News



By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 14:51

Re~Cycle is delighted to have given its 60,000th bike from the UK to a new owner in Mombasa, Kenya. Stephen, an orphan aged 16 in south-west Kenya, said: “I had never gotten a bike of my own. So I am very grateful and happy for being given this bike”.

Stephen was living on the streets from the age of 10, after having troubles at home. He attended a street soccer programme run by Re~Cycle’s partner organisation in Kenya, Glad’s House. Through Glad’s House he received support, education and counselling sessions. The bike will enable Stephen to get around Mombasa quickly, getting to and from school.

Thousands of young people live on the streets of Mombasa, Kenya. For these children life has always been a struggle for survival, often leading to the misuse of alcohol, drugs and a life of crime. Glad’s House purpose is to help as many ‘street children & youths’ as possible so that they can lead a ‘normal life’ and realise their potential.

Street children in Kenya are perceived as ‘chokora’ – a Swahili word loaded with negative connotations associated with scavenging for food from rubbish tips. Street children are from diverse backgrounds. Some are from abusive homes or have been abandoned by their parents. Others have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS or dropped out of school to support their families.

Glad's House is a charity that aims to help street children return to a ‘normal’ way of life. They do this in a number of ways:

  • Reuniting children with their families using their team of social workers. Alternatively, they help place the children with foster families.
  • Placing children in full-time education
  • Sports programmes to engage with the children and youths and provide practical and emotional support.
  • Enterprise schemes that provide training and apprenticeships for young adults.

The bicycle project, 'Glad's House Bikes', has been established as a not for profit company to repair and sell reasonably priced and good quality bicycles to the local community.

The project provides cheap transport to assist young people start working for themselves. This is either for affordable transport to and from work or to assist them with their work (carrying and/or delivering). Funds raised from the bike project pay for schoolteachers, food and sports equipment.

Household research in Ghana has found that, on average, each bike is used between six and nine people, often shared within a family and borrowed by other village members or friends. That means, having recently shipped our 60,000th bike, that we’ve helped change the lives of at least 360,000 people!

There are many more children like Stephen who could benefit from the use of a bike. Help us give the power of the pedal  - take part in a cycling challenge for Re~Cycle this year

charity bike rides




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Fri, 06/03/2015 - 16:17

Betsy Teutsch
When I first started gathering 100 tools for empowering global women, which became my book 100 Under $100, I thought mostly of stationary, hand-held tools like solar lanterns and maize shellers. Things that save women time due to increased efficiency or lower expenses (or both); smart ways to accelerate women’s climbs out of extreme poverty.

 

Gradually, though, I expanded my definition of tool. The more I read, and the more pictures I saw of women burdened by childcare duties and heavy head-loads, the more I became aware of the lack of transportation as one of the huge bottlenecks for women’s empowerment. How productive can women be when they need to drag everything on foot?

Enter bicycles. Where I live, most bikers are in it for the recreational/exercise angle. When I learned of the impacts of bikes on women living in low-resource regions, I was über excited. Bikes save a huge amount of time; women are not substituting them for driving, but rather for walking – bikes get you to your destination four times faster! 

Hans Rosling of GapMinder has produced a beautiful video that illustrates this bicycle effect for smallholder farmers who, when they have wheels, can get more produce to market, faster, and bring seeds and inputs home the same way. This adds up to improved food security and greater likelihood a family’s children can go to school.

Siem Reap, Cambodia - Richard EllaBikes help women transport goods, or even other people. Again, they are not substitutes for cars in the developing world; they substitute for headloading or hand carrying. A bike can carry five times what a woman can handle on foot.

Bikes have interesting unanticipated consequences when provided to school girls. Schools are often far away from children’s homes, and school buses are non-existent. We have heard of stories where ‘sugar daddies’ fill the transportation void, driving girls to to school. Payment is often in transactional sex. A bike distribution project which provided school girls bikes in Togo documented a drop in pregnancies; the girls did not need rides anymore!

Another of my delightful discoveries is how resourceful women use bikes as the basis for mini-stalls. They transport, say, flowers laden on their bikes from their supplier to where they sell. When they arrive, they set they attach shelves to their bike and voila! A flower stand.

