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Access Bike February 2023 newsletter

Hello friends of Access Bike!
In this monthly update we cover:
  • Bikes for sale
  • Tidy up and sort out continues
  • A busy start to the year in our workshop
  • Joining the C-Card Scheme
  • Online Cycling Fitness and Performance Course offered by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College
  • In case you missed it... plans for RUSH skatepark to return unveiled
  • Applications to be Bicycle Mayor for Stroud extended to 17th February
  • Crowdfunding our work - donate if you can!
  • The monthly market ride returns this Saturday 4th February, meet 10am at Brimscombe Mills!
  • Bikes are great but STROUD NEEDS BUSES too - new campaign group


We have a range of refurbished bikes at affordable prices available.

As well as the Raleigh Parkway folding bike pictured above (click link for more info), we have a Cube Aim 24" front suspension Mountain Bike, a couple of vintage racers, modern road bikes, a rigid Mongoose Mountain bike, a couple of hybrid/commuter bikes complete with pannier racks, various kids bikes and even a fixie ready for sale. We have around 20 bikes in our shop, but around 100 in the workshop - in other words, lots of donated bikes which we are slowly working our way through to sell.
Whatever you're looking for, email or message us on Instagram or Facebook Messenger and we can discuss our stock with you, or arrange a time for you to visit for a browse.
We use the funds we raise from sales to fund the project, but try to keep the bikes affordably priced too. We can potentially take old bikes in 'part exchange' and young people can also 'earn a bike' by volunteering with us and fixing up other bikes for a number of hours equivalent to the value of the bike they're after. Get in touch if you have any questions.
You might also be looking to donate an old bike - please send us an email with a picture and we can let you know if it's something we can use and arrange a time for you to drop it off (please don't just dump bikes outside our workshop).

The great Access Bike tidy up continues...

Project Manager James Beecher is back from Paternity Leave and took advantage of a quiet first week back to carry on the tidying that Cai, Rowan and Callum had been doing over quieter midwinter sessions. The shop is looking as swish as it has done in a long time, the workbenches have been reorganised and we've been through all the cranks to identify pairs, and sorted all the spanners.

We're going to keep tidying and hope to host some sessions where regular volunteers and new supporters can help us repaint the floor, give the walls a lick of paint too, remake our toolboards, and maybe even get some murals done. We'll of course keep you updated in these newsletters.

A busy start to the year in our workshop

Tuesday and Thursday sessions for young people aged 13-25 are BACK and we've been pretty busy! Lots of young people have been through fixing their own bikes, working on bikes for us to sell, learning bike mechanics and putting volunteer hours in the pot to earn themselves bikes - one young person earned themselves a BMX this way.
We've also run three sessions with young refugees and asylum seekers who being supported by Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers - thanks to funding from Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership. Last year we worked with 7 young refugees over 5 sessions, and this year we've completed another 3 sessions with 5 more young people. This means a total of 12 young refugees have fixed up a bike for themselves - and been provided with a lock, lights, helmet and multitool. Over the next couple of weeks we'll be going on a couple of group rides with the second group, and completing our training with them to help them feel more confident using trains in the UK too.

Women-only sessions will be returning from Monday 13th February, with a slightly adjusted time following feedback. Naomi and Freya will be available to support women to check over their bikes, fix minor repairs and build their confidence with bike mechanics from 3.30-7.30pm every Monday. These will now be drop-in sessions, but it's always helpful if people book in advance and let Naomi and Freya know a little about what they're hoping to get out of the session to help planning.
Click/tap to book a free workshop session at

We've joined the C-Card Scheme!

The Access Bike Community Bike Workshop and Youth Space is now a Distribution Centre as part of Gloucestershire's C-Card Scheme.
What does the C in C-Card stand for? Wherever you see this logo it’s a place where you can get FREE CONDOMS and sexual health advice, and it’s totally CONFIDENTIAL. That's two words that begin with C. Yesterday's intro session with young people also involved 4 letter C Words for relevant body parts, and another important C word: Consent.
We held an introductory session with a small group of young people who were in the workshop one day in January, talking about how to use a condom effectively and correctly - with a demonstration on a fake penis. We held a Condom Olympics to help get the conversation going and make people feel less nervous about talking about these topics.
Through trying to see which items in the workshop condoms could be stretched over, we discussed the ways in which a condom can prevent STIs and pregnancy, how condoms can be damaged (by the oil on our hands after a day in the workshop, by sharp objects like jewellery and nails) and why we need to check they are in date, what action to take if something goes wrong when using a condom, how lube isn't just for your bike chain (different kind of lube!) and how to dispose of condoms correctly.
If you are a young person interested in accessing free condoms, you can ask Project Manager James to register (the scheme is designed to be confidential so ask to chat outside or wait for a quiet moment if your prefer), find a list of C-Card distribution centres in Gloucestershire at this link, see if your local pharmacy is in the C-Card scheme, or email
Why are we doing this? Because as well as a workshop, Access Bike is a youth space for 13-25 year olds and we want to make sure they have access to the information, resources and non-judgmental advice to navigate issues around sex and relationships. The 16-25 year old youth space above Access Bike (3rd Space What's on), like us a Creative Sustainability project, is also a C-Card distribution centre.
Thanks to The Eddystone Trust for their support with this scheme!

