Visited Recyke y’Bike today – excellent bicycle recycling project, based near Byker Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

The project accepts unwanted and broken cycles from the public and then volunteers, from a broad spectrum of life-experience, work under the guidance of expert bike-mechanics, dismantling, cataloging, and carrying out repairs until they have made a fleet of good-as-new bikes.

“Watch us wreck tha bike – PSYCH!”  (from Ant & Dec, 1994)

Many of these bikes (about 30 per week) go on sale to the general public each Saturday, direct from the organisaton’s garage/HQ under the Ouseburn Viaduct.

Judging by the long queues, word has gotten around and the weekly sale goes a long way towards fulfilling some of Recyke y’Bike’s admirable core aims:

–  Reusing bicycles by reconditioning them
–  Saving bikes from landfill  –
Educate the public in the safe use, reuse and maintenance of bicycles &
–  Promote better physical health through cycling

Recyke y’Bike is a hub for bicycle enthusiasts BUT the story doesn’t end there – their social business model spokes outwards locally and globally:

In providing an engaging, skills-based work environment, to volunteers from all walks of life, ages and abilities, Recyke y’Bike aspires to reduce isolation in communities.

AND, they also work in partnership with Re-Cycle in Essex, regularly shipping bikes to Africa to be passed on to health workers helping them reach otherwise inaccessible villages.  Recent destinations are Uganda, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, Ghana, South Africa and Camaroon.

Riding away this morning, on my brand-new-secondhand, Claude Butler (on slick tires! 100 quid!) I was really inspired by the achievements of the many individuals behind this dynamic organisation.