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Brighton BikeHub wins cash to set up ‘banks’ for surplus bikes

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.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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