Re:Cycle revival

Last Sunday Lichfield Re:Cycle held their ride & AGM to The Horse & Jockey in Lichfield. With over 30 members now, we have also elected 10 trustees to carry on the good work over the next twelve months, developing the project further and building on the great past few months we have had.

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Next week there is a national event called The Big Bike Revival that is about getting unloved bikes back into use. Sounds just like what we have been doing. You can find details of the events nearest to you here.  There are things going on in Cannock run by Cycle-R and at Halfords in Burton. Luckily we had stuff planned for half term week anyway and you can catch some of our volunteers at Curborough Community Centre next Tuesday (26th May) between 10 and 12.

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At our AGM we discussed doing more rides to encourage people to cycle safely together on the roads, so volunteers will also be available next Friday (29th May) offering to come to you and take you round the roads where you live or help you plan a good route to school or to the park. Just get in touch with Lichfield Re:Cycle and we will try and fit in as many people who want to take part that day or at another time.

A ditch in time

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Passed through the section of NCN54 by Spade Green today. A ditch has been dug at the Burntwood end to allow water to drain from the path around the gate. After the heavy rain of the last few days it seems to be doing the job.

Talent matched

At the Lichfield Re:Cycle AGM this Sunday we will hopefully gather together many of the talented people who have given their time to get the project off the ground. The next and most important step is to make sure the project can grown sustainably and continue to build a library of bikes and expertise within the community. Time will tell if its legacy outlasts the megabucks projects up and down the road.

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A couple more stories from this weeks goings on. With kids outgrowing bikes faster than weeds, Katie needed a bike to keep up with them and a new one for Alfie who was chuffed with the BMX (with obligatory low down seat, he insisted). All set now for trips together round town with brother George.

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We work with organisations who refer people to use the project, the latest being Talent Match and one of their clients. We have given him a bike, pump and lights while Talent Match have contributed helmet and a waterproof hi viz jacket. Only the third time he has ever rode a bike and our volunteers have spent time building his confidence, route planning from home to work and to the train station for a longer trip in a couple of weeks. Seeing how an inexperienced novice rider fears the traffic on the road it has been interesting to view infrastructure in Lichfield afresh. With perseverance and support we know he can achieve what he wants.

As can Lichfield Re:Cycle, the support we have received from volunteers, donations and goodwill has been greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

A Major triumph

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When I started this here blog thing a couple of years ago, one of the first events I was invited along to was the 8th annual Major Nichols memorial ride. I couldn’t make last years meet up but since then I have helped set up and run the Major Nichols website, an attempt to record and celebrate the life and work of the man who made around 3000 bike frames from his shop in West Bromwich and those who have rode them over the years. The known record of survivors is just over 100 frames with maybe as many more out there in sheds, garages or regular use but not known about. Hopefully having a website and a presence in search results will help find and document a few more, as well as the stories of those who rode them before they are lost. I have become a custodian of an MN myself, this was raced by Andy Hayes for Crown Cycles. I am not used to drop bars, toe clips or even gears but I will get there. There were over 20 MN’s on this years ride, a bumper turnout. More photos and a write up will appear on the Major Nichols website later in the week.

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Trials of life

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Happened to be going through town today and bumped into this group of lads from Burton, literally riding the walls by Speakers Corner on Dam Street. They had done the rocks by Aldi and were off to Beacon Park. They travel around looking for locations and basically having fun on bikes. Check this video they are in, made in Barcelona last year:

I said I would have a think about other spots they might not know in Lichfield for them to play with. The London bound platform at Lichfield Trent Valley springs to mind and Shortbutts Park has some nice features in it. Feel free to send in some suggestions.

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A well balanced meeting

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Nice to get an email with the above photo from someone who has been part of the Lichfield Re:Cycle project. Steve donated us his old mountain bike having got himself a road bike and while talking to him he said he had two daughters. I told him how mine had benefited from having a balance bike, essentially a bike without pedals (and often brakes) and importantly without stabilisers, encouraging the user to learn to balance. I sent Steve an email with a link to a youtube video and convinced him to give one a try. One of our talented volunteers made the bike in the photo.

Elsewhere this week we have been working with three more volunteers who will be helping us to service and renovate the donations we receive and the bikes of those who we work with. We have had encouraging developments on somewhere to store the bikes as well. Fingers crossed on finding more out about that next week.

We are going to hold our AGM in a couple of weeks, invites have gone out to members with details this weekend. We will be holding our meeting in the beer garden of The Horse and Jockey at 5:30pm on Sunday 17th May. Quite a few of us will be meeting at Speakers Corner at 5pm and cycling the two miles to the Tamworth Road pub before hand.

All are welcome, you can join as a member on the day and if anybody would like to help out with Lichfield Re:Cycle you would be most welcome. It is not just grease monkeys we need, if anybody enjoys keeping accounts, doing paperwork, collecting bikes, promoting the project to local organisations, safeguarding and data protection duties and much more besides, we can find a role for you.