Ultimately my book has a double-spread page featuring bikes, empowering girls and women around the world!

100 Under $100: One Hundred Tools for Empowering Global Women which features Re~Cycle is available via Amazon in both the US and Great Britain.

 




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Thu, 26/02/2015 - 16:46

Re~Cycle Bike Sale 28th Feb

Saturday 28th February 2015 - 9am – 1pm

Roughly 1-2% of the bikes donated to Re~Cycle are either unsuitable for Africa (such as thin framed racing bikes) or are bikes with disc brakes which are parts that are not readily available in Africa and thus less likely to be usable. Instead of recycling these bikes we sell them at the local University of Essex and our warehouse in Colchester, generating a sustainable income to help cover our running costs. These bikes are sold at affordable prices starting at £75 and many of these bikes are sold to students or people just starting out as cyclists and therefore looking for a good bargain.

On Saturday the 28th February 2015, Re~Cycle will be holding another bike sale. Due to the success of previous bike sales, we have decided to make this a regular event on the last Saturday of every month. There will be a choice of over 60 new and refurbished bikes including Specialized, Pashley, Boardman, Raleigh and Carerra as well as a good selection of children’s bikes. We will be operating on a first come first served basis and will not be taking reservations, so please come down early if you want to grab yourself a bargain. 

Cash or card payments accepted.

Opening hours: 09:00-13:00

Location:

Re~Cycle
Unit 8 The Grove Estate
Colchester Road
Wormingford
Colchester
Essex
CO6 3AJ




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Mon, 16/02/2015 - 18:16

On the 22nd of February 2015 Gary Taylor, from Ipswich, aims to cycle around the world for Re~Cycle! He’ll be taking on this mighty challenge on his own, unsupported and adhering to the Guinness World Record rules.  We caught up with Gary to find out what inspired him to take up this massive challenge on our behalf! 

At what age did you get your first bike? What’s your earliest bike memory?

I remember my dad teaching me how to ride a bike in my back garden, on the bike my parents had bought me for Christmas. I think I was about seven years old, and it took a while for me to get the hang of it!

What inspired you to take on this challenge?

I love travelling, so that was a major motivational factor. Travelling by bike is really special as the pace is slower and the experience is more intimate as a result. I'd seen documentaries and read books about other people doing similar things but I always made excuses as to why I'd never be able to do one. Then one day, I found myself single, unemployed and with a few quid in savings. I realised that if there was ever going to be a good time to do it, now was as close as it would get.  To be completely honest, I've never known what to do with my life and this just seemed as good a way as any to avoid letting it go completely to waste! I hope that people reading about my trip will be inspired by what I'm doing, maybe not to take on a trip like this, but just to remove themselves from their comfort zone and maybe do something different with their life.

What’s the longest distance you’ve ever cycled prior to this? How have you been preparing

The longest distance I've covered in a single journey is about 188km (116miles) and I did that during a trip around Morocco Last summer. On that trip I covered 1500km (932miles) in fifteen days of cycling, with 6 rest days. My preparation for this trip has actually been nearly non-existent in terms of fitness, despite the size of the challenge. I will be riding my bike almost every day for at least a year, getting in shape will happen as I go. Also, I fear accidents and injuries so close to my departure date, so there appears to be little to gain and a lot to lose. The real preparation has been over the last few years, since I started touring on my bike in other countries.

Gary Taylor's Trip

How did you plan your route?

I started by choosing a direction; East. Then I plotted a line through countries favouring those I haven't visited before, ones that would allow me in (Iran and Turkmenistan have both proved difficult) and ones of interest to me. My route plan is still changing, and I'm sure it will change drastically while I'm on the road. I originally hoped to ride through South America but have now chosen the south of the USA instead, I have also axed Australia due to time/money constraints. My main target is to cover 40100km in total and 29000km of those cycled, as required by the Guinness record for bicycle circumnavigation. Although I won't be breaking any records with the speed I ride at!

Gary Taylor's equipment

Run us through your equipment setup – how did you decide what to take?

