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.
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.