Dr Bike pedal-powers its way into 2020

A free bicycle repair scheme, which helped more than a hundred people in Bicester to get back on their bikes in 2019, is gearing up for even more ‘patients’ in 2020.

Published: Monday, 13th January 2020

A free bicycle repair scheme, which helped more than a hundred people in Bicester to get back on their bikes in 2019, is gearing up for even more ‘patients’ in 2020.

Dr Bike has been running on the last Saturday of each month since the start of last year, offering Bicester residents the chance to get basic bicycle repairs carried out by trained mechanics at no cost. The project has been funded by Cherwell District Council through the Healthy Bicester scheme, with the aim of increasing the amount of people cycling in the town.

Mechanics from community group Bicester Green have provided the service, initially from a mobile repair hub on Sheep Street and more recently from their base at The Yard off Launton Road, repairing 106 bikes in 2019.

Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing said: “It’s great to see that so many people have taken advantage of the Dr Bike offer. Improving cycling provision is a key part of the development of Bicester as a Healthy New Town. It not only gives great physical benefits, but studies show it can also help to improve our mental wellbeing.”

“Cycling also contributes to cleaner air and helps residents to cut their carbon footprint. With Cherwell declaring a climate emergency, it’s essential we help people out of their cars and onto their bikes.”

The results have been so impressive that Cherwell have committed to funding Dr Bike into 2020, extending the opening times by two hours per session, while encouraging the development of a community cycling hub and sustainability centre at Bicester Green’s The Yard.

Celia Cornforth, centre manager for Bicester Green, said: “We are thrilled to be a part of Dr Bike again for 2020. Throughout last year we’ve been repairing everything from high-spec racing bikes to children’s bicycles, showing the broad appeal of cycling in the town.”

“We’ve also seen a marked increase in people taking to two wheels to do their bit for action on climate change. At The Yard, you can pick up environmentally friendly refill products or drop off your crisp packets to be recycled, helping those who use Dr Bike to lead even more sustainable lives.”

Dr Bike 2020 will launch on Saturday 25 January, with extended hours from 10am until 4pm, at Bicester Green’s The Yard and will continue on the last Saturday of every month. There are also plans to take the service ‘on the road’ for special events during the year.

Items included in the free offer are brake cables, pads, gear cables and inner tubes, as well as labour time. Any more complicated repairs can be carried out, although there will be a charge.

For more up-to-date information follow @healthybicester and @BicesterGreen on Facebook.