Sheffield commuters have been giving their bikes an early Christmas present at a new workshop which aims to keep cyclists on the roads during winter - as well as helping those less fortunate in society.
Winter Wednesdays are run by the Dr Bike service, based at the Union Street centre for Sheffield’s new business enterprises, near the Peace Gardens.
“But we want to spread good cheer to people as well as bikes,” said Angela Walker from Recycle Bikes, who provide the know-how.
“So although your bike will get a free health check worth £30 or more from our elf mechanics, we’re asking cyclists to help local people who don’t have enough to eat at Christmas by bringing along a donation for city food banks.”
“It’s great to help people while the Dr Bike service are helping me over the winter,” said Rachel Burgess, one of the first people to use the service last Wednesday. “There’s grit on the road in the winter and it’s important to keep your chain clean and working ok, so it’s good to have this local service to make sure I’m safe when I’m on the road.”
Cyclists can leave their bikes from 10am, and either stay for a coffee - courtesy of Frazers Coffee Roasters - or call back later before 3.30pm to collect their winter-ready bicycle.
Every bike gets a free check up, with repairs to minor faults such as worn brakes and cables, and a diagnosis of more serious issues to take along to your nearest bike shop for full repair if necessary.
The initiative is part of the city council’s ongoing CycleBoost scheme, funded by a grant won by local councils from the Department for Transport.
Packet and tinned food donations will be accepted on Dr Bike Wednesdays at Union Street, which will be distributed to Trussell Trust food banks at Burngreave, Gleadless and Hillsborough.
“As the weather worsens, it’s important your bike is fit and happy,” said Angela Walker. “Wet and cold weather means brakes need to be working well, and fighting the wind as well as hills means gears need to be in good shape.
“Your bike will thank you for it, and if you bring in a tin of fish or soup or a packet of pasta, so will the users of Sheffield’s food banks.”