Bike Bank – an upskilling success story

Bike Bank, the Exeter Community Initiatives (ECI) project is going from strength to strength since ECI and Ride On Cycling for All teamed up to run the bike maintenance workshops at Ride On’s base at Exeter Quay.

The aim of Bike Bank is to create a supportive workshop where vulnerable adults can learn practical skills in refurbishing bikes, both for their own benefit and for that of others. Ride On – a charity that is passionate about getting more people riding affordable bikes more often – is providing ‘hands- on’ training in a supportive environment.

ECI helps people facing poverty, inequality and homelessness get their lives back on track and gives them the opportunity to do something constructive with their time.

Bike Bank attendee Jeff is an ex-Navy refrigeration and air conditioning engineer suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Jeff hasn’t been able to work for a while, but says that the Bike Bank training is helping him mentally and taxing his brain. “I’ve   learned how to index gears properly, change cables and set V brakes up. It’s also good to get out and speak to more people – it’s great to have adult conversation! And it’s nice that at the end of this I can hopefully volunteer and get involved.”

Jeff will be making good use of the new skills he’s learned at Bike Bank. He says he has lots of friends who need help with their bikes and children in his neighbourhood are always knocking on the door asking for help.

 “So many people are using bikes now especially with lockdown. There are so many families out and about on bikes which is great to see and I want to help them keep riding,” adds Jeff.

Ride On Workshop manager, Sam White adds: “The Bike Bank is a great project that helps build confidence and wellbeing through refurbishing donated bikes. We work on a one-to-one basis, covering all aspects of bike maintenance in a welcoming and social environment. Since we have obviously adapted our systems and workshop to be safe so it is great to once again be teaching people, whilst also helping to make cycling accessible in our city.”

To find out more about the ECI/Ride On Trainee Workshop Programme which offers practical skills in bike repair contact Jane Hawking on 07547 958156 or go to the  ECI website https://www.eci.org.uk/  or the Ride On website www.rideoncycling.org 

Notes for editors 

Ride On – Cycling for All is a local charity based at Exeter Quay that recycles unwanted bicycles and helps make cycling safe, enjoyable, and accessible to everyone. Ride On has a vision for a cleaner healthier and more active Exeter. The aim of Ride On is to get more people on affordable bikes, whilst offering education and training to keep them on the move, improve mental and physical health and wellbeing through cycling and contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions. 

61 Haven Road Exeter EX2 8DP 

Contact 07544 14749 

[email protected] 

Ride On – Cycling for All is registered with the Charity Commission: No.1174055