Bike Giveaway to Local Schools

(No photos of this one – we really must try harder at this!)

Because Recyke relies on donations of bikes, we have very little control over our incoming stock. Sometimes we get a glut of ladies bikes, and sometimes it’s road bikes. And either side of Christmas, we always get more children’s bikes than we know what to do with.

Rather than seeing this as a problem, we identified a great opportunity to help some of the local schools near to our Byker railway arches. So yesterday morning we gave 28 bikes a final safety check, pumped up their tyres, and loaded them into the back of a van. Then two of our wonderful volunteers, Roger and Derek, played the role of The Bike Fairy and visited Hotspur Primary, Chillingham Road Primary, Walkergate Primary, and Byker Primary to deliver a fleet of bikes to each school. These can be used for PE lessons, or for loan bikes when pupils do Bikeability, or can even just be given direct to children whose parents can’t afford a bike.

This is a great example of how, because of Recyke y’bike’s charity status, we get to do things that don’t make us any money, but do put smiles on people’s faces and do make a difference to the community.

If you’d like to get involved and to help us make a slightly better world, why not check out the aptly named Get Involved page on this site?

Attention Bike Mechanics: We’re Hiring!

Lego bike mechanic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 clement127:Flickr) .jpgOne of our favourite long-term mechanics is leaving us to move back to Germany.

These are big boots to fill, but we’re hoping that there’s an experienced bike mechanic out there who’s just itching to show us what they can do:

VACANCY – Bicycle Mechanic

£8.76 per hour

We’re looking for a new team member for the Durham shop. This post will be part-time, 28hrs a week to match the shop’s opening hours of Wednesday – Saturday 10:00 – 5:00.

You’ll need to be a great bike mechanic. Preferably, you’ll be qualified to Velotech Gold or equivalent, along with at least six months’ hands-on workshop experience. We service & recycle a wide range of customers’ bikes, so you need familiarity with lots of different bikes, rather than intimate knowledge of the latest technology.

It would be a distinct advantage if you also have front-of-shop experience. So you need to happy dealing with customers – either in person, or when they phone with enquiries.

You’ll be expected to have a firm commitment to Recyke y’Bike’s values: Equality and diversity; Community participation; Sustainability and recycling; and Promotion of cycling. You must be a team player, able to get on with the other staff and volunteers.

Flexibility is important for this role, both in terms of the scope of the job (e.g. you may be asked to help in our other shops to cover holidays), and the hours you work. Currently holidays are 28 days a year pro-rata, and you’ll be enrolled in a contributory pension scheme.

We’ll be interviewing for this post in the last week of March. The expected start date is mid-late April. Application forms are available from any of our shops, or below. If you’re thinking of applying, we’d encourage you to pop into the Durham shop for an informal chat with the shop manager, Dave.


Application form and other documents:

Durham Mechanic Advert (the above text): 


Durham Mechanic Person Spec: 


Application Form: 

Poets’ Corner

We asked Melissa, who’s one of our volunteers to help with some words for the shop signage at The Journey this week. She did most of the work on this website for us, and is a bit of a wordsmith. So along with some great, catchy ideas, she also sent us a little poem to explain what Recyke is all about:

If you need a used bike,
We’ve ones that you’ll like.
Want to repair and to fix?
We will teach you our tricks.
Should you want to donate,
(And whatever it’s state
We will fix that up, too,
‘Til it works just like new)
You can leave it and we
Will sell it on or see
If it stands up to the
Terrain of Africa
We will get it to folks
Who need transport with spokes.
And if you volunteer
To help out around here
Recyke y’Bike will be
Like your new family.
True, it’s a rarity,
Our little bike charity.

Well it made us smile on a cold January morning!

Beautiful Vintage Claud Butler

Recyke y’bike volunteer, Lee recently passed his Velotech Gold qualification with us. So now he’s moved up to the Big League:

We often get really lovely bikes donated, and this 1970s Claud Butler is no exception. It’s a stunner of a vintage bike, and the first time that Lee’s been trusted with such a piece of glorious bling. He’s worked closely with one of our most experienced mechanics, Nick, and the bike will get a final double check before it goes into the shop.

If you’re looking for a vintage bike, Recyke y’bike is the place to come. We’ve everything from traditional three speed ladies bikes that we can put a basket on the front for you (add your own puppy), to touring bikes, fixies and road bikes. Prices for vintage bikes start at a little over £100.

Blaydon Cycle Club Christmas Charity TT

At the weekend when David Laidler from Blaydon Cycle Club dropped in, we were happy to help him.

He’s taking part in the club’s Christmas Charity Time Trial, raising money for Nicole, who’s the daughter of a club member. She’s been diagnosed with the very rare Batten Disease. David wanted to buy / borrow / hire a suitable bike for a serious time trial. And we were happy to oblige:

David Laidler from Blaydon Cycle Club

We’re sure he’ll be riding away with first prize on this!

For more information on Blaydon Cycle Club’s Charity Time Trial, head over to their Facebook Events Page for it. You can also donate directly to Nicole’s fundraising via this page.

Christmas Opening (closing)

Even busy bike mechanics need time off work. So this year, we will be closed over the Christmas period:

  • Tuesday 20th December: Byker workshop open for donations
  • Wednesday 21st December: All three shops open
  • Thursday 22nd December – Monday 2nd January: CLOSED
  • Tuesday 3rd January: Byker workshop open for donations
  • Wednesday 4th January: All shops open as normal

20,000th Bike!

Sammy Nawali visited us just over a week ago. He’d come all the way from Nakuru in Kenya to see where the 500 bikes a year that support his charities were coming from. We were delighted to make is visit even more worthwhile, and we presented him with the 20,000th bike that’d been donated to Recyke y’bike.

It’d been given to us by Jan Harrison from Gosforth. She was rather surprised at the fanfare her visit to our Byker workshop generated, until we explained that her donation was a significant milestone for the charity.

Sammy runs an orphanage for nearly 200 children, a school for nearly 400, and supports a host of local businesses. A key part of his work in rehabilitating street children is the trade created by bikes donated from the North East.

In Sammy’s own words, “People often think we want aid. But helping us to trade is a far better thing. In my country, there is 47% unemployment. By helping people to start small businesses with these bikes, they take responsibility for themselves, and the profits fund the orphanage and school. These bikes are giving people back their self-respect, and they solve our transport problems. A bike means a child can go to school, or a student to college, or a nurse can visit the village.”

If you’d like to help us to help people like Sammy and the people he works with, check out our Get Involved page!