Well, this was part of the long-term preparation work that I've been doing for years. I've been building up equipment, testing it, modifying it, replacing it throughout my shorter tours. Weight is an important feature when it comes to choosing equipment but so is reliability and availability of spares etc. My stove is a Trangia, for example. The reason I use this is because it runs on methylated spirits or similar alcohol based fuels, which are available the world over. Another issue is that weather conditions will vary dramatically as I move around, so clothes which layer well are useful and items that can be worn on and off the bike. My sleeping bag has a liner which goes inside it and a cover which goes over it, if I use all three layers together, it can cope with low temperatures, in hotter periods I can use the liner alone. Versatility is the key but I may just send some items home once I'm through the European winter. The bike itself, when loaded, is laid out in a fairly standard fashion, a rack either end which hold four panniers, a handlebar bag up front for valuables and my tent rolled up on the back. I travel very light so my front two panniers are nearly empty, they are going to be used simply to carry food and water. You can view a complete list of every item I carry on my website. 

What’s your most essential piece of kit other than your bike?

That's tricky, I guess I wouldn't get far without my passport though! Seriously though, I think my tent will be hugely important. Because the trip is self-funded, I can't afford hotels/hostels every night. I will be camping as often as possible to save money. I also lean heavily on my dynamo hub and the USB charger that it feeds. All of my electronics can be charged by USB so I can keep all my batteries topped up while I ride, or charge them from computers/mains sockets when I stop. Handy for making sure I have music!

What part of the trip are you most looking forward to?

I think central Asia is most appealing to me. Most round the world cyclists tend to head down through India into South East Asia, but I've opted to go upwards through Kazakhstan, across Mongolia and then south through China. Simply because I find the region more interesting. Mongolia has some stunning geographical; features and people with lifestyles that interest me, so I'm really looking forward to experiencing that.

Gary Taylor Re~Cycle

 

What made you decide that Re~Cycle was the charity to support?

It was important for me to find a charity that I felt was worthwhile because I feel I have the potential to raise a lot of money with what I'm doing. I started out by searching for cycling related charities and Re~Cycle was one of the first I found. I saw it was quite a local charity and the more I read he more I liked the sound of it. For me a big thing is that Re~Cycle are focused on more sustainable solutions, rather than just handouts. Some charities, despite meaning well, can in fact make the situation worse. The fact that Re~Cycle help to train people in the areas they offer help to means that people there are enabled to make profitable businesses and become less dependent. I visited their warehouse and was impressed by what I saw, the people there are really passionate about what they do and I'm proud to be raising money for them.

What’s the best way for people to keep up to date with your progress?

My website is www.GearsWeNeverUse.com, I will be posting blog entries there as often as I can. Also on my website you will find links to social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter, following me there will ensure you don't miss anything. My photos will be hosted on Flickr and I will be posting videos to Youtube, again, both of those links are on my website, on the left hand side of every page. If you like what you see, please help share my story on social media and increase our exposure!

SUPPORT GARY TAYLOR




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Mon, 26/01/2015 - 19:26

Re~Cycle is proud to announce Fixation London as its newest corporate supporter. Fixation London is an all-new brand of stylish, affordable bikes that are made to get people back into cycling. We are so excited to be working with Fixation London, who will be donating 10% of its profits to Re~Cycle, helping us to improve lives through bicycle reuse.

Inspired by a time before cars existed, where bicycles were the most common form of transport, Fixation London’s mission is to get everyone back on their bikes by making them accessible to all. They aim to achieve this by providing well-sourced and stylish bicycles that people want to ride, at a price that won’t leave you penniless.

We caught up with the man behind Fixation London - Alex Bodini to find out a bit more!

Alex Bodini Fixation London

At what age did you get your first bike? What’s your earliest bike memory?

I have loved bikes ever since I was a young boy – in the town where I lived, a bike meant freedom and independence and that still remains a key reason why I love to ride today. I still vividly remember opening my very first bike aged around 4, with all its bells, lights, horns (and stabilisers), it was perfect to me and I was soon tearing up the local streets and rounding up all the fellow bike owners to explore the road we lived on. Even today exploration is the main thing I love about going out on a bike – it reminds me of being a young and adventurous child, desperate to see the world!

Providing affordable transport is central to Re~Cycle’s work, how have you worked to achieve this with Fixation London?

