Spike Bikes is a mobile cycle Maintenance and Training organisation
SAFE CYCLES is an opportunity to make a difference.It means helping to make inspection and repair affordable and accessible. Bikes that are not maintained risk becoming unsafe, unpleasant to ride and less likely to be used regularly. The “Walking, Wheeling & Cycling” national initiative to increase urban cycling has concentrated funding mostly on Infrastructure and Safe Cycling (Bikeability). Whilst these are undoubtedly essential, our experience at Spike Bikes has shown that more emphasis now needs to be placed on keeping bikes in reasonable condition. How do we know this?
In 2023 we were sponsored by Redditch Borough Council, community groups, and Cycling UK to bring events to communities in the area at which cycles were safety checked and minor repairs undertaken free of charge. Several important messages came from these events:
Many cycles brought for inspection were in poor or dangerous condition. Perhaps not surprising at an inspection event, but disturbing that they were still being used with serious defects, in particular by youngsters.
Most attendees complained about the lack of affordable bike maintenance available within a reasonable distance. All appeared genuinely grateful to the sponsors for supporting these events.
The events were very popular, with around 200 bikes being presented at 12 one-day events,Redditch Borough Council in particular was pleased to be able to direct this support to areas of greatest need in their district.
Several sponsors are now keen to support training in basic maintenance &; repair training (Home Mechanic) for individuals or local groups. These events have shown an urgent and substantial need to bring cycle inspection and repair into communities to compensate for the continuing decline in community bike businesses, particularly in less affluent areas.