Having commuted over winter on gears, yesterdays fixie ride was a bit of a workout. This morning I switched back to the freewheel for a spin through the Sittles to Fradley. So many people were out today, we saw a tandem, a couple of Bromptons, a tag along, a bmx, a pair of folding mountain bikes and plenty of roadies. A couple of the Zippies even said good morning – a rare treat!
Last year I did #30daysofbiking for the first time and pledges are now open for this year, starting as usual on 1st of April and lasting for the whole of the month. One local riders pledge came up in my Twitter timeline earlier and I know of a couple of people who are doing it in Lichfield, If there are a few people pledging maybe we could have a little fun group ride together sometime in April? It doesn’t require you to flog your guts every day, just try to get out and make as many journeys as possible on two wheels. I thoroughly enjoyed doing it last year on the fixie and hope to do the same this year.
Promise of better temperatures and weather meant the first fixie ride of the year today. Hope to be doing more with Lichfied Fixed Gear this year including the alleycat we wanted to do but didn’t in 2014 and regular ride Tuesday Cruiseday again when the clocks go forward in March.
The latest bike in and out of the Lichfield Re:Cycle project was this mountain bike donated by Nigel and given on free long term loan, following a service, to Millie who will ride it with her young son who is also having a bike from the project. We say thanks to Nigel on a new page on the Lichfield Re:Cycle website.
Last night we held a meeting of volunteers and supporters to formally constitute the voluntary group, appointing seven trustees to oversee the work the project does and to help guide volunteers. We had a really useful chinwag over a couple of plates of biscuits and some buttery sweets about ways we can expand the work of the group to encourage as many people as we can to participate in cycling and equip them with the skills needed to enjoy doing so.
One of the ideas was to put a wishlist on the website. The first item is somewhere secure to store the donated bikes while we process them and try and find them a good home. We have also been invited to help the 5th Lichfield Scouts who are working towards achieving their Cyclist Activity badge. We have offered to demonstrate the maintenance elements required in the badge and to check over their bikes as they prepare for an orienteering ride over the Chase in the summer. We did agree that we would hold our AGM in May this year on the strict provision that it would begin with a friendly ride round town and end up in an open air setting with fizzy refreshments to hand. If anybody wants to support the group, to volunteer or find out more you can find contact details here.
Another busy weekend for the volunteers on the Lichfield Re:Cycle project. We managed to get another couple of bikes from the Frog Lane donation out to people. Adam, a musician/bass guitarist and artist, has been walking around Lichfield to get to his jam sessions and music projects. He was recently made redundant and is currently looking for employment. His last bicycle was stolen, and to make matters worse that prevented him from going on cycle outings with his partners young daughter.
Adam was made aware of the Lichfield Re:Cycle project by somebody that knew one of our volunteers and he clearly met the criteria for somebody in the Lichfield area that would benefit from a Re:Cycle project loan bicycle. A suitable one was identified from the current donated stock and put through the re-furbishment programme to bring it up to standard. At the handover Adam said that he was “completely blown away, by what the Lichfield Re-Cycle project are doing, and what a great use for bicycles that are no longer needed……awesome”.
As we received the bikes from the Police as former stolen or lost property we have been registering them on the Immobilise website and giving a copy of the registration to the new owner in case anyone challenges them on where they had the bike from.
This mountain bike went out to another person as well. When we met to hand it over we were able to have a chat about what else apart from a bike people might benefit from with our project. He said he wasn’t that confident about maintenance, a common theme we have been hearing. What we plan to do is hold demonstrations with small groups of interested people. Probably in someones front garden with the host providing cups of tea. We plan to do them in North Lichfield, central Lichfield and on Boley Park. Get in touch if you would like to host or attend and we will tailor the learning to the people taking part.
You can read some examples and testimonials from some of the people we have met through the project on this page on the Lichfield Re:Cycle website.
Since I started this blog thing, I have had the pleasure of meeting and riding with people from across the wide cycling spectrum. Early on I was invited to attend the 8th annual Major Nichols memorial ride and this year I will hopefully be riding the 10th ride on the Major Nichols frame I have become the custodian of. Many classic lightweight frame makers have had websites set up to celebrate their history and legacy but none existed for Major Nichols. Working with some enthusiasts we have put together such a site and hope that it will be a useful resource for recording the social and cycling history of this esteemed Black country frame maker.
The cycle jumble is on tomorrow afternoon in Lichfield. Just one of the bikes on sale will be this 1975 Elswick Hopper “Rimini” made in Barton on Humber, one previous owner from new, with Sturmey Archer 3 speed AW Hub. The seller tells me it has undergone a sympathetic refurb including the following new parts:
Black Vinyl sprung Saddle (good copy of original).
Brake cables inners and outers, Red Fibrax brake blocks.
Gear cable inner and outer.
KMC Gold chain with split link for easy removal.
Wheel bearings and bottom bracket bearings, lithium bearing greased.
New 26×1 3/8 gumwall tyres, inner tubes and Nutrak rim tape.
Lots of polish and elbow grease!
Perfect for The Lichfield Jolly ride in June. If you just have a single bike you want to sell, organiser Martin is doing a special entry price of £4 that includes admission and the opportunity to sell your single item. Best give him a call on the number below to arrange before the day.
This Saturday is the second Lichfield Cycle Jumble organised by Martin Cartwright. It’s at Martin Heath Hall off Christchurch Lane again, starting at 1:00pm. Cycle or walk up if you can as there isn’t much parking close to the hall. Entrance is just £1.50 and correct change will be appreciated. A flavour of what was at last years event can be found here.
Martin has sent through some details of who will be selling. As well as 9 stalls returning from last years event there will be: a chap travelling up from Yeovil who has moved from Spain and is selling lots of 70’s to 90’s high end race equipment, a mix of full bikes and components. Someone is up from Windsor bringing lots of late 90’s early 2000’s components which are 8 and 9 speed and promised to be in immaculate condition. A seller from Eastbourne with a range of 1930’s to 1950’s components. Someone selling components and a large amount of cycling shoes! Lichfield Re:Cycle will be there and also the cycling charity Bike to Life and much more besides. Mountains of cake too apparently on offer so no excuse really not to pop along.