Thank you to all the supporters, participants, trainees and clients who have passed through and utilised the space at Platt Fields Bike Hub this year. Despite opening way before we were ready to, we still feel that it’s been an unbelievably positive year – seeing hundreds of beneficiaries enjoy the space and surrounding area in the luscious Platt Fields Park has been an endless delight – wonderful communities on bicycles in a beautiful park; the atmosphere doesn’t get better than that!
To quickly sum up the last six months or so since we opened the creaky shutters on that glorious sun drenched day in July – here are a few pictures and moments from the late summer and autumn into winter season for 2014.
July 25th – Platt Fields Bike Hub opens just two weeks after permission was given from the park management
The late summer brought many a glorious afternoons like this one – with bike fixing and Tool Clubbing extending out into the park and welcoming in passers by – some just for chats and coffee, some with their poorly bikes in need of tool loan to get them back on the road.
We had regular beginner cycling sessions funded by Transport for Greater Manchester – meeting every week from The Boathouse. Bicycles, instructors and helmets were supplied and free adult training was carried out with phenomenal success. In September, a student specific course was launched for six weeks alongside an additional course supplied to Refugee Action. As a result – every Wednesday, Platt Fields Park saw “The Bicycle Triple” happening – 3 totally amazing bicycle events happening simultaneously.
We teamed up with Manchester Bike Hire – to offer a serious selection of beautiful cruising bikes available to rent from the space. Tandems included – whoosh!
3 days a week, we were able to open up the space to host a Tool Club session – whereby the public swooped by with their bikes and used the tools in the workshop with access to mechanical advice in exchange for a voluntary donation.
We were delighted to welcome the professional mobile mechanics from Revolve MCR to take residence in the space a couple of days a week – leaving the repairs workshop in phenomenally capable hands.
And every Friday – the awesomecore team at Coffee Cranks would pedal over their cargo trike to serve up delicious hot drinks and snacks to the park users and Hubbers and beyond..
In September to welcome the students to [or back to] Manchester we had a fun few days chatting to all the newcomers at the various Fresher’s events. We took lots of names and launched a competition for free bike services – 20 lucky winners enjoyed a professional all-over freebie on their bikes, whilst another 20 won free hot drinks and treats from Coffee Cranks Co-op.
And this was the voucher the lucky winners received:
After getting affiliated to the CTC and becoming one of TfGM’s official Community Cycle Clubs, we started really taking over Autumn. Our proposal to play host to a brand new campaign called The Big Bike Revival was accepted and saw the biggest and most successful community event to date. With funding secured, we were able to offer free bicycle servicing and parts to fix over eighty bicycles in 3 hours – with 8 mechanics working their magic! Loads of other exciting activities and freebies were included making one of the happiest afternoons The Hub has ever seen. One of our Hubbers, Franco made a film of the afternoon. Watch it here.
As part of the Community Clubs programme for TfGM, we launched our Ad-Hoc Rides Club – whereby anyone is welcomed to organise and lead rides for the community. Ranging from Social Pootles and small distances, to Polyester Pants and large exhausting mileage. Alongside themed rides – like poetry and history to comedy fancy dress rides like Tweed and Hallowe’en. We have a separate Facebook page that you can join which will keep you up to date. We post regular Ride Leader training opportunities on this page too, that you can do for free to build up your confidence when taking groups out.
Creeping into winter, the mechanics working in the space have stayed sturdy in the chilly chilly building [we hope to change all of that one day with eco powered heating – watch this space]. We’ll see if we can keep it open throughout January but we’ll see.
But for now – we wish you a happy, healthy and safe festive cycling season and we look forward to launching forward with you into 2015.
Warm wishes, from