Transport – What’s Stopping You?
The bike accessory voucher scheme has allowed us to engage personally with a wide range of local cyclists (many of whom were new to regular cycle). Speaking to folk on a one-to-one basis has given us a real insight into the barriers to cycling locally:
- Many people do not realise that it is possible to carry stuff by bike; several of our vouchers were used to buy baskets or panniers.
- Occasional cyclists are not inclined to ride in the dark or poor weather. Our vouchers were used to buy lights or waterproofs to keep them cycling all year
- We also now know that lots of people have a desire to learn bike maintenance skills as the fear of being caught with a puncture far from home, also puts folk off cycling too far
- Novice cyclists like to cycle in company, but we have struggled to arrange regular group rides to suit everyone; a cycling buddy system using volunteers would work better, and we hope to establish this is future.
The Bike Workshop is turning into a proper hub for biking activities, bringing cyclists of all abilities together to share experiences and organise rides. A hub such as this is worth the time it takes to establish as it brings new people into the fold.
We worked hard to include the local bike shop in our projects, but more effort will be needed to communicate with the local shops to illustrate that we are not setting up a rival service but working to increase the number of cyclists in the area.