Cycling charity, Cycling UK has launched its Big Bike Revival to rescue the estimated 834,661 unused and unloved bikes in Greater Manchester and get more people cycling.
The national cycling charity believes there are as many as 16.6 million bikes languishing in sheds or garages across England because their owners lack the skills to maintain them or the confidence to ride.
Over the course of the next three months, the Big Bike Revival is targeting the root of these problems, by getting thousands of bikes fixed up and helping their owners with the skills and encouragement to get back in the saddle.
Family friendly events happening from May to 27 July to rescue Greater Manchester’s bikes
The Big Bike Revival kicked off in Greater Manchester at Platt Fields Bike Hub with a series of events including maintenance sessions, led rides and children friendly cycle activities. The national charity aims to help those whose bike life has struggled to discover the joys of cycling and the freedom, fun and health benefits it brings.
Haidy Adam, 34, from Manchester, learned to ride a bike as a child in Saudi Arabia but as a Muslim woman had to stop riding before she reached her teenage years. She started riding again three years after moving to Britain:
“It was so exciting being able to ride a bike again. It just makes me really happy. It’s amazing to be riding again after 30 years. And I now volunteer helping other people to get on their bikes and it makes me so happy to see people learn to ride and go off without any support.”
Lynette Evans, Cycling UK’s development officer in Greater Manchester said:
“Helping people like Haidy is what the Big Bike Revival is all about – giving people the confidence, support and tools to bring cycling back into their lives.
“Cycling UK estimates there are 834,661 unloved bikes in Great Manchester just needing a little TLC – if that sounds like you, then come along to one of our Big Bike Revival events this summer and we’ll get you back on the road!”
A poll carried out by YouGov for the launch of Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival project also found that 47 per cent of people who can ride a bike lack confidence to carry out basic repairs to a bike, like fixing a puncture or checking their brakes.
Meanwhile 41 per cent say they would be encouraged to ride more if they could find a group of people of a similar standard to cycle with.
James Scott, Director of Behaviour Change and Development, said:
“This survey shows there is clearly a massive disconnect between the numbers of people who can ride a bike and those who do so regularly.
“In many cases, it comes down to confidence, whether that’s through a lack of basic bike maintenance skills or being unable to find like-minded people to ride with.
“We know from experience, for example that many people worry about encountering a mechanical problem while cycling and being left stranded on the side of the road.
“We also know that creating community clubs of riders of a similar standard can offer real encouragement to get people cycling regularly.”
This is the fourth year Big Bike Revival has been running. Last year, the project reached more than 60,000 people through more than 1,700 events across the UK.
In England, almost half of those who attended were non-regular cyclists and 47% were women.
The Big Bike Revival is funded by the Department for Transport and runs from 3 May – 26 July. More details at: Cycling UK