Pedal power on the rise thanks to innovative bike recycling project

March 31 2016
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Pedal power on the rise thanks to innovative bike recycling project

LIFE Cycle’s Bike Back scheme at Horfield prison has refurbished and sold nearly 300 bikes in the past year to Bristol residents in a bid to enable more people to benefit from cycling.

It is a scheme that helps residents, prisoners and recycling. Old bikes are donated to Life Cycle, and with the help of prisoners, the bikes are stripped down, cleaned and refit to giving them a new lease of life. Experienced mechanics work with prisoners teaching them mechanical skills and helping them to refurbish the bikes to a high standard. Many people who buy the bikes are on a low income and the scheme has offered them an affordable way to get cycling.

As a chance to get feedback and checkin with customers, Life Cycle organised an annual prize draw where purchasers were invited to answer a few questions about their bike and how they use it. Project Assistant, Chrissie Decker explained: “The feedback we get is valuable to monitor the effectiveness of the project and get a clear picture of how to develop it.”

Supporter of the project, Bishopston Councillor and Assistant Mayor, Daniella Radice stepped in to draw the winner. She said: ”Bike Back is one of th greatest examples of how we in Bristol are repairing and reusing items instead of sending them into landfill. It creates jobs and training and is a positive way forward for Bristol’s economy.”

The lucky winner of £50 cash was Maarit Voitto who uses her refurbished bike over three times a week. It has been good for her health too, as Maarit explained: “It has enabled me to lead a more active life which has been really good for my back.”

If you would like to buy a refurbished bike, or want donate an unwanted one, an open workshop and sale is held every Thursday from 10am until 3pm. Late opening is also available until 7pm on the 1 st Thursday of each month. The workshop can be found at the end of the car park at Horfield Prison on Cambridge Road, BS7 8PS.