Bike maintenance is not yet an Olympic sport (!), but some of our volunteers with the West Lothian Bike Library recently undertook Velotech Silver training under the expert instruction of a Cycle Form trainer in our base in Livingston. Cycle Form is a cycling business based in Glasgow who offer accredited Velotech training, which is aligned with the National Qualification Framework. Velotech Awards are industry standard qualifications in bike maintenance.
It means our volunteers are obtaining valuable skills for free and our bike maintenance work in the West Lothian Bike Library is meeting national standards. We hope to take our volunteers all the way to the Gold Velotech Award in due course!
If you’re interested in undertaking Velotech training at any level, get in touch and we’ll keep you posted on the next opportunity.
West Lothian Bike Library would like to support more women into cycling and volunteering. Cycling UK have launched a call for nominations to find their 100 Women in Cycling for 2018. There’s no rigid criteria – any woman, past or present, who has been a star in the cycling world, from sporting success, to dedicated volunteering, to being inspirational to others. If there is someone you would like to nominate and celebrate, email firstname.lastname@example.org with her story.
Read more here about Rose Lamartine Yates, the first woman to be elected to the CTC (now Cycling UK) Council in 1907, and also a suffragette [photo courtesy of Cycling UK].
The West Lothian Bike Library are currently recruiting Cycle Ride Leaders and can offer free training. We are an inclusive organisation who aim to reduce health inequalities across communities in West Lothian, and we would like our volunteer team to reflect this. We welcome volunteer applications from all regardless of gender, ability or life circumstances. Get in touch today if you’d like to find out more.
Since we started in September 2017, we have been developing our services and building on our connections in the community. We’ve also been fortunate to attract funding for specific projects.
We now need more volunteers to help with our projects. Specific volunteer roles include:
- social media and digital marketing support
- peer supporter
- all ability cycle ride leader, and general cycle ride leaders
- bike maintenance
We are also open to volunteers who would like to get involved to help develop their skills generally or who may be pursuing awards or qualifications where experience in volunteering is required.
Training and insurance is provided, and we work with Volunteer Scotland on our volunteer policies.
If you’re interested in seeing our specific role descriptions for the volunteer posts above, or discussing volunteering opportunities generally, please get in touch!
Read more about our project and our call for volunteers in the Daily Record.
The festive season is coming to an end, but we wanted to share a little story that we have been humbled to play a small part in.
David (names have been changed to preserve anonymity) secured work and moved to Scotland in summer 2017 with his wife and children. Unfortunately he lost his job, and sought advice from a local West Lothian Council Customer Information Service (CIS) office. He attended the CIS office again before Christmas to let them know he was starting another job on 15th December. Due to the timing of his start date, he would not get a full wage until 15th January 2018. In the meantime, to help tide him over, the CIS office staff arranged a referral to the Foodbank and for a crisis grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund.
As with many parents however, his concern was “no Christmas presents for the children”. CIS office staff spoke to colleagues to see if they knew of any organisations who might be able to help. A colleague had heard about the West Lothian Bike Library (based at Crofthead in Livingston) who have offered bikes to children in need at Christmas…….. so they phoned and spoke with one of our volunteers.
As a result, David went to Crofthead and collected two bicycles for his children for Christmas. David, his wife and their children were absolutely over the moon.
We continue to work with partner organisations to reduce health inequalities in West Lothian, and hope we can help more people like David and his family in 2018. Happy new year to all our partners, supporters and volunteers.
As part of our work at the West Lothian Bike Library, we recycle and refurbish bikes from a variety of sources, including bikes donated from the public.
As well as using these bikes for our activities (bike loans to people who need them, led bike rides and cycle training), from time to time we will have refurbished bikes on sale. All bikes are subject to a workshop inspection when they come in, and faulty parts repaired or replaced. Each bikes gets a full service and safety check before it is released and comes with a three month guarantee.
Here are some of the bikes we have on offer. From kids’ bikes to adults’, bike prices range between £20-£60.
Get in touch with us to ask about our selection and if we have one that suits, we can arrange a time for you to come and have a look.
If your mail-order bike arrives flat-packed in a box, we can help!
Modern bikes are assembled on industrial mass-production lines and then boxed up and dispatched without being adjusted to suit the user or test-ridden. Someone else has to not only finish the assembly, but also grease the headset bearings, true the wheels and adjust the brakes and gears. Normally this would be the job of the bike shop, but when you buy a bike on the internet it misses out on this crucial stage of preparation and servicing, and arrives at your door in its factory box.
We offer two levels of bike assembly – we can assemble the bike fully, and we can also give it a basic service. We fit the wheels, pedals, handlebars, saddle etc.; adjust and tune the gears and brakes; check and torque all nuts and bolts; inflate the tyres; and do a full safety-check.
We also have a range of quality, recycled bikes for sale, for adults and kids.
Contact us for more information!
Volunteers from the West Lothian Bike Library went along to Polbeth & West Calder Community Garden’s Hallowe’en party over the weekend. Our smoothie bike was as popular as ever! (Even scary monsters need their five a day…)
The Polbeth & West Calder Community Garden is an award-winning community garden in Polbeth, working to support local people, schools and community groups to grow fruit and vegetables and take part in a range of outdoor leisure activities. The West Lothian Bike Library works closely with the Community Garden volunteers to encourage & support cycling through training, led rides and access to bikes.
Read more about this great social enterprise at http://polbethandwestcaldergarden.weebly.com/.
The Sustrans I Bike project supports young people to walk, cycle and scoot to school more often. Through West Lothian Council’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme (funding from Transport Scotland via Paths for All), an I Bike officer is in post and working with selected schools in West Lothian.
Volunteers are needed to help with I Bike activities at your local schools in West Lothian, particularly around the Armadale cluster. Bike rides, led walks, bike maintenance sessions, smoothie bike sessions, fun classroom activities, and more!
As well as inspiring children to be more active and gain confidence in cycling, I Bike volunteering can help enhance your skillset and keep you active! Expenses are paid, and there are opportunities to get involved in other Sustrans activities locally.
To apply or find out more, contact Amanda McKay email@example.com call or text 07748 700385. If you want to share this with your networks, please feel free to share this post or the West Lothian IBV_Recruitment Fliers.
As part of the STV Appeal we took our Smoothie Bike along to Murrayfield Primary School when they were visited by Sean Batty as part of their Bikeability launch.
As usual our highly decorative Smoothie Bike attracted lots of attention. Other pupils learnt how to repair a puncture, although this quickly evolved into a competition between the boys and girls to see who could inflate an inner tube quickest!
Many thanks to the Staff and Pupils for a very warm welcome.
Our Smoothie Bike is available to hire and WLBL is ready to assist other schools in their efforts to promote cycling.
Check out some pictures from the day at the STV Appeal’s official social media sites.
Bike lending libraries were originally set up as a project by West Lothian Council’s Health Improvement Team. They saw the development of a number of community-led bike lending libraries across West Lothian, as well as an All Ability Cycling project using adaptive bikes for those who need additional support to cycle.
The project has grown with funding support from the council, NHS, Cycling Scotland and Transport Scotland’s Smarter Choices Smarter Places fund, and invaluable contributions of volunteers and community organisations across West Lothian.
We’re pleased to say the West Lothian Bike Library is now a not-for-profit community organisation, as of summer 2017. We’re excited about this new chapter in our efforts to mainstream cycling and make it an inclusive activity for all.
This website aims to provide information on the core services offered by the West Lothian Bike Library. We hope you’ll also use it to get involved in our project, whether as a user or a volunteer. We need your support, so get in touch if you can offer any time and skills to the organisation.