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5 ideas for family biking fun in London this school holiday

Herne Hill Velodrome Holiday Club SE24
The much-loved Velodrome runs a long established and popular school holiday club for kids of 8-16, as well as (non-stabiliser) pedal bike sessions for 4-8 year olds, every Thursday 5-6pm and Saturday 1-2pm.
More information here

Richmond to Hampton Court bike ride
A West London family-friendly 8 mile jaunt, this route is manageable for all the family as it’s largely pretty flat. Either take the overground to Richmond or drive to Richmond Park and park the car there. You can cross over the river at Kingston and take in a bit of culture at Hampton Court Palace, before heading back to Richmond.

Track School Holiday Club, Lee Valley VeloPark E20
This club offers a full day course of fun games and activities to help riders (12-16yrs) progress and build confidence in track cycling. Cyclists will cover a range of basic skills including track etiquette, using track gradients and group riding skills finished off with basic track races. Limited places remaining.
More information here

Ride along the Regent’s Canal
Enjoy the colourful narrowboats in Little Venice, travel through Regent’s Park past the zoo, and onto buzzy Camden.
More information here

And finally, why not have a family bike clean and clearout?
Donate any old bikes to us at The Bike Project, and check out our range of secondhand bikes for all the family, including this Specialized Hotrock Girls 24″

SpecializedHotrock24%22

 

The Bike Shop

Drumroll please… we have just launched our very own online bike shop!

The Bike Shop

And these are the best bits about it:

– All proceeds go to The Bike Project to help get more refugees cycling
– The bikes are very affordable and significantly cheaper than buying a new bike
– We will deliver any adult bikes anywhere in the UK for free
– All the bikes have been lovingly refurbished by our professional mechanics and fitted with new parts when necessary to ensure they are almost as good as new.

Accessories available also!

Start shopping

THE BIKE PROJECT: AWARD WINNERS! HOORAY!

Words from LCC:

The Bike Project named Community Cycling Project of the Year

29th June 2015

The Bike Project was named Community Cycling Project of Year at the London Cycling Awards 2015 on 29th June.

At an event attended by the leading figures and organisations of London’s cycling industry, The Bike Project was officially honoured for its community spirit and efforts to bring cycling to a wider audience in the city.

Members of the public selected the project for their outstanding achievements, which are aimed at enabling refugees to access bikes, learn maintenance skills and attend workshops.

Over 15,000 votes were cast online – in categories that included Best Cycling Hangout, Cycling Event of the Year, Community Project of the Year, Youth Project of the Year and the Business by Bike Award – in recognition of the people, organisations and projects that make the wheels of the city turn around.

The London Cycling Awards celebrate the vitality of all things cycling in London. Our winners are pioneers who have strived to make our streets safer for cycling and to attract new cyclists,” said LCC Chief Executive Ashok Sinha.

They are businesses that are raising the bottom line through cycling and they are grassroots projects that are using cycling to improve lives, including for some of London’s most disadvantaged people.”

Cycling is a key tool for addressing the many quality of life, transport and environmental challenges London faces.

The ceremony was presented by broadcaster Jeremy Vine in the iconic surrounds of the ICA. “A tin of blue paint does not make a cycle superhighway,” said Jeremy Vine, a seasoned commuter in his introductory words, before going on to declare the feeling of cycling in London as “indescribable.”

– We’re chuffed to bits! –

Female Cycle Instructor

Calling All Female Cycle Instructors!

 

Female Cycle Instructor with The Bike Project. Help us teach refugee women to cycle!Have you recently qualified as a cycle instructor and fancy getting a bit of practice under your belt? (and are you a woman?)

Are you a well experienced instructor that could teach US a thing or two, and have a Tuesday morning to spare?

We’re running cycling lessons for refugee women who are completely new to cycling. This is an extremely fun and rewarding project, and we welcome anyone keen to help!

If you do fancy getting involved, please get in touch with Sarah: sarah@thebikeproject.co.uk

Women's Proj Flyer online high quality-01

Cycling, outreach, shortfalls and progress in migrant communities: A refreshingly acute discussion (by Ms Nicola Hill, dream volunteer and all round great egg)

Nicola Hill, dream volunteer for The Bike Project
As a professional who works in community engagement for cycling projects I couldn’t help but get frustrated by the lack of service
provision for migrant communities in London, so imagine my delight
when I came across The Bike Project!

The idea of up-cycling London’s many abandoned bikes seemed perfectly
logical and the numbers really do add up. At last, there are two other people (in Jem and Sarah)
who have made the connection between welfare, public health and
environmental initiatives. Not only this but they were were navigating
and seemingly freewheeling their way through what can seem like an
over-bearing system to deliver real benefit to refugees and asylum
seekers, some of London’s most destitute and deprived.

As a new migrant learning to live in London on limited funds a bicycle
is a vital lifeline, a precondition to feeling socially included and
successfully integrating intosociety as well being of great benefit
to health and mental well being. With a bicycle a refugee can
access food, social centers, lawyers, therapy sessions, medical
appointments as well as make it to those all important reporting
meetings at Home Office (for which no provision for travel expenses is
made).

The Bike Project is also working to break down conventional barriers
to cycling for migrant communities. Sarah is currently running a
specific cycle training session for women who may never have had the
chance to cycle before or just do not feel confident cycling on
London’s streets. This really is pioneering.

TfL have long been aware of the differences in travel behaviour
between different minority groups, reporting that that 71% of London
residents from ethnic minority backgrounds say that they ‘never’
cycle, compared to just 57% of white Londoners, not to mention that
just 28% of cycle trips are made by women!

