Going Going Bike

Jul 162013
 
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Gear Up, a bicycling social enterprise business, recently started listing their refurbished bikes on the marketplace. We thought it would be a good idea to hear their story on how they started and what they are trying to achieve so we’ve handed them the keys to the blog for a guest blog. Enjoy their story.

Gear Up began how all good things start; a conversation over a bacon sandwich after a long bike ride.  It was a conversation of visions, passion and ideas that was too excited to be retold.  The general agreement was that a social enterprise around cycling and selling bicycles would be a great idea.  There were the health benefits of cycling and selling bikes for people to exercise with, along with benefits to the local economy and job opportunities for local people.

Gear Up is based on the Firs and Bromford estate, which is an outer estate on the east side of Birmingham.  The local area is in the top 2% of deprived places in England.  It is part of Worth Enterprises the trading arm of a national charity called Worth Unlimited.  A handful of young people, with a taste for bacon sandwiches, have worked on making their dreams reality.

This has not come easily; there have been many challenges to overcome and many joys amongst it all.  Something that makes Gear Up is the closeness of the team, so fixing bikes from a storage container underneath the M6 motorway in the snow becomes both hilarious and a motivation to move on to bigger and better things.

We know that as a group of unemployed young people it has taken us a while to get prepared and ready to run a business.  We finally have a shop though, which took a ridiculous amount of time, so we have a space to build bikes, store our stuff and display bikes for sale.  The redesign of our logo means that we are on the verge of launching.  We have all received a lot of training, whether it is bikeability training, ride leader training from British Cycling or a CYTECH qualification.  Now we have the knowledge and the shop we begin to better meet our social aims.

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Our social aims fall under the three categories of Cycle, Fix and Teach:

  • Cycle

    • - To provide a wage for ride leaders who regularly run bike rides.

    • - To encourage local people to get into cycling through accessible bike rides and the loaning of bikes to those who need them for that specific ride.

    • - To have a bank of bikes that can be loaned out to local organisations or community groups.

    • - Demonstrate a healthy lifestyle by cycling or walking to work.

  • Fix

    • - Provide a wage for mechanics by upcycling old bikes and selling them at an affordable price.

    • - To offer affordable and quality repairs of customers bikes.

    • - To host regular tool club evenings where people can hire a work stand and use our tools to fix their own bikes.

  • Teach

    • -Provide a wage for bikeabilitiy instructors who teach school children to safely ride in the road

    • -Teach bicycle mechanics workshops for young people.

    • -Provide an opportunity for learning in a retail environment for business and work experience students.

    • -Encourage people in learning how to ride a bike and how to ride on the road.

We hope to grow our team so we can unlock our potential.  There is so many opportunities that have opened up for us through Gear Up and we want to make the most of them.

 

  One Response to “Everything you need to know about Gear Up”

  1. [...] us and with those online, in particular Bike North Birmingham and www.goinggoingbike.com. Here is an article that we wrote for GoingGoingBike and our listings on their [...]

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