By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Wed, 20/04/2016 - 15:41

Thanks to a recent grant from the E D Charitable Trust we’re helping our project partners in The Gambia to build a new bicycle workshop. During 2016 we’ll also source and send 900 bikes from the UK and provide bike mechanic and business training. This will give the Wonder Years Centre of Excellence (WYCE) team the skills, equipment and facilities to grow their already thriving bicycle social enterprise. The money they generate from their enterprise will be reinvested in the running costs of the WYCE school and health clinic (the only ones for 5kms) in a rural village called Madina Salam. 

Why is this project needed?

The Gambia is ranked 172nd out of 185 in the 2014 Human Development Index and the Madina Salam village, where this project is based, is in a rural location with limited government help and yet has an expanding population.

In Africa 75% of rural dwellers rely on agricultural trade to make their living and so having transport links to farms and local markets to sell produce and check prices is important.  Bikes are the primary mode of transport in rural Gambia and this workshop will increase access to affordable transport and repairs as well as supporting the essential services provided by the WYCE school and health clinic.

Jason, our Africa Programmes Manager recently visited the project and found that the mechanics at the bike shop and workshop in Madina Salam need an improved workshop space to make sure that they can offer a good repairs service to the community.  

What difference will this grant make?

This project will give new skills and confidence to two bike mechanics and an apprentice, get a community cycling and bring the benefits of bikes such as better farmer to market transport and help people carry heavy loads for work or farming. The income that WYCE makes from selling and repairing bikes will contribute to the running costs of a nursery, primary, and lower secondary school and health clinic benefitting 500 school pupils and 3,000 health clinic patients.

Project Sustainability

In keeping with the ethos of Re~Cycle and WYCE, the aim of this project is sustainability with the intention that the workshop builds on the current self-financing model. Along with ongoing bike sales income, additional sales will be generated by customers drawn to a ‘one stop shop’ which includes a professional repairs service. Future project costs such as wages, further training, re-supply of spares and profit to WYCE will come from the income generated by bike sales and repairs. Two containers of bikes sent within the project period will ensure that the mechanics have plenty of stock to work on into 2017 and Re~Cycle will encourage importation of bikes from multiple partners, beyond Re~Cycle.

New WYCE workshop 2016

By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Fri, 15/04/2016 - 17:56

Our first 2016 shipment of bikes for our partners Wonder Years Centre of Excellence​ was unloaded in The Gambia yesterday, in Madina Salam. It appears most of the nearby school turned out to help unload the 491 donated bicycles as well as dozens of bags of spare parts and accessories. And a huge thanks to all WYCE staff who ran to the aid of the truck driver after he got stuck in the sand attempting a three-point turn! Also inside this container was a new complete bicycle repair tool kit arriving in anticipation of the new bicycle repair workshop build beginning later this month! 

By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Tue, 12/04/2016 - 17:39

Heads up! Are you looking for a new ride? Trade in your old bike now and receive 10% off any bike!

We are proud to announce a nationwide trade-in event with our corporate partner Halfords!

Between Friday 14th and Tuesday 19th April, you can donate your bike at any of Halfords’ 460 stores. By doing so you will have the option of receiving 10% off a new bike!

Locate your closest drop-off point here

By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Mon, 04/04/2016 - 20:42

Our third container of 2016 has safely arrived and unloaded in Accra, Ghana with Village Bicycle Project. The 482 bicycles inside will now be sorted, and those suitable for their workshops will be prepped before heading out to programmes in the northern regions later this month.

This container was especially important to us, as it was the first ever consigned by Prosper Dzandu, who we’ve been working closely with since way back in 2010! Prosper (pictured here doused in talcum powder) originally came to us via another workshop we installed on the outskirts of the Greater Accra Region. Formally a skilled kente clothe weaver, he retrained as a bicycle repairer before joining the VBP team as a trainer in 2013. He’s now progressed to being a consignee after more than 2 years of service distributing bicycles and repair training via Village Bicycle Project’s fantastic One Day Workshop Programme. 

It’s been a long journey for Prosper, who aptly named his own bicycle repair business in his home town ‘No Rush in Life Bicycle Workshop’, and we’re so proud to see him succeed. Congratulations Prosper! Ayekooooo!!

By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Thu, 31/03/2016 - 13:56

Ride25, the ultimate cycling holiday adventure company, support Re~Cycle through donations and promotion to their customers. For every individual that signs up to a Ride25 cycling trip, the company donates £20 to Re~Cycle. In 2015 they very generously donated over £10,000 to Re~Cycle, and believe charitable giving and support is part of their business.

“Supporting Re~Cycle is part of our business DNA, we love the charity’s aims and values. Having a relationship with a charity that makes a difference to communities through bicycles just makes sense to Ride25 and our customers,” says John Readman, Founder of Ride25. With plans to double rider numbers in 2016 they are looking to extend that support further and have confirmed partnership with Re~Cycle for at least another year.

Plans are now in process for some exciting joint fundraising ventures that include prize draws and a specific Re~Cycle cycle trip – an amazing opportunity for individuals to combine a holiday with a personal challenge and fundraising! Watch this space for confirmations and details, but in the meantime visit their website and keep up to date via twitter @Ride25World

By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Sun, 27/03/2016 - 10:55

As the Spring and Summer arrive, we are expecting to receive large numbers of bikes into our warehouse and we need more volunteers to help us manage during this really busy period.  Our warehouse roles include – unloading deliveries, preparing bikes for shipping, loading containers, dismantling damaged bikes for valuable spare parts and sorting/packing parts for shipment.