London is crying out for more ground breaking projects like
The Bike Project which increase cycling participation. The reasoning behind low
participation can be complex varying from group to group and some
barriers are easier to overcome than others. For example, when it
comes down to a language or inability to ride this can be overcome
with the provision of information and cycle training. However, other
reasons can be that people from the most disadvantaged communities are
more likely to live in an ‘obesogenic’ environment which discourages
walking and cycling and there are a lack of role models to raise awareness and
encourage community participation. These cultural constraints are
difficult to address. For example, in Hackney, though children
received cycle training at school, this was not sufficient to
encourage them to cycle outside or to/from school because their
parents, typically non-cyclists, did not consider cycling to be a
valid or safe mode of transport.

If more outreach and advocacy work like the Bike Project
is not undertaken across London then increases in cycle trip
frequency will only come from those who already cycle (predominantly
white, British) cycling more as opposed to engaging individuals from
harder to reach communities in changing their travel behaviour. This
is not sustainable.

Cyclists and non cyclists alike know that cycling offers many other
advantages to London as a whole including cleaner air, less noise and
fewer road traffic injuries, but more importantly, individuals who
travel actively feel more connected to their local environment,
especially the green spaces where communities can converge and become
more cohesive. This, I believe is where the real benefit is for asylum
seekers and refugees as new migrants, seeking to integrate and connect
with their new society.

The Bike Project is vital to not only changing attitudes and
behaviour, but also in addressing the growing importance of social
equity for all, which it is doing one bike at a time.

Jesuit Refugee Service Logo

Eva Boenders tells us a bit about life as a JRS visitor, and the enthusiasm there for bikes!

Jesuit Refugee Service Logo 

I like attending Thursdays at the day centre of Jesuit Refugee Service. I never know who will come along. There may be new visitors. Or visitors who have been coming for a long time. I may catch some in a good mood, and others may be sad or anxious.  No one Thursday is the same.  Over the years I have tried different things to brighten up the mornings and nurture the crowd. I partnered up with Pret-a-Manger which now distributes its surplus sandwiches to our day centre. I handed out international newspapers while people were waiting for the reimbursement of their bus pass. I created a log to record visitors’ qualifications and wishes. How would they like to spend their day – awaiting status?

Initially, mostly men were recording interest. When a few months ago, The Bike Project launched a Learn To Ride A Bicycle programme for female asylum seekers, it took me no time to get a list together of interested candidates. The thrill of learning a new skill and managing the London roads has boosted the confidence of many women whose asylum claims have dragged on and whose pain lingers. It has been a fantastic initiative to get the ladies out of the day centre and introduce them to freedom. Learning to ride a bicycle and keeping the bike at the end of the course, has made an incredible difference in the lives of some of our day centre users. It has been a brilliant way of bringing movement in their day and empowering them to earn their own transportation. Jesuit Refugee Service is excited to have found a partner in the Bike Project.

Thank you!

Eva Boenders
Outreach and Development
Jesuit Refugee Service – UK

DOST and The Bike Project

TBP + DOST = FUN FUN FUN! (words by Marian Spiers)

I’ve been bringing small groups of young people to The Bike Project for nearly 2 years now.  In this time, around 20 of the separated young people and migrants who we work with have benefited from a bicycle.  I work as the Youth Work Programme Manager at Dost ( www.dostcentre.orgin East London, and found out about the project through twitter.  I arranged to meet Jem, and have been taking young people to the project ever since.  It’s friendly, laid back and the young people enjoy the atmosphere. They get to learn new skills, meet new people, and receive a bike complete with all the safety equipment.

This gives them freedom, saves them money and improves their health and lifestyle.

Down at the workshop, it’s been really nice for our young people to meet other people from their own countries, volunteering and learning to fix bikes together.  One of the young people was also given the opportunity to go along and help at some corporate bike- repair fundraising sessions, for which he was paid and which greatly increased his confidence.

It’s a great project and provides a safe, welcoming space to everyone who comes along… it’s simple, easy and promotes recycling: turning something unwanted into something that is useful and beneficial to many.

Klevis Kola and The Bike Project

We paired up with Klevis Kola Foundation, a community organisation that supports refugee and asylum-seeking families. Words from Eleanor Brown (Education Outreach, Youth Club and Mentoring Co-ordinator)

Klevis Kola and The Bike Project

 

In the heat of August, the Bike Project and Klevis Kola Foundation converged on Tooting Bec Common for an afternoon of cycling together. Some of the group had never ridden a bike before but by the end of the afternoon, thanks to the support and encouragement of the Bike Project team, our two novices were gaining in confidence, able to stay upright, and were grinning from ear to ear. The rest of the group all hopped on bikes and took part in tests of their skill, races, and the freedom and joy that cycling brings. We had not told the group that they could take bikes home, wanting to make sure they were safe enough to do so before we offered them. All of the group could ride and were amazed when they were told they could keep their bike. The Bike Project kitted them out with helmets, lights and locks- everything they need to keep them safe.

One child had just had her 12th birthday and said her bike was her best present ever; another was keen to go home and share his new bike with his brother. An 18 year old was thrilled with the freedom it would now give him, meaning he could get to football training sessions quickly and for free, rather than weighing up the choice between an extremely long and slow bus ride versus the expense of a train. Many of the young people we work with are frustrated that they cannot afford to go to a gym, take exercise classes or swim as it is prohibitively expensive; having a bike will help them exercise and gives them a free social activity they can do with their friends. It also opens up the whole of London to them; one of our group was so excited at his new found freedom that he cycled from Crystal Palace to Tower Bridge, getting terribly lost on his way home, but delighted that his horizons are no longer limited to his small corner of South West London. All of our young people have asked us to say thank you to you all.

We at Klevis Kola Foundation are thankful for people like the Bike Project, taking a simple idea and turning it into something life changing.

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Jem and Silla

Thank you!

 

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