Closed (ish)

Hi

Unfortunately our Circus Street Bike Hub will be closed today (Sat 2th April) and during much of May, due to the Brighton Festival art installation which will be sited within the Old Market building.

We are planning to provide a limited DIY maintenance service during the Brighton Festival, opening on Saturday 3rd & 17th May from 11am until 5pm. This will be in the Community Room at the front of the building.

We plan to re-open, as normal, on Saturday 31st May. Further details will be posted on our website at http://www.brightonbikehub.org

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Best wishes

Duncan Blinkhorn
Brighton Bike Hub Project Co-ordinator
Groundwork South
duncan.blinkhorn@groundwork.org
07508 430489

Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time (as the BikeHub)

Nowhere

The image above is from the Brighton Festival programme: Nowhere and Everywhere At The Same Time No. 2: “William Forsythe’s choreographic object populates the Old Municipal Market space with hundreds of delicate pendulums, swinging in timed sequences. As you move around without touching the pendulums, your strides and side-steps will produce a lively choreography of manifold and intricate avoidance strategies”

Running throughout May at Circus Street, this piece takes first fiddle to our activities, and we will be shutting up shop for the duration. Wednesday April 23rd and Thursday 24th we will be open as normal, but after this we will be taking a break from the bike sales and public workshop side of things.

We will still be doing stuff – catching up with paperwork, preparing bikes for sale and taking stock of our first two months of trading – we will still be taking on new donations and new volunteers and may be able to arrange some open events, and will return as normal in June.

If you would like to donate a bike during May, please contact us before bringing it down – use the form HERE. Also, if you would like to become a volunteer, let us know HERE.

In the meantime, the Festival piece looks fantastic (and its free) so do given it a go, and see you all again at the BikeHub in June.

BikeBank @ CityCamp

Imagine you are leaving Brighton. Imagine you have a bike – not a great one, not much resale value but is has served you well. Your bike cannot come with you. What shall you do with it?

You could get it along to the council recycling centre (Tip) where they will do with it what they do with it. All good but you need to take it there, which can be a barrier for some. Also, its your bike. Many people like their bikes as have served them well, and feel a bit sad having to dump them, and you are that sort of person. You need another option.

Perhaps Freegle. You can give it away to someone else. We wholeheartedly recommend Freegle as one of the best places for stuff you don’t want, but your imaginary self needs your bike right up to the minute you notionally go, and you don’t have time or place to organise it.

Maybe you just leave it. Maybe you just attach it to a nearby lampost or bike stand, lock it and go. “Its OK” you say “I’m not *actually* dumping it. This isn’t *really* flytipping. I’m just leaving it here till I get time to sort it out…..” and even as you walk away, the voice in your imaginary head tells you this is not true – that you will never return to the bike and that it will rust away until the council come to collect it….

Abandoned bike

This is what a lot of people do – and this was the challenge we took to Brighton CityCamp last weekend. How to make it easier for people to donate their unwanted bikes to us when they are still working, rather than leaving them to rust on the railings in the Brighton brine until the only cycling they will see is the (re)cycling of component parts.

Brighton CityCamp – billed as a ‘social innovation hack weekend’ – is a get together of positive thinkers with ideas on how to Make Brighton Better. It has an Unconference format, with no ‘top table’ dominating and the agenda and actions set by participants, who pitch their idea and try to enthuse others to join in and help turn it into an actionable project. Money and resources are made available to help the best proposals teeter to reality.

On the day, a host of CityCampers came forward to help us with our challenge – how to reduce bike abandonment and increase supply of useful bikes – and we not only got tips on how to adjust our online presence, but also came up with our project proposal – BikeBank.

Briefly, its about setting up physical spaces in the city where bikes can be easily and securely left – like book banks, toy banks or shoe banks – and collected by us  for refurbishment and re-use. We have some work to do and people to see in properly developing it, but the good news is that the CityCamp judges saw something in it and declared us joint winners of the cash prize to get it going!

Thank you Brighton CityCamp and thanks to all our fellow campers – particularly  @CharlieIvens, @RichardVahrman and @Btnbikesheds and especially @rebelyarns for licking our pitch into shape 🙂

Watch this space for more.

 

 

Scrapper, Stripper, Keeper.

We have been properly running for a couple of weeks now. The main business has been a steady stream of cyclists sprucing their steeds for spring & mostly wanting help with brakes and gears. We have blocks and cables – this we can help with – and the best thing is that anyone who turns up for tweaking has a good chance of being able to do it for themselves next time.

The other thing going on is the donations. We have been overwhelmed by the support shown by individuals and institutions to furnish us with a whole ride of bikes – some at the end of their useful life, but with salvageable parts, but most just needing a bit of TLC to get them on the road again.

Our most common enquiry has been “can I buy one?” – and to this, the answer at the moment has been NO. Its not that we don’t want to let them go, its just that the process of getting even the most chipper machine up to the standard where we can take your money for it takes a bit of time…. and here is where we have a backlog.

When we get a bike donated, here is the process:

Bike refurb process map - draftand this part is where we really need your help to get us properly going. Volunteers can come in with any skill level – as you see from the chart, there are all sorts of tasks involved from basic assessment, picking up skills by taking bikes to bits, or applying your knowledge in making them fit for the streets.