If you have any spare time available, particularly during April and May and can offer us some help, please do get in touch. All new volunteers will receive a warm welcome from friendly and supportive colleagues.  You will make a valuable contribution to our work, enjoy being part of a team and benefit from the satisfaction of being involved with something useful that helps to improve people's life prospects in Africa.

You can find an application form on the “Volunteer” section here. Or you can bring the completed form to our warehouse in Wormingford – Unit 8 The Grove Estate, Colchester Road, Wormingford CO6 3AJ

Alternatively, you can phone us on 01206 617865 for a chat.

We look forward to hearing from you!

By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Thu, 10/03/2016 - 17:34

Our first shipment of 2016 has finally landed and offloaded in Zambia. Our partners, Kaloko Trust, reported today that there was a significant turnout of willing helpers to unload the 501 quality second hand bicycles we shipped from our warehouse in January. The majority of these bicycles will go to farmers from the Luanshya district, and the income generated from their sale will go towards funding a number of Kaloko Trust’s projects, including the expansion of a school building built in 2015, and a student sponsorship programme that already assists over 2,200 children.


By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Tue, 08/03/2016 - 14:41

“To men, the bicycle in the beginning was merely a new toy, another machine added to the long list of devices they knew in their work and play. To women, it was a steed upon which they rode into a new world.” ~ Munsey’s Magazine, 1896

Being the most equitable of all forms of transport, it is of little surprise that the bicycle has come to represent ideas of freedom and equality. This wasn’t always the case: up until the 1880’s, the first bicycles were deemed too dangerous to be used by women.

It was only with the introduction of the “safety bicycle” that women were allowed to ride. At first, most female cyclists were from middle-class backgrounds but as prices decreased in the 1890s, bicycles became affordable for working class women.

Safe to say, this caused much controversy. Women’s riding styles, the clothes they wore, and whether they should cycle at all, was highly debated by the press and establishment. Despite the uproar, it did little in the way of discouraging women to take up cycling. The bicycle quickly became a tool of independence that literally freed women and broke down class inequalities:

“By bicycling, women who have for years been restricted to a neighbourhood of a radius from two to three miles can now extend this area to a radius of eight to ten miles, and have an opportunity of seeing the country when living in town. Bicycling has thus placed poor women on an equal footing with rich ones in a most important particular- getting fresh air and exercise and seeing new scenery. Bicycling will add to a new interest to life, and bring God’s lovely earth to the doors of thousands of women in poor circumstances who would otherwise see nothing but streets and squalor each day.” Major-General Harcourt Bengough, C.B

By breaking down gender stereotypes and providing independence of movement and organisation, it is of little surprise that the bicycle played a key role in suffragette movement.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the bike had served its purpose for gender equality. Shockingly, it wasn’t until 1984 that women were allowed to take part in Olympic road races and it was only at the London 2012 Olympics that women and men competed in the same number of events in all cycling disciplines. This only goes to show how the bicycle continues to be a tool for social change.

Fast-forward to the present day and you can see how the humble bicycle continues to empower women across the world. For many of the women who use our bikes, a bicycle facilitates access to social services, income-generating opportunities and community activities that would have never been possible without affordable transport.

At Re~Cycle we recognise that bikes still have an incredibly important role to play. In countries across Africa, some women are still excluded from riding bicycles for cultural reasons. We believe that teaching young girls and women to ride bikes will continue to change these attitudes and can help level the playing field for future generations to come.

Please help us to support more women this International Women's Day:


By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Wed, 02/03/2016 - 21:34

Our partners, Village Bicycle Project, have just returned to base after hosting a number of One Day Workshops in Ghana's Brong-Ahafo Region. Three teams of trainers visited Asantanso, Pramposo and Bomiri to deliver 220 bicycles and essential preventive maintenance training. Among the 220 new bicycle owners were 83 women, 51 of whom had recently learned to ride a bicycle for the first time through Village Bicycle Project’s excellent Learn-2-Ride programme!

Help us provide more bicycle to those in need by donating your old bike. Locate your closest bike drop-off point or make a donation here.

By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Mon, 08/02/2016 - 20:11

Action Bikes need help packing their 8th bike shipment for Re~Cycle on Saturday 5th March. If you have a few hours spare why not come down to Twickenham RFC and lend a hand!

So far Action Bikes and their customers have collected 4,263 bikes – all of which are all making a huge difference in Africa.

Where: Twickenham RFC

When: Saturday 5th March 9:30 - 16:30

View on map -

By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Thu, 21/01/2016 - 13:04

Re~Cycle tools

The next time you send your bicycle to the high street repair shop ask if you can take a sneak peak at their workshop. Hopefully you see dozens of hand tools neatly hanging in meticulous order a top clean and tidy work benches. If so, you’re in the right place! The bicycle is after all, an assembly of parts, and its repair and upkeep requires dedicated, quality tools and years of training and experience. And its no different in Africa, except those tools are much harder to come by.

The videos below, shot in Mankessim in Ghana’s Central Region, show the ingenuity and skill of one roadside repairer splitting and rejoining a chain without a rivet extractor. Though masterfully done, with the correct tool, this repair could be completed quicker, more accurately and with less risk of damage. As part of our work in Africa, we’re making sure each of our partners is equipped with the necessary tools, skills and working spaces needed to repair and maintain the bicycles we send them. This way, we’re giving each bicycle the best chance of serving its new owner for many years to come. 

By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Fri, 01/01/2016 - 11:35

“In the UK having a bike is fashionable, cycling is a trendy thing to do. In Europe bikes are very functional, people ride them in normal clothes — you don’t see ‘cyclists’. But worldwide, it is the poor people’s transport; it’s how you get around. For some people it’s a choice but for others it’s a genuine means to get to work, to a school, hospital or clean water — their only means.”

Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman shows his support for Re~Cycle in The Times Appeal.