Group aims to re-cycle region's bikes
If you have an unwanted bike in good condition taking up space in your garage, then Bicycle Nelson Bays wants to hear from you.
The cycling advocacy group is setting up a system where it will loan bikes to people who want a bicycle, but cannot afford one.
Last week it gave its first donated bike to Graham Bloomfield.
Mr Bloomfield, 49, said he had not biked for 15 years but planned to use his new wheels for fitness and getting around. He rode a motorbike to his factory job at Sealord, but was also considering biking to work despite starting at 6am.
He was thrilled with his new bike. He is borrowing a helmet, but Cycle Nelson Bays helped him out with a lock and Nelson City Council donated some lights.
"It's good. I can be out, get some exercise. I used to bike all over Nelson," said Mr Bloomfield, who is a client of Idea Services.
Bicycle Nelson Bays (BNB) spokesman John-Paul Pochin first bumped into Mr Bloomfield riding on the Maitai Walkway with his support worker Katie Brummitt.
Mrs Brummitt had encouraged Mr Bloomfield and other clients to get active and try cycling again. Another client had recently biked from Nelson to Rabbit Island.
"We are trying to get people fit and active and do some exercise."
Mr Pochin said they already had a few other bikes donated and hoped to help others back into cycling but were unable to as they could not afford a bike.
"If there are bikes out there which are clearly not being used and if we can get them back into circulation and see them on the roads, I think that would be great."
He hoped to loan bikes to groups like the refugee community in Nelson and other organisations, and was keen to hear from other organisations who had people who needed cycles.
The bikes would be loaned, with the idea that the recipient eventually bought their own bike when they could.
Once someone had finished with a bike they would be re-loaned to others.
"As long as they keep in circulation, we can give them to someone else."
The group was looking for donations of bikes, people to help service donated bikes and also looking for room the store spare bikes.
Mr Pochin said it was an exciting time for cyclists in the region as there were a lot of council cycle project initiatives underway.
This combined with the amazing work done by the Cycle Trust on the Great Taste Trail - which is part of the national cycleway - and track development by groups such as the Nelson Mountain Bike Club had helped increase the number of cyclists, he said.
There was a real buzz about cycling and Nelson could be a different place if there were more cyclists around, he said.
"I think we are almost at that tipping point."
To contact Mr Pochin email: email@example.com or phone 021 623 207.
How to help
Bicycle Nelson Bays is looking for:
1. Donations of cycles in reasonable conditon
2. Help with maintain donated cycles
3. Help with storing donated cycles