Christmas time can be great. It’s a chance to spend time with loved ones or simply have a bit of time off at the coldest, darkest time of year. Whether it’s part of your spiritual tradition or not, talk (and adverts) about Christmas are everywhere right now…
Here at the Mill, we’re obviously fans of reusing and recycling rather than always buying new, so when it comes to Christmas, we like Martin Lewis’ quote, “Christmas isn’t a retail festival – we need to end obliged giving and think about what we’re giving, to whom and why”. He goes on to give 44 Christmas money-saving tips, useful for anyone feeling the pinch these days.
For bike-specific ideas, you could consider:
A local bike shop voucher; help someone get their bike repaired, get an essential accessory or attend a course.
Make a donation in someone’s name; support a charitable bike project, or even donate that old bike you never use anymore!
Buy second-hand; saving resources and often cheaper than new.
Buy nothing! You could give the gift of time and plan a bike ride for your friend. Or you could make a gift; jams and chutneys are a classic but for more bike-related we love these very do-able bike chain stars.
However you end up spending your winter holiday, we hope you have a great time and keep up the cycling! (Wondering how to winterproof your rides? Check out this advice from Sustrans)
Our Fix it to Ride project is in full swing, with busy volunteer sessions on Thursdays, prize winners every week, and bikes getting their final tweaks before being given away to young asylum seekers!
Congratulations to all our May prize winners including Zayd (pictured), Liam and Finn – we hope your bikes are running smoothly and looking shiny thanks to your new kit – no excuses now! Don’t forget you can enter the prize draw by coming along to our workshop or a Pedallers Arms session and filling in a short survey.
We’re also delighted to announce that thanks to funding from the Allen Lane Foundation, we’ll be able to carry on our Thursday volunteer sessions for an extra 3 months after the City Connect project ends in July. This means we’ll be able to continue supporting people to develop their skills, as well as producing many more bikes to give away to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Cycling season has properly begun with loads of events lined up for Bike Week and Big Bike Revival! Here’s what we’re up to for BBR2018. Also check out Cycling UKs website for full listings of events nationwide.
Bike Night at Open Source Arts: Wednesday 13th June 5-8pm #BikeWeek
Visit Dr Bike for a free bike health check and minor repairs while you enjoy delicious veggie & vegan treats at Open Source Arts. At 8pm we’ll set off on a ‘Reclaim the Canal’ ride into the city centre. Read more about the event on Leeds Inspired website.
Women & Engineering Day at Armley Mills Industrial Museum: Saturday 23rd June 11am-2pm
Our Dr Bike will be back at the museum giving free bike health checks and minor repairs. Peruse the museum’s exhibitions while you wait, including special guests talks and tours themed around women in engineering. Check out the details here.
Sale Day Extravaganzas! At Leeds Bike Mill: Saturday 16th June & Saturday 21st July, 10am-3pm
Our regular monthly sale days will be extra special in June & July, with free bike health checks, minor repairs with some free parts to help keep the cost down, and the return of cafe corner!
At all of these events we’ll be running the Big Bike Revival tombola once again, with lots of chances to win snazzy cycling prizes that’ll help keep you on two wheels this summer. Pedal on!
Are you a professional driver or do you know someone who is? We’re inviting van / lorry / bus / taxi drivers or driving instructors, to experience the road from a cyclists perspective in this free 3-hour course this May! Contact us for details or register here.
At Leeds Bike Mill we usually focus on providing affordable bikes and teaching people to maintain them. But with the Restorative Roads project we wanted to address a different issue; road safety. We know cyclists and drivers do not always see eye to eye, so we decided to do something to help towards this issue and organise cycle training for professional drivers in Leeds.
Led by cycling instructors from Cycle North, the drivers will participate in a 3 hour session where they learn about cyclists’ road positioning and why bike riders use the road in certain ways. Above all we hope this will inspire a sense of empathy – research suggests that drivers with experience of cycling are more likely to understand cyclists’ movements better and feel positive towards them. This is particularly important in West Yorkshire, where the number of deaths and injuries per miles cycled is roughly double the national average.
Please sign up if you are a professional driver in Leeds, and help us to reach as many drivers as possible by spreading the word to anyone you know who drives for work – organisations or individuals – we want to fill all the spaces on the sessions! The training sessions are taking place on the 8th, 10th and 14th May, in the mornings or afternoons.
