By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Wed, 20/10/2010 - 20:59

  • When: 15 - 31 October (inclusive).
  • Where: Look Mum No Hands - 49 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HX - map here.

Diego Marando, one of our generous volunteers, is having an exhibition at the "Look Mum No Hands" cafe.
Diego is offering to donate to Re-Cycle £5 for every print sold (each print is worth £25).

Please support generously.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Wed, 22/09/2010 - 15:57

Re~Cycle had an amazing event at Smithfield Market in London on Friday evening, kindly put on by the City of London.

It was a much bigger event than I'd anticipated.  I figured they'd got a meeting room somewhere in the building - however they blocked off one end of the road that runs through it, was huge!

Only pity is that more people didn't come, missed out on a great party.

More fun to come in Wimbledon this Saturday, at the Wheely Big Bicycle Drop from 11-3.

BIG Thanks to Jenette and the City of London, Abel and Cole for fabulous food and the brave Re~Cycle volunteers, formidable "Iron" Rob Forbes.  Big thanks to Rita, for pulling the whole thing together.

Storage in London is still needed - 6,000 square feet with container access for a main point, and smaller for spoke to feed in bikes.

After party was good fun, if rather loud.  Met a great designer who's come up with innovative (and award winning) cycle parking designs.  There was an interesting looking bike parking thing which I locked up to, with a car shape on it.  Only later when looking at a postcard with the car 'parked' in a line of parked cars did is see the revolutionary beauty of the design, and its not their first invention -

Ended the evening doing some Tai Chi on the middle of the millennium bridge, which really came together.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Tue, 14/09/2010 - 21:00

Special Event this weekend

London Collection 25 Sept & 2 Oct 2010

Abel & Cole have very generously offered their Wimbledon depot for a special bike collection event over the next few weeks. Bikes are being collected on Saturday 25th September at Wimbledon and Saturday 2nd October at their depots in Wimbledon, Tamworth, Maidstone, Ongar, Warrington and Andover.

The bikes will be loaded into a container at a date to be fixed but probably Friday 12th and/or Saturday 13th November. The container will be shipped to our longstanding partner The Village Bicycle Project in Ghana.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Tue, 14/09/2010 - 09:09

381 bikes are now on their way to Mombasa Olympic Youth, Kenya; a project set up and supported by the UK charity Glad's House. The main focusof their work in Mombasa is supporting street kids, homeless orphans who struggle to have even a basic existence. The bicycle project that they now run has created employment for 6 street kids and 2 adult supervisors and is helping to improve the lives of the many people who now have access to affordable transport. This is the third shipment that we have shipped to Mombasa in 14 months - testament to how successful the project has been. Once again we give our thanks to the many people who kindly donated bicycles and to our team of volunteers who helped load the container and made sure every square inch was filled.


By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Mon, 13/09/2010 - 12:20

Re~Cycle is the partner charity of the City of London's Cycle Style event on Friday 17th September at Smithfield Market, 6-10pm (and afterparty).

This is a social event with fashion, food, music and drink - raising the profile of cycling and money for Re~Cycle.  Will be presentations about Re~Cycle.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Wed, 11/08/2010 - 09:54

We have just dispatched the most recent container load of 361 bicycles including 50 ex postman's bikes donated by The Royal Mail - this one is going to the great project in Namibia, The Bicycle Empowerment Network. This project's main beneficiary group is health workers who are given bicycles to help with their work. On a bicycle, Health Visitors, Midwives and HIV Support Workers can visit many more patients each day than could be reached on foot. Re~Cycle have sent more than 2,000 bicycles to BEN, Namibia - thank you to all our bike donors.

As the road conditions in rural Namibia are very poor, only Mountain Bikes with wide, thick tread tyres were sent together with a good supply of spare parts. We also sent a large number of part used tyres, many kindly donated by Evans Cycles.

This shipment was the 7th of this year so we have already equalled the number of sent in 2009. The next shipment will go to The Olympic Youth Project, Mombasa, Kenya which is supported by the small but effective UK charity, Glad's House.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Thu, 01/07/2010 - 14:13

We have just finished loading a container load of bicycles - this one is now on it's way to The Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN), South Africa, based just outside of Capetown. This makes in total 6 shipments in the first 6 months of 2010 which is well up on last year when we did 7 shipments in 12 months.

