The Bristol Bike Project


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tea and pedal grease!

This was a blog post recently written by paul, one of our regular Thursday volunteers, and sums up the project pretty well i think….

In an old tower block in Stokes Croft, tucked beside a car wash, through a heavy door, round a strip light lit office corridor, is a workshop. And in that workshop are tools, sofas and acoustic guitars, wheel jigs and work stands, greasy rags and a radio. And volunteers, and sometimes, a scrum of people man-handling old donated bicycles into shape. And it is joyous!

Endless cups of tea, rough and ready in oily mugs and biscuit crumbs on worktops, among the tubs of green grease with toothbrushes stuck in, Bob Marley crooning around and spanners sticking out of apron pockets. Grubby fingernails.

There’s a tandem round the back, a tall bike in the corner, fixies and more practical city bicycles than you can shake a bike polo club at, people clacking around in road cleats, there’s torn jeans and tracksuits and tattoos.

So, with no job, no responsibilities, no much of anything, but an itch on my tool grabbing hand, I spend my Thursdays there. I spin down, stack my bike in a corner, and put an apron and the kettle on. I take away stickers for bike racks around the city, and smiles and good vibes for a rush hour cycle home, among throngs of riders in the ASLs, and I blow bubbles into the air and feel nothing less than fucken joy, no word of a lie…

And I feel like for some people, the Bike Project is at the very centre of Bristol, the core of their city, their life even. It’s pretty fucken special. Maybe you should come sometime?