Congratulations Kami!

2020 has been a bleak year for many of us, BUT, for one Recyke y’bike volunteer, it’s been a turning point.

Kami began volunteering at Recyke y’bike in 2019 after The Volunteer Centre referred him to us. Kami had recently arrived in the UK seeking asylum and was looking for ways to use his time and energy constructively. 

Despite not having previous experience with bikes, Kami proved to be a fast learner and put in a huge amount of voluntary hours helping to clean and refurbish bikes. He was super speedy in the scrapping area (an unpopular task within the team!) and dismantled hundreds bikes which couldn’t be refurbished so that their components could be recycled. 

Although Kami was facing his own challenges – managing on £37.50 per week and trying to progress his asylum claim – he always found ways to help others and put a smile on people’s faces, including setting up a partnership with Newcastle University students to pass on children’s bikes and scooters to families in need.

Finally, the news we’d been hoping for came in July that Kami had been accepted as a refugee and granted leave to remain in the UK. He quickly found new accommodation and a job at a PPE factory. Before we knew it, a couple of months later, Kami had secured an even better job at Nissan! He was able to furnish his flat and purchase his own car.

  

We’re so happy that things have worked out for Kami, no one deserves it more! 

Why regular bike servicing makes sense

If you bought a new bike during the first lockdown of 2020 now is a great time to get it serviced so that it will keep serving you well next year! A basic service at Recyke y’bike starts at £40. A basic service at least twice a year is recommended to keep your bike in good working order if you’re riding regularly (which we hope you are!). 

Here are 4 key reasons why it makes sense to invest in regular servicing by a professional mechanic. 

  1. Safety: Unless you are an experienced mechanic you might miss a problem with your bike on your pre-ride check which leads to an issue when you’re out on a ride. At best this is a major inconvenience, at worst it could lead to injuries and damage to your bike. Bikes that are serviced regularly will be inspected, adjusted and lubricated to ensure a safe and stress-free ride. 
  2. Savings: Regular maintenance helps you to save money in the long term. You can catch problems early and make repairs as needed instead of getting hit with a large bill. For example, replacing the chain regularly prevents wear on more expensive components. Often, when customers bring bikes in for repairs which haven’t been regularly serviced, it can be more cost effective for them to buy a replacement bike rather than fix their existing bike. 
  3. Smoother Ride: Our mechanics will check key components such as the spokes, tyres, transmission and cables. Even minor adjustments can make a big difference to how your bike feels when you ride it.
  4. Sustainability: Look after your bike and it can last you 30+ years! Neglect it and it could end up unnecessarily on the scrap heap.

So don’t delay, bring your bike down to Recyke y’bike for a service today!

New ‘In House’ commuter bikes available from our Durham shop

Our Durham team have started producing a new line of Recyke y’bike “In- house” bikes, hand built by our experienced and skilled volunteers.

Each volunteer is involved in the whole process from start to finish.  Donated bikes that otherwise would have been broken down for parts due to cosmetic damage are given a new lease of life. The bikes are stripped down to the frame and fork and prepped for spraying.
The bikes are sprayed in a range of popular colour schemes and then rebuilt by the volunteers, re-using as many recycled parts as possible along with necessary new parts. The end product is a beautiful, recycled, refurbished quality bike which comes with a mechanical guarantee.
The bikes are specifically designed as a city bike for the Durham commuter. To book a test ride contact the Durham shop!

Recyke y’bike 2020 AGM

On Thursday 26th November at 6pm we will be holding our first ever virtual AGM! We’ll be reviewing the last 12 months (there’s plenty to reflect on!) and looking ahead to the next 12 months, sharing our plans and aspirations. To register to attend please visit our Eventbrite page.

 

 

Keeping yourself and your bike safe!

As we move into winter you may well find yourself cycling in poor light or even in the dark. It’s really important that you’re well lit up so that you can be seen by other road or cycle path users. In this short video Neil shares some top tips.

 

We are also aware that bike theft appears to be on the rise. It’s really important to lock your bike up safely. Check out this video for some more top tips from Neil!

 

We have a selection of new locks and lights available at both shops as well as some second hand fluorescent and reflective clothing and accessories.

The role of a Recyke y’bike Trustee

Trustees are absolutely essential to the running of any charity. Trustees share overall responsibility for governing the charity and directing how it’s managed. They are unpaid volunteers. Trustees have a legal duty to act in the charity’s best interests, manage its resources responsibly and act with reasonable care and skill. 

