity. If you’ve got a big family and the bike is going to get passed down to younger children then it’s really worth investing in a good quality bike that will stand the test of time. Frog and Isla bikes are great choices but they are significantly more expensive. Hire schemes are available or keep an eye on our Facebook shop page to see if you can pick up a refurbished bargain!
4. Mechanical skills. A bike is a great way to help kids learn the basics so that they can identify and use tools and get curious about how things work. Teach them how to pump up their tyres, take their wheels off, patch a puncture and oil their chain! You’ll have loads of fun and they’ll learn some key life skills. Pick up a pump and a puncture kit when you buy the bike and, if you need help, there’s loads of YouTube videos that will cover the basics.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for applications is Friday 8th October.
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 email@example.com. If you would like to discuss the role please email Sara to arrange a call.
“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.”