Key worker impacts and our ‘not-so-new’ normal

The upsurge in cycling during the Covid-19 lockdown is well-documented across the UK. At the West Lothian Bike Library, we’ve seen a surge in enquiries about cycling and accessing bikes – particularly from people needing to get to work with public transport reduced. In total we provided 47 free bike hires which are still out and performed 15 services/repairs.

We have been lucky to have secured some specific Key Worker funding throughout this period from the Big Bike Revival, National Lottery and the Cora Foundation. We are also very grateful to everyone out there who has donated bikes to us for refurbishment and loan to Key Workers.

What’s next? Currently we are engaged with delivering Bikeability at the Summer Key Worker Hubs being run by the Council’s CLD Youth services at Linlithgow, Bathgate & Livingston. As always, we continue our core work of bike servicing and repairs, loan of bikes including adaptive bikes, and inclusive cycling advice for all to benefit from.

Please continue to donate any bikes you no longer need, and don’t forget you can support us with a PayPal donation via our website. Thank you to everyone.

Thanks to Everton Vila for sharing their work on Unsplash

All ability cycling – James’s story

We’ve been delighted to loan out one of our adaptive bikes to a West Lothian family recently. James has been getting out and about on a Fun2Go side by side bike. Here’s what his mum Harriet has to say about the experience.

“James has complex autism and is non verbal. There are countless things he cannot do, but there are some he can do – cycling is one. However, he hasn’t the skills, yet, to cycle on two wheels.

Cycling for James is an excellent activity, it works groups of muscles he wouldn’t normally use, it’s great for his heart and lungs, helps to calm his sensory impairment and burns off some of that chocolate he adores!

It was lovely to be part of the community, lots of people were smiling at him and he was very happy, so happy he didn’t want to turn around! It didn’t matter that some joggers passed us, what mattered was we had a great family morning out and he’s already using his fingers to count down to his next cycle. Thanks very much to the bike library who were very encouraging and made it so easy to borrow a bike.”

This is what we love to hear! Thank you to James and his family for this story.

As always, anyone can get in touch to enquire about loaning one of our bikes. Stay safe everyone.

Big bike revival for Key Workers

The West Lothian Bike Library has been fortunate to obtain funding from the Big Bike Revival, Lottery and the Cora Foundation for our Key Workers project.

Key Workers of all categories can benefit from free services including:

  • bike maintenance and repairs
  • loan of bikes
  • bike equipment

Let’s keep Key Workers moving. Get in touch!

Updated appeal for adult bikes to refurbish

With the Covid-19 crisis ongoing, the West Lothian Bike Library is seeing a high level of demand for bikes from key workers who are struggling to get to and from work with reduced public transport levels.

We’d like to thank everyone who responded to our appeal for donations of adult-sized bikes in April. We’ve been able to refurbish a range of bikes, and help many key workers as a result. From the carer who had to walk 20 miles a day to visit clients, to the nurse who was having to leave home 3 hours early to get to their shift by public transport – the loan of bikes from the West Lothian Bike Library is helping people every day.

We still need more bikes as we now have a waiting list. We’re particularly in need of bikes for women. If you have a bike you no longer need, please consider donating it to the West Lothian Bike Library. We will refurbish it and then make it available for free as a loan to key workers during the current Covid-19 crisis.

You can donate your bike by getting in touch with us via our contact page and arranging a time to drop off the bike at our base in Livingston – or we might be able to pick up your bike subject to availability of transport. Please get in touch.

Photo by Caleb Bishop on Unsplash

Free bike hire for NHS and care workers

In these unprecedented times, we are receiving enquiries from key workers who are struggling with transport to and from work. Public transport services have been reducing in recent weeks in response to Covid-19 and not all workers have access to a car.

We are now offering free bike hire to NHS and care workers, for as long as needed. We have a selection of e-bikes and hybrids available, along with a limited supply of helmets and locks. All equipment is thoroughly cleaned before and after use and we have a social distancing protocol on site.

If you’d like to pick up a bike, please get in touch to discuss your needs and arrange a time for pick up. Please note we are open by appointment only at the moment. Get in touch via our contact form or email info@wlbikelibrary.co.uk or call mobile 07724667321.

And a big thank you to key workers everywhere.

Revised opening hours and free bike checks for key workers

During the Covid-19 crisis, we are continuing to support the community through our normal bike maintenance services and range of refurbished bikes for sale, for all ages. In addition, we are offering free bike checks for key workers (we are a few minutes bike ride from St John’s Hospital in Livingston), and accept donations for any parts if needed.

Please note though we are limiting our presence at our workshop to one member of staff at a time, and we are open strictly on appointment basis only – so call or email us first if you need us. Get in touch via our contact form or email info@wlbikelibrary.co.uk or call mobile 07724667321.

Stay safe everyone.

Things you’re never too old for….

#1 – riding a bike!

West Lothian Bike Library volunteers had a wonderful time with residents of the Woodland Nursing Home in Livingston this weekend. As part of their open afternoon, we took along two of our adaptive bikes.

After our first daring ladies took the plunge, we had a steady stream of takers for a wee jaunt on the Waverley & Bankton Mains Paths nearby (part of Livingston’s extensive off-road walking & cycling path network.)

Thank you to the staff, residents and their families for letting us take part in your special afternoon! Our adaptive bikes are available for hire and use by groups and individuals, and we also run regular inclusive cycling sessions. Get in touch for more details.