Unwanted bikes to be refurbished & found new homes

What do you do with an old bike that’s not worth selling but that someone might be able to use? If you live in Brighton, you’ll soon be able to leave it at one of a number of secure spots round the city and the folks at Brighton Bike hub will pick it up and find a new home.

Brighton BikeHub developed and pitched the idea of ‘bike banks’, where unwanted bikes could be dropped off for refurbishing, at Brighton CityCamp last week.

Brighton BikeHub said the idea was to set up “physical spaces in the city where bikes can be easily and securely left – like book banks, toy banks or shoe banks – and collected by us  for refurbishment and re-use.”

With a constantly-churning population of young people, Brighton has a problem with abandoned bikes. In theory, you could take an old bike to the city dump when you’re leaving Brighton, or put it on Freegle, but it seems too many people just can’t be bothered.

Instead, bikes are left attached to railings and lampposts, with the owner perhaps telling himself he’ll come back for it when he has time to deal with it.

BikeHub decided to tackle this challenge and find a way to make it “easier for people to donate their unwanted bikes to us when they are still working, rather than leaving them to rust on the railings in the Brighton brine until the only cycling they will see is the (re)cycling of component parts.”

The CityCamp judges, looking for ideas to Make Brighton Better, were impressed and awarded the idea a share of the available £1,000 funding.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.