Since the announcement of a nationwide lock down we will no longer be keeping our normal opening hours. If you urgently need to buy a bike for transport or exercise then please get in touch to make an appointment, and we’ll see if we can help.
For anyone who had a bike put aside to donate to us, we would really appreciate it if you could hold on to it until we’re able to reopen.
Our initial statement on courses and volunteer sessions of course still applies;
We have also taken the difficult decision to cancel all our courses and volunteer sessions for the time being. The recent guidance advises avoiding non essential contact with others as far as possible, to help reduce the spread of Covid-19, and unfortunately the workshop does not enable us to spread people out at a safe distance. Be assured that we will announce as soon as courses and sessions are up running again.
Of course, this is an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation, so we will keep this post updated with any further changes as things develop. In the meantime, we hope you will join us (sadly not physically!) in our appreciation for bikes – which we can still use for transport, exercise, and enjoyment, as we roll through these uncertain times.
Getting ready for winter cycling need not cost a fortune. As well as our range of new accessories & cycle maintenance kit, did you know we also sell affordable / pay-as-you-feel second-hand accessories?…
Bike lights are a must after dark (literally, it’s the law). We’ve new USB rechargeable lights (£10 each*) and battery operated (fiver each). Or see what you can find in the pay-as-you-feel second-hand selection! Make sure you have a least one set of good working lights – and maybe a spare pair for these extra short days!
Be bright, be seen.
We’ve LOADS of second-hand hi-vis & reflective accessories: bibs & jackets, snap bands, spoke reflectors, regular reflectors, bag covers… all sorts!
Stay cosy on cold winter commutes with gloves, over-trousers, buffs, cycling tops & leggings… these are some of the things you’ll find in our second-hand cold & wet weather kit.
Chain care 101.
Clean & oil your chain approx once a month in dry weather and every couple of weeks in wet weather. Harsh winter weather and gritted roads can especially take their toll, so why not pop in and pick up a bottle of chain oil! Or go the extra mile and…
Give your favourite cyclist (or your favourite bike) a gift this festive season!
Put together your essential bike maintenance kit from our range of chain oil, spray oil, multitools, chain wear tools, sprocket brushes, puncture repair kits, pumps & cable cutters.
Our opening hours are 10am-6pm on Tuesdays, Wedsnesday & Fridays. Plus 10am-2pm on the 3rd Saturday of the month. We’ll be closed over the winter holiday, last open on Saturday 21st December, reopening on Tuesday 7th January 2020!
Members of the Co-operative supermarket can now support our Fix it to Ride project just by doing your weekly shop! (Shout out to folks who don’t shop at the Co-op – please share this with your friends & networks!)
Bike Mill has been selected as one of the Co-op’s Local Community Fund projects. Every time a member buys selected Co-op products and services 1% of the money you spend goes to a local cause in the community. If you log in you’ll automatically see projects most local to you, but anyone in the country can support Bike Mill by visiting our unique local cause profile!
What will the funding support we hear you ask? In 19 months Fix it to Ride volunteers have contributed approximately 1173 hours to the project – stripping down and rebuilding bikes, learning loads of news skills whilst providing refugees and asylum seekers with a free, fast & healthy mode of transport.
On 20th September, millions of people will be walking out of their homes and workplaces in solidarity with the young people on strike, demanding an end to a society dependent on fossil fuels.
We applaud everyone taking action to demand a better future for us all. We truly believe we can create a society based on renewable energy, sustainable housing, food and transport. To get there, everyone has their part to play – all individuals, businesses and governments. Striking is about showing that we – individuals and businesses – demand that our governments and other businesses step up to the task.
The cause behind the Global Climate Strike is close to our hearts. We created Bike Mill out of our concern for the environment, and particularly in response to dependence on private car use. We are salvaging bicycles to save waste of useful materials and to increase access to sustainable, healthy, and low-cost transport – creating work by doing something that benefits society and the environment, rather than harming it.
Alarmingly, we are already seeing the effects of climate change; twice in the past two years, record-breaking temperatures forced us to close our workshop due to unsafe heat levels. Despite our best efforts, no amount of fans could create a tolerable working/volunteering environment with outside temperatures of 36 degrees, and we are concerned for what next summer might bring. But these challenges are not dampening our motivation – they strengthen it.
We urge everyone who wants to see a healthy planet for the next generation to stand alongside the young people concerned for their future, support the climate strike on Friday 20th September and then continue to take action in the many other ways possible. We have decided to stay open as usual, so we can continue our work in promoting sustainable transport, but we are supporting those of our staff who will be walking out on Friday 20th in Leeds and welcome anyone who joins us.
Big Bike Revival returns for 2019, with cycling events happening across the UK – check out Cycling UKs website for full listings. Here’s what we’re up to:
Leeds Bike Mill Bike Fix: Saturday 15th June & Saturday 20th July 10am-4pm
Our regular Saturday open days will be a bit special in June & July: longer opening hours plus free bike health checks & minor repairs with Dr Bike; chill out in the cafe corner with free cycling maps of Leeds while you wait.
Clean Air Day at Briggate, Leeds city centre: Thursday 20th June 12.30pm-3.30pm
Our Dr Bike will be joining other organisations promoting cycling as one way to help keep our city’s air cleaning for everyone! Come and say hello and bring your own bike for a free bike health check and minor repairs.
At all of these events we’ll be running the Big Bike Revivaltombola, giving you the chance to win a prize that will help keep your bike happy this summer!
Fix it to Ride volunteers have built 50 bikes to give away to refugees in Leeds in the past year, and we’re delighted that the project is set to continue throughout 2019.
We thank all the volunteers who’ve given their time and hope they all feel they’ve gained something too… “I knew a little about basic bike maintenance before I started volunteering at Leeds Bike Mill, but now I can confidently strip a bike down and put it back together. I find it a peaceful, calming and rewarding activity… that not only benefits me but other people too.” Regular volunteers say the skills they’ve learned have given them confidence outside of the workshop too, for example at work, where one volunteer uses his skills to “support a young gentleman who has learning difficulties who has just got in to cycling”.
Fix it started as a 6-month project, and we are really grateful to all the funders who have enabled the project to continue for longer. We’d also like to say a massive thanks to the generous people who have made donations through our Paypal page, and everyone who has donated bikes, parts and accessories. Your support has helped us ensure the project adds real value to the bike recipients, by being able to buy essential cycling kit so they can hit ground ‘rolling’!
Also, we can’t complete any list of thanks without mentioning Michael, one of our Advanced Cycle Maintenance course participants, who nominated us for a grant through Maximus Foundation. We are especially grateful to this donation, which helped keep the project going in-between funding bids!
Now, we are set for 2019 and will be aiming to keep Fix it to Ride going for years to come!
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.