As a wise bike mechanic once said; ‘To fix your bike, you need the right tool for the job!’ Well luckily for cyclists in Leeds, for three nights of the week you can find all the tools you need at the Pedallers Arms workshop, but what about when you just need to tweak something before you ride to work in the morning, or even whilst out on your ride? We know that tools can be expensive, so we decided to give some away to the lucky winners of our Fix it to Ride prize draws.
From now until July, if you come and take part in a session at Bike Mill or Pedallers Arms, whether it’s a bike recycling volunteer session, a bike maintenance course or a DIY repair drop in, you can enter your name into the prize draw by simply filling in a quick survey. We’ll pull winners out of a pannier every month and you could get your hands on a load of lovely useful stuff!
Prize packs will include items such as
– chain wear gauge
– mini pump
– multi tool
– cleaning brushes and liquids
– tyre levers and puncture repair kit
– adjustable spanner
This giveaway and the rest of Leeds Bike Mill’s Fix it to Ride project is funded by CityConnect. The CityConnect programme is funded through the Department for Transport’s Cycle City Ambition Grant (CCAG) and delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Don’t let the rain put you off cycling to work this week, because your daily commute could win you some awesome prizes!
Just join Love to Ride for free, simply log your rides – commute legs or leisure trips – and you could bag yourself some genuinely great cycling goodies, or even a European city break (Yes, really… that rain-soaked journey will become a mere distant memory).
As you may know we recently took on our very own workshop – above the awesome Pedallers’ Arms workshop – a project we volunteer for and where Bike Mill was born.
We’ve been tinkering around with designs and plans for Bike Mill’s new space, and are ready to get stuck in with some of the major works.
First sale day of 2018 – February 17th
To focus on the refurbishment, we’re going to pause our bike recycling activities, which means sadly we won’t be holding a bike sale day in January. But, we’ll be back to normal in February – or even better than normal – as we make the most of our new tool boards, benches and efficient work space!
We’ll continue to run courses in 2018 on an approximately monthly basis – kicking off with a 4 hour Intro to Bike Maintenance on Saturday 27th January, and a 2 day Advanced Bike Maintenance on February 3-4th weekend. All current course dates and booking forms can be found on our Training Courses page.
By the way – in case you hadn’t heard – you can also now buy a course place as a gift for a friend using this voucher order form!
We’re delighted to be officially launching a Leeds Bike Mill gift voucher! Inspired by folks who have bought a course place as a present, we thought we’d make it even more special by creating a voucher you can include in your gift.
So if you fancy doing something different, why not give the gift of cycle maintenance training this Christmas! Vouchers can be ordered via this online form. Simply fill in the details and we’ll send through payment instructions.
Chip in and help make someone else’s day
As 2017 comes to an end, we’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the Bike Mill Bursary Scheme this year. Over the year, 24 people chipped in a bit extra to their course place, making an incredible six places on our 2-day course available for people who wouldn’t otherwise been able to attend. Awesome.
Donations to the scheme can be made whether you order a voucher or book your own place through Brown Paper Tickets. This scheme is really only made possible by you, so it goes to show even small donations add up to make a big difference. Thanks everyone!
We are very sad to say we ourselves had a bike frame stolen from outside our workshop today.
We think it was taken at approximate 2.26pm, from Mabgate Green, possibly by someone on foot, wearing a stripy top. It had been freshly spray painted black (and was happily drying in the sun), so if anyone saw someone in the area carrying a black frame and forks it is very likely to be our bike! We’d be grateful to hear from anyone who may have seen something (Our contact details).
Bike theft in Leeds is sadly all too regular. We advise our customers to securly lock their bikes (and ideally wheels) with a strong d-lock. We also give the bike’s unique frame number with the receipt so the bike can be definitely identified if it is found again. If you haven’t noted yours down already, you can often found underneath your bike on the bit of the frame in between the pedals.
This frame was being refurbished for a person who had specifically chosen it, which is why we’re extra sad. It’s not a particularly valuable frame (just a classic steel job), but it was on its way to a new home. If we don’t see it again, we hope it will be well loved by whoever ends up next riding it.