We reported on Monday that The Bicycle Academy was finally ready for its crowd funding push, and they were looking to realise £40,000 of investment in six weeks. That's looking like a shoe-in today after the first full day of the funding window pulled in almost two-thirds of the total, with the mercury level in the big red thermometer currently standing at just under £25,000.
This is great news for an enterprise that promises to not only give more people the skills to make bike frames but also give bikes to people who can have their lives transformed by them. The bike that you make on your course gets built up and shipped to Africa; it will become a lifeline to someone, and each bike is marked and tracked on its journey so you know who's using it. You get to keep the skills, and the workshop will be available to you for your next project. It's a win win.
We spoke to TBA founder Andrew Denham this morning, who told us, "Yesterday was amazing. I was getting email updates as the pledges were coming in, but it would take a while for the email to load and tell me how much the pledge was. It was a really addictive game, sitting there thinking, is it going to be £20? £500?
"We're two-thirds of the way there, and I can't quite get my head round it. I knew there'd be a spike at the beginning because I've made enough of a noise about it, but I didn't anticipate this." And to prove he's from the West Country, he added, "Lush."
In practical terms, it means that if you want a place on The Bicycle Academy's £500, four-day framebuilding course next year then you'd better make your pledge today. At time of writing there are only eight left. There's three slots left on the £1,000 course, the difference being that you get one-on-one tuition from fillet brazing legend Brian Curtis, rather than having to share him with someone else. And there are three one-day brazing masterclass places left too.
To learn more about the Academy and to make a pledge, head over to www.peoplefund.it/the-bicycle-academy
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.