Chopwell cycle clinic

Chopwell’s first ever pop-up bike clinic took place earlier this month following funding from Land of Oak & Iron which enabled volunteers from the village to be trained in bike maintenance and repair.

Chopwell cycle clinicOne of the volunteers, Nigel, returned to do this community drop-in event at Chopwell Scout Hut, working with Bike 4 Health to offer bike health checks, simple adjustments and minor repairs.

35 people attended the session which was very popular with local children and families. Many local young people were given an opportunity to learn basic maintenance skills while their bikes were being fixed. Some of the young people registered their interest in future skills workshops. The Scouts were also a key part of the day supporting the event.

Over the 3 hours, 14 bikes had a full health check with some minor repairs, keeping the three bike stands in use the whole session. Donations of five bikes and two bike helmets were also received on the day, some of these went directly to the young people who turned up.

All of the repair technicians were local volunteers including Richard from local CIC Bike 4 Health. Prior to the training Nigel was unemployed and keen to make a career from the training opportunity. He soon found paid bike maintenance work after completing the course and continues to be a volunteer on community bike projects.

“The Velotech Gold course certainly prepared me for real world cycle mechanics. The course was both fun and thorough and the tutors were very knowledgeable,” said Nigel, who received the Velotech Mechanics Gold qualification.

“Getting involved with the Chopwell bike project gave me the opportunity to give something back to the community. Following the bike event, I was left with a sense that there is real momentum building in the project and it was great to be part of that.”

Planning is now underway for a second pop-up bike clinic next year.