Its this bit – the goodwill and support of volunteers keen to learn – which our whole endeavour hangs on. If you have some time to spare, drop by and give it a go.

We are spun….

The spin is done and we are spun; in the story sense, keeping up with the avalanche of publicity garnered by our undertaking, and in the just-released-from-a-manic-top-speed-spinner sense of taking a breath and feeling a bit giddy, but mostly in looking back on the Spin and thinking what a wonderful day to end a fabulous week it was.

Once more, thanks to Cathedral Group for helping us settle in so nicely, and thanks to all of the performers, activity people and street food providers who turned out on Saturday.

Our next target is to work out properly how we are going to operate the Hub. Although the workshop looks pretty good, looks can be deceptive – there is actually a fair bit of work still to be done to make it how we want it – also (dull as it may be) we need to sort out our working methods, policies, codes of practice and management systems so that we can get a proper grip on this undertaking for the benefit of all.

With this in mind, the plan is to pedal slow for a couple of weeks. We will open on Saturdays but may not have the full resource available until we have got everything straight. Hopefully within the fortnight we will be properly sorted and will open also on Thursdays – watch this space (and this one …. and this one ….) for info on progress.

Our biggest need right now is people. Bike Hub is completely dependent on volunteers in every aspect, and during the Love Your Bike Week all sorts of fine people said that they would be happy to lend a hand – if you were one of them, now is the time to step forward. Volunteers don’t need mechanical skills (although obvs that helps) and we are planning some special training sessions in this aspect for volunteers. What we need most of all is enthusiasm, a little time and a keen-ness for bikes and cycling in general. To find out more, fill out the form HERE or drop by any Saturday for a chat.

Love Your Bike Day 1

Our first actual day! Worries that no-one would come were soon dispelled as the workshop space filled up quickly with people wanting advice on how to spruce their machines up for the spring or to use  the workshop for more complex. For much of the day we had up to 10 different bikes being worked on, and the Dr Bike support session attracted half a dozen people wanting to brush up on basic safety checks and maintenance. Hot soup was served.

IMG_1152

It was also a good day for curious donations, and our first oddity was a shaft driven bike:

IMG_1171

and this was swiftly followed by a rather weather worse (mildewed rather than rusted) bamboo frame:

IMG_1176

They will join the growing stock of donated bikes which we are starting to sort out in readiness for repair. If you have a bike you no longer want, do drop it down to us. Also if you have some bike repair skills you would like to donate this would be especially welcome.

Tomorrow ( a change from the published schedule) will be ELECTRIC BIKE DAY.  Want some help up those hills, come and give an electric bike a spin and find out what they are all about. Also will be Dr Bike & DIY repair sessions.

All welcome – do come.

We Did It!

At the start of February when we entered the space at Circus Street which – thanks to Cathedral Group – we had been given to house our first workshop, it looked like this….

Circus Street

We had no tools, no furnishings – not even any bikes! But we had a few good people and a heap of goodwill.

The first thanks goes to Ian and Ian for immense practical work, fixing the lights and shutters, building the workbench and tool board and generally being capable and rocklike in getting his thing going. Also to all of the others – students at Sussex and especially the small group of homeless men who helped out with the painting. Ace – one and all!

Making the place seem like home is majorly down to Kat from Freegle, who opened up her stores of good things – many originating from Brighton & Hove City Council offices as they seek to downsize. Making the place seem like a bike workshop owes much to Cranks, who have lent their expertise, provided practical items and helped with sourcing our tools.

Finally the bikes. The same day they this website went live we received three offers and they have been coming in steadily ever since but our big boost came from Brighton Station, who offered us 52 bikes which had been abandoned at the station and on trains to get us going. Transported in an electric vehicle by the fabulous Magpie co-op, they are an excellent assortment and will be back on the streets of Brighton as soon as we can manage.

So after two weeks work and a whole lot of help, our workshop now looks like this:

We had our official launch on February 14th (Caroline Lucas MP and Groundwork South Project Manager Duncan Blinkhorn cut the ribbon below) and will be open each Saturday henceforth from 11-3, with further dates to be announced, and next week we will be hosting the first Brighton Love Your Bike week. Do drop by.

IMG_1103

Spinning into Action

Our launch week is shaping up nicely with a host of bike love activities, culminating in a performance extravaganza on Saturday 22nd. See below for info – please come, please share

XX

STOP PRESS: A bit too late to actually stop the press, as the flyers have been printed…. the ebike trial will take place on Wednesday 19th 11- 3 rather than Thurs 20th as appears on the flier.

Apols for confusions

IMG_2389IMG_2388

Love Your BikeHub – Grand Launch

LYBW

The grand launch of our Circus Street workshop and of Brighton Bikehub will take place on February 14th. Being a fairly obvious and straightforward bunch, we really couldn’t avoid making a Valentine link, so henceforth the week following this date each year shall be declared Brighton Love Your Bike Week – a chance to dust down your steed in time for Spring, or – for those with a bike likely to remain unridden, do you love it enough to set it free? to join the lucky few heading for a second life on the streets  of Brighton rather than a sorry end of rust and landfill?

More details will be released in the coming days