At Recyke y’bike our trustees come from different backgrounds but are all enthusiastic cyclists and passionate about helping the charity to fulfil its purpose. In a normal month each trustee dedicates roughly 5 hours per month to attending meetings or following up on actions. This might increase in periods of flux (like in a pandemic!).  As well as Trustee Meetings most trustees also sit on a sub-group (Finance, Marketing, Staff and Volunteers) or contribute to short term working groups to focus on specific issues. 

 

“Although it sounds cheesy, it’s a real privilege to be a trustee of Recyke y’bike. It’s a fantastic organisation, providing bike shaped happiness to loads of people, some of whom are the most vulnerable in our communities. It’s hard work; the corona virus has meant we have had to introduce a whole new way of working, making sure we are still able to keep going, however challenging. Our staff and volunteers are amazing; dedicated, committed, innovative and  cheerful, despite all. It feels like being part of a big, noisy family, all of whom are mad keen on bikes, and introducing people to the joys of cycling.” 

 

Some of our trustees also volunteer in our shops or workshop, helping with the practical tasks that keep the wheels turning at Recyke y’bike. 

 

“Having been volunteering at Recyke y’Bike for several years I have been uplifted many times  by the enjoyment of the various jobs that I have done either as a trustee or getting my hands on refurbishing a bike or stuck in helping move to new premises for instance. But I have also been uplifted and enthused by the commitment shown by fellow volunteers and the practical results of much of the work that Recyke y’Bike does day to day.

There are many challenges to overcome too as a trustee and these are stimulating and offer a sense of achievement  as my professional  working career is coming towards its end.”

 

Volunteering as a trustee is a great way to use your existing skills to do good in your local community, gain new skills and experience and meet new people. Some employers will provide employees with dedicated time to fulfil their duties as a trustee and it’s a valuable addition to any CV. 

 

If you want to find out more about becoming a trustee at Recyke y’bike please contact sara@recyke.bike. We’re particularly interested in hearing from anyone with Human Resources or Health and Safety experience. 

Bikes are not disposable items!

For many of our customers, buying a refurbished bike is an environmental choice. Riding any bike is a great choice for the environment, and a refurbished bike has a much lower carbon footprint than a new bike. Add in the benefit of reducing waste going to landfill and it seems like a no-brainer! 

A fully refurbished bike ready to serve another owner!

However, we often hear customers say that they’re buying a cheap bike from Recyke y’bike as they’re planning on leaving it outside, or they’re at uni and they plan to leave it behind at the end of term. They see the bikes as short term, low value investments which are disposable. This makes our hearts break a little bit. 

 

A well maintained bike can easily last for 30 years. If you’re buying a refurbished bike from Recyke y’bike it may well have already served it’s previous owner(s) well for 10 or 15 years. And with a bit of care it will serve you for another 15 years! Or, if you move on from the area or move on from your bike, you can donate it back to Recyke y’bike, a great way to ‘pay it forwards’; enabling someone else to enjoy the bike! 

 

Sadly, a significant proportion of donated bikes which have been left outside or haven’t been maintained are past the point where they can be saved and instead, are broken down for scrap and parts. This is avoidable! 

 

There are some simple steps you can take to keep your bike in good working order for you, or someone else, to enjoy for years to come.

 

  1. Protect it from the elements. If you can’t store your bike inside or in a dry space, invest in a waterproof cover. They’re cheap to buy and make a big difference! 
  2. Protect it from thieves. Lock up your bike and your wheels! Locking your frame with a D lock is the best way to keep it secure. An additional chain or cable lock for your wheels will protect them. 
  3. Clean and lubricate your chain. This 5 minute job will make a huge difference. 
  4. Invest in a bike service. If you ride your bike regularly (and we hope that you do), book it in for a service twice a year. At Recyke y’bike, a basic service costs £40 and could dramatically extend the life of your bike and save you money in the long run. A replacement chain costs as little as £10. A worn chain will cause wear to your cassette, leading to bigger bills in the medium term. 

 

Make the ethical, environmental choice. Care for your bike and it will provide many years of service, to you or to someone else! For more tips on bike maintenance check out the Recyke y’bike YouTube channel or videos section on our Facebook page!

SN

 

Thank you to our Crowdfunder supporters!

We did it!!!! Thank you to everyone who helped us reach and exceed our target. The final Crowdfunder total was an amazing £5,300!!!! We’re very grateful for all of the support we’ve had and we’re looking forward to arranging rewards for those who purchased them.

17 North Road is open!

Our new Durham location is now open for business! Servicing and repairs can be dropped off and collected Wednesday to Saturday 12-2. Bike sales are by appointment. Please contact the shop via Facebook message, email (durham.shop@recyke.bike) or call 07787540304 to arrange. Huge thank you to the staff and volunteers at Durham who have created a fabulous space in a short amount of time on a minuscule budget! And to Durham County Council for their ongoing support.