The mission of BEN is poverty alleviation through the promotion of the use of the bicycle in all of its forms,in order to enhance low-cost non-motorised transport, and improve health through linking exercise and mobility. In collaboration with local and international partners, BEN facilitates the transportation of bicycles from Europe, the Americas and Asia to Southern Africa; the establishment of bicycle workshop projects; distribution of these bicycles to strategically selected groups of recipients; and the planning and introduction of bicycle user paths and integrated linking networks.


We know that once the bicycles arrive in 3 or 4 weeks time they will be put to good use. Many thanks to our brave volunteers who loaded the bikes without complaint on one of the hottest days of the year.


We are already now working towards the next shipment for Namibia which will be sent as soon as we have enough bikes to make up the next load - hopefully within the next few weeks.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Fri, 11/06/2010 - 13:14

Just over 2 weeks after sending a container load of bikes to Zambia we had enough bikes to make up another shipment for The Village Bicycle Project that were loaded here at Colchester. The container was then taken to the port at Felixstowe and is due to arrive in Tema, Ghana three weeks later on 27th June.

Once again we managed to load over 400 bicyles plus lots of valuable spare parts, wheel and tyres. Some of the bikes that were loaded came from the 600+ collected by Romsey Test Rotary Club that were left over from last months shipment to Zambia. Once again we are grateful for the hard work put in by our experienced team of hard working volunteer loaders and to all who had donated the bicycles.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Sat, 22/05/2010 - 12:22

On 15th May we finished loading the most recent container consignment of that is now on the long journey to Zambia.  A great example of cooperation and team work - the bikes were collected over several months by an enthusiastic team led by Graham Lee from Romsey Test Rotary Club.

The shipping was organised by UK Charity The Kaloko Trust who also support the project in Zambia and the loading of the container which took place just outside Romsey, Hampshire, was led by a small team from Re~Cycle.

349 mountain bikes (less than usual as the shipper didn't send the requested "high cube" container...) will arrive in six weeks time after a long overland journey from Dar es Salaam.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Wed, 07/04/2010 - 08:01

Today we are loading a container load of bikes for Ability Bikes Cooperative in Ghana. They have previously received shipments from The USA but this will the first from Re~Cycle.

417 bikes (highest recent total) plus lots of spares, tools, wheels and tyres. A great effort from all of our loading volunteers - our thanks to them all. The container is due to arrive in Tema on the 24th April so by the end of the month, the bikes will start be be given new owners and a new lease of life.

Thank you to all who donated bicycles to us recently, and to the generous people paying for the shipping; Transport for London (with a full on Tour de France sponosred ride - HERE), McKinsey & Co and Infinity Foods.

See for more information about this great project that creates employment for people with disabilities.

There is a short film about Ability Bikes Cooperative and the work they do made by David Branigan of the American group Bikes Not Bombs who helped get the cooperative started HERE.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Tue, 19/01/2010 - 10:13

Re~Cycle's first shipment for the new year has been successfully unloaded at the Village Bicycle Project in Accra, Ghana. More than 360 bicycles were loaded into Re~Cycle's final container of 2009, just two weeks before Christmas - which also included many spare parts, tools and accessories.

Unloading in progress

The shipment will be split between veteran recipient VBP and Re~Cycle's newest partner in Ghana - the Ezetela Bicycle Workshop, who will take a small number of bicycles and spares to kick-start their workshop before their own shipment arrives in February 2010.

Unloaded bicycles in Accra

The Village Bicycle Project will begin its outreach work for the new year by visiting a string of villages across the Western Region, where it will work with Peace Corp field staff to bring bicycles and maintenance classess to rural settlements.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Sun, 17/01/2010 - 07:57

As Rob is nears the end of the West African section of his epic cycle he finds the time to drop in on two active recipient partners in Ghana.
The first stop was the Village Bicycle Project in Accra who will receive Re~Cycle's first shipment for 2010. Unfortunately, as Rob arrived the bicycles were still to leave the port of Tema - otherwise he would have no doubt been employed in the unloading effort! The VBP specialises in getting bicycles into rural villages and townships - where they are in most demand - and supports their distribution with maintenance training workshops.


Rob enrtering Dodowa


Next stop was the Ezetela Bicycle Workshop in Dodowa - a small township just east of Accra. Ezetela is new partner being developed on-the-ground by two Re~Cycle volunteers. Rob was able to see first hand the beginings of a new recipient and talk through their ambitious plans for the future.
Rob was also invited to speak to the children at one of the local sunday schools - who were thrilled to learn all about his 'home-on-wheels', which included a tent demonstration!


Sunday School tent demo


Rob has now crossed the 'half way point' and is currently in Nigeria. Get the latest updates at and support his journey at