The price we wanted to achieve was actually the very first thing that was decided; in fact it was our very reason for going into business. We determined a ‘need’ for stylish and affordable bikes that were reliable, strong and looked great in the modern world. We therefore set about reverse engineering the best possible bike for the price we had in mind and this was actually to our benefit – it allowed us to focus on the things that really matter, negotiate effectively with our suppliers and ultimately get the bike we wanted without the price point creeping up. Bikes are extremely varied things – you can buy a bike for around £100 which will most likely comes in several hundred parts and wont last particularly long without bits going wrong, or you can easily spend several thousand pounds of a racing machine. We wanted to create a bike that hits the middle – enough quality that it lasts a long time and can stand the tough streets of a city, affordable enough that you can save up for it in a couple of months, and not so expensive that you worry about any scratches or rust!

Being based in London, how do you feel about cycling culture in the city?

London has massive potential as a cycling city – it has all the core ingredients to be one of the greatest cycling cities on earth and is making a lot of strides towards that. Attitudes are certainly changing, safety is improving and more and more people are realising that a bike is a brilliant way to get around. The culture around bikes is certainly noticeable too, lots of cliques who share both admiration and contempt for each other. Whether it is the MAMILS tearing up the roads on a Saturday morning, hipsters cruising around the streets of Shoreditch, nervous Boris Bike users riding around in rush hour: they all contribute to a growing cycling culture, all encourage more people to give it a go and all help increase acceptance and awareness of the cyclist on the road.

Fixation London is a new company, What inspired you to support a charity from the get go?

This all came from a debate with friends – can a company become ethical or does it need to be from the start? Whilst opinions varied, we overall fell on the side of ‘if you want to do something good then you should start with that intention’. We were inspired by companies such as Innocent and Gandy’s Flip-Flops who also support charities and thought it was something we wanted to emulate. As the company grows it will be great to know that we are doing something for the greater cycling good.

FIXATION LONDON BIKES

What made you decide that Re~Cycle was the charity to support?

We wanted it to be cycling related do to our passion and it being something we could really get to grips with and believe in. We researched a lot of cycling charities and the second we came across Re~Cycle, saw the website and video we understood it instantly. The proposition and message are very simple which we believe is extremely important for a charitable cause, and we were instantly sold on the potential of the charity. Every single bike that is transported to Africa can have such a huge impact and there are so many wasted bikes in the UK that it is the perfect charity to support.

We love the quirky nature of the bike watch stem – how important was it for you to create a product, which was both stylish and affordable?

The stem watch was something we’d thought about and seen a version of and we just thought that it made so much sense. The stem plate of a bike is a completely unimportant part but yet it represents this really useful little spot for a lot of things, so we set about finding someone who could build us some very simple clock faces to slide straight in! It is touches like that which we think separates a visually amazing bike and a standard bike - we worked hard to find six different styles, which we believe offer something for everyone. The bike you ride says a lot about what kind of person you are so we hope people can see a bike in the range for them.

fixation London Watch stem

Single Speed bikes are hugely popular at the moment, what is the appeal of single speed bikes for you?

One of the first questions people say when they see one of our bikes is ‘Oh I couldn’t survive with just one gear’ and we find that quite interesting as those same people have normally never tried to ride a Single Speed bike. In the last decade people became increasingly obsessive over gears and the total number of gears they have, seeing it as some sort of mark of quality, when the truth is, with the right ratio a single gear can cover about 95% of all terrain. We are definitely not saying ‘no need for gears’, that would be daft, but we do encourage all riders to give a Single Speed a go and we bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

What have you got planned for the future?

We have a very long and varied roadmap of the kind of places we’d like to go in the future. We want to provide a bike for every person; kids bikes, curved bikes and even geared road bikes! Due to the recent fashionable aspect of bikes too, we’d also love to team up with designers, apparel companies and accessory companies in order to create some really amazing cycling related items. We have a tendency to get carried away though, so for now we are focusing on taking little steps and getting as many of our bikes as possible out on the road!