In case you missed it... plans for RUSH skatepark to return unveiled

BBC Points West's Gloucestershire reporter, Steve Knibbs produced a 3 minute video update on a planning application being prepared for a new world leading skate park in Gloucestershire to replace the Rush Skatepark site in Brimscombe, which was the training ground for champion skaters and riders - and well-loved by several Access Bike regulars. A new community trust has been formed with plans for a multi-million pound state of the art facility. Watch the video below and find out more at
RUSH Skatepark - BBC Points West - 26th December 2022

Online Cycling Fitness and Performance Course offered by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College

"The Level 1 Extended Certificate (Vocational) in Cycling Fitness & Performance is designed to provide you with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to develop your cycling performance... The qualification is designed for cyclists at any level, from beginners to advanced. You will develop an understanding of different training methods, how to improve your performance and how to fuel your body for cycling success. Learners will also use basic numeracy to assess and interpret performance data.... The programme covers a range of modules including:

  • Effects of Taking Part in Cycling on the Body 
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Cyclists
  • Cycling as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle 
  • Nutrition for Cyclists 
  • Planning Own Fitness Programme 
  • Using Data to Improve Cycling Performance"

The deadline to apply to be the Bicycle Mayor of Stroud has been extended

Friend of the Access Bike Project, Cllr Robin Drury-Layfield reports on Stroud District Council's search for a Bicycle Mayor:
"We've listened to feedback on the application form - it asks for a lot of detail - and we're keen to make it clear that the candidate we are looking for is someone with passion and enthusiasm, who is eager to celebrate the joys of cycling all across the district.

If you are that person - if you have given up your four wheels for two and want to share your experiences with everyone around you then we want to hear from you.
By all means send in your LinkedIn page, your CV and all the policy detail that the application form asks for but it's *YOU* and your personality and enthusiasm that we are really looking for.
As Bicycle Mayor you will not be on your own. This role will be very well supported by our team here at SDC. You will be able to champion change for the better, get to know about everything cycleworthy that is happening across the district before anyone else and be a voice and a face for Active Living.
What are you waiting for? Go get the form and fill in as much (or as little) as you like."
Find out more about the network and what the role of Bicycle Mayor means at
Click/tap to apply to be Bicycle Mayor of Stroud

Three ways to donate to fund our work this winter

1. Donate to a Warm Space. The Access Bike Project is just one of several projects hosted by Creative Sustainability - a Community Interest Company based at Fromehall Mill in Stroud. Creative Sustainability working with community groups and venues to provide warm spaces across the district. Help groups reach more people by donating to Stroud District Warm Spaces. High energy prices and other price increases have made for tough times for many people, but if you feel able to, please donate your rebate to a warm space near you.

2. Donate to fund sessions for Archway School students. Emily Harper, a teacher at Archway School, has completed a sponsored solstice 24 hour cycle to raise money to fund bikes for students at the secondary school, and the skills in order to maintain them. We are teaming up with her to facilitate this. Emily has raised £680 so far - much more than her initial target of £250. But if you'd like to donate, you still can - all funds raised will go towards bike helmets, consumable bike parts and bike mechanic skills sessions at Access Bike.

3. Donate to provide bike kits to refugees. We have raised £2,871 toward our goal of £5,000 to
supply 50 young refugees and asylum seekers with lights, locks and helmets, and a smaller number of refurbished bikes. We've already starting distributing the first 25 kits and funded 14 young refugees and asylum seekers to go on a 3-night camping trip in August last year. Please keep donating to help us reach our target.

Click/tap to donate to a local Warm Space
Click/tap to donate to support Archway students
Click/tap to donate to our refugee support crowdfunder

The monthly market ride returns this Saturday 4th February, meet 10am at Brimscombe Mills!

Cargo Bikes of Stroud organises a monthly "Market Ride" every first Saturday of the month - join in this Saturday!

Cyclists meet at 10am at Brimscombe Mills (home of The Long Table, Stroud District Kids' Stuff and Stroud District and Cirencester Furniture Bank). Our friends at The Bike Drop (who are also based on the site) provide a free tea/coffee/children's drink, and the crew sets off at 10.30am for a ride along the A419 to The Electric Bike Shop and Stroud Farmers' Market.

The group rides as a block to protect young and less confident riders on the inside, and ride at the speed of the slowest rider. We'll have a soundsystem for music to energise us. The idea is to bring local cyclists together, to celebrate cycling, have fun, and push for better cycling infrastructure on this route and around the Stroud District.

Advance notice that the ride next month on Saturday 4th March will have a Suffragette theme to coincide with International Women's day and celebrating the links between cycling and suffrage campaigns.

Check out the new Cargo Bikes of Stroud website to learn more and browse profiles of people riding cargo bikes locally!

Bikes are a great way to get around but STROUD NEEDS BUSES too

Lots of the people who come to us at Access Bike or the 3rd Space youth project above us rely on buses, and we've heard far too many stories of unreliable services negatively affecting people.

There was a meeting at Stroud Brewery earlier this week (Tuesday 31st January). but the campaign is ongoing. The campaign group say: "
Across the Stroud district, families and businesses are facing huge cuts to Stagecoach bus services. For example, on the 67 route between Stroud and Bussage, from 19th February there will be no buses in the evenings, no buses on Sundays and only one bus per hour at other times (as opposed to every half hour). This will have profound effects on communities. Many people are set to lose their jobs, their social lives and their independence."

You can read more and get involved via the Stroud Buses and Services Facebook group. There is also a "Stroud Needs Buses" petition, signed by 789 people at time of writing.
Thanks for reading this far. We'd love it if you could share our news with your friends, colleagues, neighbours and any other fellow cyclists!
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