100 Free Bikes To Be Given Out in the Borough

Pedal Back Cycles teams up with local charity to present to those in need

Abandoned bikes are upcycled in the Fulham shop
Abandoned bikes are upcycled in the Fulham shop

One hundred reconditioned bikes are to be given to people on low incomes living in the area thanks to an initiative from Pedal Back Cycles and UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham.

The bikes have been donated by South Western Railway (SWR) from those it finds abandoned on its network. Harriet Strachan at SWR checks with the British Transport Police that the bikes have not been reported as missing or stolen. Once this is confirmed, they are donated to Pedal Back Cycles, based on Lillie Road, who then upcycle them.

Local community groups can refer local adults to join a waiting list to receive a suitable bike when it becomes available as part of the reuse scheme.

When a match is found between budding cyclist and bike, they will be given free training to smoothly get back on the roads and will be invited to join a supportive cycling community.

The scheme has been welcomed by Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for the Environment. “This is an impressive example of collaboration between a charity and a cycle shop to increase cycling in the borough by first targeting the help to those who need it most,” he said.

The grant aid to fund the project comes from TfL and the London Marathon Charitable Trust, via environmental regeneration charity Groundwork London.

One mother was referred by Solidarity Sports, who tend to her child with their cost-free holiday sessions. Director Sean Mendez said: “Thanks to the partnership for very kindly donating a refurbished bike to one of our mums. This is such a great initiative, encouraging people to keep kit and it's also great for the environment.”

Nikky Redford, who founded Pedal Back Cycles with her partner Ria Moore, said: “This is a dream turned into reality – upcycling abandoned bikes and donating them to those most in need. Enabling people and communities to cycle is more important than ever, and the benefits are not just physical – cycling and access to bikes is mentally and socially transformative. We’ve always believed in making cycling as accessible as possible by being open, honest, approachable and fun.”

Savraj Kaur, Executive Director of UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham, said: “It’s quite moving to see someone wheel away with a bike when we know they may never otherwise be able to own one. Everyone’s story is different, some can’t even afford to get a bus. We hope all their lives are changed for the better.”

Harriet from SWR, said: “It’s been great to support this brilliant initiative that helps change lives in our local community. Our teams have really got on board with the project and we are seeing bikes donated from stations across the network.”

Find out more on the UNITED in H&F website. https://unitedhf.org/

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June 28, 2021