If you have a bike you are replacing – or just not using – Kevin Ablitt (Ipswich’s famous Bicycle Doctor) begs you not to leave it rusting in a shed or abandoned at the dump. He’s got a much better use for it, and one that will make you feel much better about abandoning it too. Remember, it’s even better to repair and reuse than to recycle the materials. Kevin says:
“I’ve just had had a great day volunteering at Re-Cycle in Colchester. This was the second day I have spent there lately and today I helped load a 20 foot container with 162 bikes and spares. The container was bound for a new partner project in Tanzania. When I put the seal on the doors at the end it was strange, and very exciting to think that in a short time the doors would be opened in a very different country, a long way away.
There is already a volunteer from Colchester, out in Tanzania, waiting to help set up the project and unload the bikes and spares we crammed in today. The container will also stay there as a workshop and store.”
Kevin says that Re-Cycle partners with projects of various types in several African countries. The project might give free or low cost bikes to nurses , health visitors or HIV workers, or provide essential transport to school children to help boost their attendance.
“The gift of a bicycle is incredible. Health workers can visit remote communities to help people, and students and adults can save valuable cash that they might have had to spend on bush taxis, travelling to school and work. Currently Re-Cycle is in desperate need of bikes. In previous years the Royal Mail donated 2000 old bikes per year. Last that figure was 65 . Today we packed 160 odd bikes off .
Re-Cycle needs to fill a container every 4-5 weeks with up to 450 bike. Although today we packed a 20ft container, normally they send 40 foot containers which are also taller than 20 foot ones. That is a great number of bikes per year.
I have decided that the best way I can be of help to Re-Cycle is to increase the number of bikes I take down to Colchester. We also need to take any bike-related stuff, pumps, trailers, tools etc. In addition once a month I will be at Re-Cycle to overhaul bikes which are sold here to raise funds to help pay for transporting the bikes etc.
So if you have a old bike sitting in a shed somewhere, Re-Cycle can send it where it will be hugely appreciated and make a massive difference. There is no problem persuading people to ride bikes in Africa ( unlike Ipswich ! ), a bike is a very valuable possession.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any to donate and I will collect asap.