People make the wheels go round

Recently I received an invitation to become a financial supporter of the Bristol Bike Project (an e-mail repeated verbatim at the base of this post). I’m familiar with the project, having popped over a few times and a proud subscriber of Boneshaker. Nonetheless, I had to think about this quite hard. Firstly, is this an endeavour I’d support? Secondly, I support several other charities, so can I afford to support another? Finally, if I can – or feel I should – support, by how much? So I sat down, assumed Rodin’s pose and weighed up the pros and the cons.Hmm……The Bristol bike project works with marginalised groups, promotes cycling and stops bike from going to landfill……..That just about sums up all the things that I feel strongly about…….It’s Bristol based and I’m the other side of the Severn in Cardiff……….Bristol is a short hop, I’m there regularly and if it helps people, then geography is irrelevant………I do support several other charities………..Yet none that are so active within the cycling community.

As you can see, a relatively straightforward internal argument to resolve. The next dilemma was level of support. Life is all about choices. Every time a pound leaves my wallet, I’ve made one choice at the expense of another. With that in mind, I considered that most obvious economic model (and handy benchmark); the pub. Nothing is cheap there these days. You practically need to rob the ISA to go there. Given that you get very little change out of £20 for a round of beers at my local, foregoing a round will not only offset the deficit, but also improve my health (or at least reduce my intake of Doombar and scampi flavour fries) . So £20 it is. Or rather was. I’ve now signed up via their paypal facility. Sometimes, you just have to put your money where your mouth is (or in my case, ‘legs are’).

As the Stylistics said; ‘People make the world go round’ (Video below. Listen until the end – a beautiful piece of Philadelphia soul). Good luck to the Bristol Bike Project with their funding campaign. All relevant details below.

We present to you the opportunity to become a Supporter of the Bristol Bike Project. “What does this mean, I’m already very supportive of the Bristol Bike Project”, you may ask. Well, this is an opportunity to offer sustainable financial support (in the form of a monthly contribution) to the Project so we that can further develop our community work, which currently receives no regular funding. Here are 6 and a half reasons why you might want to become a Supporter:
1. Our Earn A Bike scheme puts up to eight new cyclists on the roads of Bristol every week.

2. We provide bikes and repairs to people with severe barriers to employment, asylum seekers, those with long term health problems, ex-offenders and people on substance abuse recovery schemes. We are the only free cycle service available for these marginalised groups.

3. We provide bikes free of charge, thus reducing the demand for cheap stolen bikes sold on the street. Before the Bike Project, stolen bikes were often the only bikes available to people on very low incomes. And, we will never work on a bike we believe to be stolen.

4. Our volunteer programme provides a supportive, learning environment for anyone wanting to learn how to fix bikes. Our workshops can provide a rewarding and motivating volunteer opportunity, especially for those experiencing long term unemployment.

5. Reuse and recycling is at the heart of our workshop. We aim to reuse every working component and recycle worn out and damaged parts, (even low value materials such as tyres and inner tubes). If we can keep it out of landfill, we will.

6. 100% of contribution will go into the workshop. None will be spent on admin. The money will buy locks, lights, essential bike parts, tools and workshop consumables.

6.5. You will receive the following;

  • a 10% discount on BBP services 
  • Free entry to our weekly Bike Kitchen and Women’s Night. 
  • A Bristol Bike Project t-shirt (fairly-traded organic cotton)
  • A set of BBP stickers
  • A quarterly e-newsletter complete with invites to BBP events 
  • A copy of the most recent issue of Boneshaker magazine 
  • A Boneshaker Postcard Set.
  • A warm glow deep down inside!

For all these reasons we ask you to make a monthly contribution of at least £5. We want to improve the quality of our community service, and your funding will allow us to do so in the following ways:

  • We will be able to cover the cost of locks and lights for two asylum seekers per week.
  • Beyond that we can work towards providing better quality parts to project users, such as brand new brake blocks, cables, chains and mudguards (a must-have for Bristol cyclists!)Ideally, we will generate enough to be able to pay someone to prepare a few bikes each week so there is always guaranteed to be a good choice of bikes when project users come in for their sessions.

Keen to get involved? Click here to find out more about donating. Click here to find out more about volunteering. Post images from Britsol Bike Project site. Cardiff Cycle Workshop offer similar services and activities. 

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