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Access Bike March 2023 newsletter

Hello friends of Access Bike! In this monthly update we cover:
  • Workshop is back open Mondays to Thursday!
  • We're being funded by the Rank Foundation to increase our ability to earn income
  • Working with Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership and refugees living locally
  • Women In Cycling panel discussion and suffrage-themed monthly market ride this Saturday 4th February. from 10am-12.15pm
  • Bikes sold and for sale!
  • Cycle Training courses for 11-16 year-olds at Archway this Easter
  • Other local bike news - survey on barriers to cycling, Scotty Chalmers' Bike Jumbles and rides, and the Cotswolds 100 and 200!

Come to the workshop and get support with your bike

From 13th March, we will be open to the public on four days a week: 3.30-7.30pm for women only sessions on Mondays, 2-6pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for 13-25 year olds (drop-in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, booked quieter sessions on Wednesdays), and one booked space every Thursday 10am-1pm for over 18s. We'll also be running private sessions every Friday in March. The workshop is busy again - we're really pleased after a period where our great space was only being used for 1 day a week.

Our workshop is a relaxed and supportive space where you can:
  • bring your bike for a free check-up
  • Fix minor problems with support (such as punctures/flat tyres, sorting out brakes or gears, replacing brake pads or cables, etc)
  • Learn some basic bike maintenance
Our sessions are always free to attend. We welcome donations, and do have to charge for more expensive new parts, or accessories (we sell lights, locks, helmets, panniers, and other small items).
Click/tap to book a free workshop session at

Funding from the Rank Foundation

Last week Access Bike's Project Manager James Beecher spend a great 24 hours in Leeds starting training with The Rank Foundation and Social Enterprise Academy and people from nine other social enterprises around the country. The training is to help us develop as a social enterprise and increase our capacity to earn income and do good things with what we earn! As well as training we are given a grant to help the project, which we are planning to spend on:
  • Refurbishing the workshop
  • Setting up a website to sell the bikes we have refurbished
  • Increasing our mechanic and mentor capacity, and more!

Working with Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership and GARAS

Thanks to funding from Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership, we've been bringing young refugees and asylum seekers over to our workshop from Gloucester on the train. We've been teaching them a little bike mechanics while fixing up bikes for them to take away; providing them with lights, locks, and helmets; and taking them on bike rides in order to develop some cycle route guides for people to use from Stroud Railway Station.

As part of the work we are exploring the feasibility of setting up a cycle hub of some form at the station - please get in touch if you have thoughts about this or the ways travelling by train and bike can work together!

The funding we have for this project ends in March, but we'd really like to continue our work with Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers - please donate to our crowdfunder if you can!
Click/tap to donate to our refugee support crowdfunder

Women in Cycling and Monthly Market Ride with Suffrage theme to mark International Women's Day

Every first Saturday of the month, cyclists in Stroud meet for a family-friendly 'market ride' from Brimscombe Mills to Stroud. Ahead of International Women's Day on the 8th March, the Saturday 4th March ride will have a Suffrage theme - celebrating the historical association between cycling and suffrage movements and women's liberation more broadly. Please wear purple, white or green if you can. You might like to make a tricolour sash, or dress up as a suffragette or suffragist - we'll have a prize for the best costume!

We'll meet as usual at Brimscombe Mills at 10am, before riding as a group along the A419 to Stroud between 10.30am and 11am. After parking our bikes, there will be a panel discussion on Women In Cycling at The Subscription Rooms, from 11.15am - 12.15pm. Full details on the website.

Entry is free but we will collect donations to cover costs - and to raise money for Stroud Women's Refuge.

The discussion will be chaired by Beki Aldam - District Councillor for Brimscombe, Thrupp and Butterrow, and feature four local panellists:

Poppy Smith, founder of Women's Monthly Cycle, has been riding all kinds of bikes for over 20 years. She's happiest when riding gravel bikes across the Stroud countryside with a gang of like-minded women.

Cllr Chloe Turner - Green Party County Councillor representing Minchinhampton, Chalford and Brimscombe & Thrupp, and the Environment Chair at SDC. Not being a natural athlete and living at the top of a hill, getting an e-bike has changed her life

Pascale Pretty, Development Lead at The Bike Drop, a mountain biker and family cargo biker, who has toured America, Mexico and Guatemala by bike

Chloe Cox, a mountain biker and volunteer with Gloucestershire Love Her Wild - which supports women to get into the outdoors and start having adventures.

Please invite your friends and share the Facebook event: March Monthly Market Ride & Women In Cycling discussion, for International Women's Day!
There's also a post on Instagram and Access Bike Project Manager James Beecher has tweeted about it.

We've been selling lots of bikes... and we have more available!

We currently have around 20 refurbished bikes in our shop, rigid and front suspension Mountain Bikes, a couple of vintage racers, modern road bikes, a couple of hybrid/commuter bikes complete with pannier racks, various kids bikes and even a fixie ready for sale.
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).

Cycle Training Courses at Archway this Easter

From Monday 3rd to Thursday 6th April 2023, Gloucestershire County Council is providing Level 3 Bikeability training sessions at Archway School (GL5 4AX) for young people aged 11 to 16.

Sessions cost £5 and last for 2 hours (10am-12pm or 12.45pm-2.45pm). They are delivered by fully qualified and experienced instructors, to small groups. Level 3 Bikeability gives young people the confidence and skills to make independent journeys by bike.

For a booking form and to enquire about availability please email

Other local bike news

  • Our friends down the road at Yate Community Bike Hub are really getting their project going (we had a great meeting with them offering some tips a few months ago) - they remind us its the Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel between the 20th and 31st March - a challenge that sees schools compete to see who can get the highest percentage of their pupils walking, using a wheelchair, scooting or cycling to school.
  • Scotty Chalmers Cycling ran another successful Bike Jumble recently, the date for the next one is not confirmed yet... but follow their Facebook / Instagram account for updates... and check out their MAGGRAV Gravel rides (two distances), starting and finishing in Stroud on Saturday 29th April. More info coming in the next few weeks (and in our next newsletter!)
  • Stroud's Andy Deacon (and co-organiser Matt Jones) is behind the Cotswolds 200 mile unsupported mixed terrain cycling event between September 1st and 3rd. The event starts and finishes in Bath and heads as far north as Chipping Campden utilising as much of the wonderful trails we have in the Cotswolds and Stroud Valleys. It, and the Cotswolds 100 shorter ride are all about helping build the local scene in an inclusive way, encouraging people to step out of the comfort zone of everyday life and give a epic mountain bike events a go! 
  • Luke McNally is doing a survey into what barriers people face to using rural cycling infrastructure in the southwest of England, as part of a research paper. He says: "If you have experience of cycling in rural places please feel free to fill in this quick survey. It should take around 5 minutes to complete."
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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