For more info visit: www.fixation-london.co.uk

 




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Thu, 15/01/2015 - 14:49

Re~Cycle Bike Sale 31st Jan

Saturday 31st January 2015 - 9am – 1pm

Roughly 1-2% of the bikes donated to Re~Cycle are either unsuitable for Africa (such as thin framed racing bikes) or are bikes with disc brakes which are parts that are not readily available in Africa and thus less likely to be usable. Instead of recycling these bikes we sell them at the local University of Essex and our warehouse in Colchester, generating a sustainable income to help cover our running costs. These bikes are sold at affordable prices starting at £75 and many of these bikes are sold to students or people just starting out as cyclists and therefore looking for a good bargain.

On Saturday the 31st January 2015, Re~Cycle will be holding another bike sale following the success of our previous one.  There will be a choice of over 60 new and refurbished bikes including Specialized, Pashley, Boardman, Raleigh and Carerra as well as a good selection of children’s bikes. We will be operating on a first come first served basis and will not be taking reservations, so please come down early if you want to grab yourself a bargain. 

Cash or card payments accepted.

Opening hours: 09:00-13:00

Location:

Re~Cycle
Unit 8 The Grove Estate
Colchester Road
Wormingford
Colchester
Essex
CO6 3AJ




By: David Carry

Posted: Mon, 05/01/2015 - 12:14

We know it's 2015 already! But 2013-2014 was a huge year for us doubling the number of bicycles collected over the previous year. We shipped 7,103 bikes, reaching 42,618 people, providing swift transport, access to health, education and income for those in disadvantaged African communities. So we spent some extra time on our Annual Report - submitted a few months back.

Why not start the New Year by reviewing what we have achieved with your help.

Download recycle_annual_report_2013op.pdf (6.19 MB)

Re~Cycle Annual Report & Accounts 2013



By: Derek Balcombe

Posted: Tue, 23/12/2014 - 16:35

We wish all of our friends, supporters, donors and volunteers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you haven't already done so, please sign up to our newsletter and receive regular news of what we are up to.

The office and warehouse at Colchester is closed over Christmas from Wednesday 24th December - back open as usual on Monday 5th January.




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Fri, 21/11/2014 - 16:27

Re~Cycle Bike Sale

Roughly 1-2% of the bikes donated to Re~Cycle are either unsuitable for Africa (such as thin framed racing bikes) or are bikes with disc brakes which are parts that are not readily available in Africa and thus less likely to be usable. Instead of recycling these bikes we sell them at the local University of Essex and our warehouse in Colchester, generating a sustainable income to help cover our running costs. These bikes are sold at affordable prices starting at £65 and many of these bikes are sold to students or people just starting out as cyclists and therefore looking for a good bargain.

On Saturday the 6th of December, Re~Cycle will be holding a one-off bike sale, with a choice of new and refurbished Specialized, Pashley, Boardman, Raleigh and Carerra bikes. We will be operating on a first come first served basis and will not be taking reservations, so please come down early if you want to grab yourself a bargain. 

Cash or card payments accepted.

Opening hours: 09:00-13:00

Location:

Re-Cycle
Unit 8 The Grove Estate
Colchester Road
Wormingford
Colchester
Essex
CO6 3AJ




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Wed, 12/11/2014 - 18:11

Re~Cycle Bike Competition

This year Re~Cycle has shipped 9,769 bikes to Africa. To celebrate, we've teamed up with our corporate partners Halfords, to offer one lucky winner a bike of their choice worth £500! To enter click here: http://a.pgtb.me/4f9b9D

Competition ends: 31/01/2015

Official Rules:

  1. This competition is run by Re~Cycle (UK registered charity, registration number 1063570). It commences on 14th November 2014 at 12:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and ends on the 31st January 2015 at 23:59 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
  2. This promotion is open to all residents of UK and Ireland. Employees, agents and/or representatives of Re~Cycle, and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration, judging or fulfilment of the competition, and the immediate family members and/or those persons living in the same household of such individuals (whether related or not), are not eligible to participate or win a prize in this contest. For the purpose of this competition, immediate family is defined as spouse, partner, mother, father, legal guardian, in-laws, grandmother, grandfather, brother, sister, children and grandchildren.
  3. Employees, agents and/or representatives of Re~Cycle may enter submissions but will not be eligible to win a prize in this contest
  4. Entrants must be at least 16 years of age. Entrants under the age of 18 must seek adult approval (aged 18 +).
  5. Prize: Choose a bike from Halfords for under £500 and make up the difference in accessories etc or Choose a bike for over £500 and pay the difference. Prize must be collected at your closest Halfords branch.
  6. The winners will be selected at random and will be at the judge's discretion.
  7. Judges decisions are final and Re~Cycle will not participate in communications referencing the judge's decisions. Re~Cycle will not enter into any correspondence regarding award of the prizes.
  8. No purchase is necessary.
  9. No cash or alternative prize will be available.
  10. The prize(s) are non-transferable.
  11. Re~Cycle reserves the right to change the prize(s) advertised at any given time.
  12. All entrants must provide their first and last name and valid email address.
  13. Winners will be announced and notified via Facebook and email. Should the winners not respond within 48 hours of this communication then Re~Cycle reserves the right to arrange a redraw to select a new winner
  14. Entrants will receive emails with products and services from Re~Cycle, which we believe would be of interest to them.
  15. No cash alternative is available and Re~Cycle reserves the right to substitute a prize of equivalent or greater value if for reasons beyond its control the prize is not available. The Sponsor's decision on the alternative prize is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  16. Entrants can unsubscribe from further email communication at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.
  17. The name of the winner may be featured on the Re~Cycle and Halfords website and also on a small amount of press materials that may appear in both online and offline media. By participating, winners must consent to the use of their name in further publicity.



By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Wed, 12/11/2014 - 16:13

Kaloko Trust Zambia

Established in 1995, the Kaloko Trust is a UK-based charity, which works to relieve poverty and raise livelihoods in rural communities in Zambia, southern Africa. Re~Cycle has been working with the Kaloko Trust from some time now, but it wasn’t until 2009 that we shipped out first full container of bikes to a new bike project, supported by The Kaloko Trust.

Five years on and we’ve shipped nearly 3000 bicycles out to Zambia! With such a large number of quality bikes now in circulation, there is a great need for spare parts and people to repair them. The Kaloko trust has established two fully operational bike shops in the Luansobe area of Zambia.

Spare parts play an incredibly important role in keeping these bicycle shops sustainable, allowing the Kaloko trust to pay the mechanics that assemble and prepare the bikes prior to their sale. This is all part of what we call the revolving fund, providing the means for bicycle shops to operate at low cost while providing transport options for the local community at a fraction of their market value.

Bike tools
Bike tools are hard to come by in Zambia, with a hammer and screwdriver being used for most jobs. Using such tools is incredibly time consuming compared to using a specific bike tool, and often leads to damaged parts, especially when removing the freewheel (rear cogs) from a back wheel.

hammer and nail bike tool

Many full time mechanics use a hammer and nail instead of a “chain tool” again leading to damage and wasted time. Following a visit to Luansobe from one of our master mechanics Richard Evans, we sent out specialised tool kits, which were given to two groups of mechanics.

The Kaloko Trust’s director Dr Lewis Jere recently retired after leading the trust for 10 years. We are very sorry to see him go, but he’s been replaced with someone who has a lot of experience with Kaloko! Mr Willard Chitimbo is now the new Zambia director. He's had experience in a host of NGO roles and has made a strong start with Kaloko. We look forward to working with Willard and sending them even more bikes in the years to come!




By: Luke Dubuis

Posted: Mon, 27/10/2014 - 18:17

Claygate bike collection

Ian Trought from Claygate has taken it upon himself to collect old bikes on Behalf of Re~Cycle! Ian has booked the Claygate Village Hall car park in Church Lane on the mornings of Saturday 8th and 15th of November, for people to donate their old bikes. He is hoping someone will be able to offer a location to store the bikes for a few days, before he hires a vehicle to take them to Re-Cycle HQ in Colchester.

“I was motivated to arrange a collection when I saw the details of your charity in a Halfords earlier this year. I researched your charity and was inspired by the difference that a bike can make in Africa. I strongly believe that we should re-use things that we don't need and I think your charity is doing excellent work.”

Location - Claygate Village Hall Car Park (KT10 0JP)

Dates - 8th / 15th Nov

Time - 9am - 1pm




Pages