The Pedallers’ Arms is a place in Leeds to come and learn how to repair your bike in a friendly atmosphere. We run regular drop-in sessions and other bike related events. We are based on Mabgate Green. Our regular opening hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 4 – 8pm, Saturday 12 – 4pm.
Although we survive entirely from your support we are very grateful for the funding that has helped get this project started.

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Bicycle mapping

Yesterday was a busy session, but not busy enough to stop us from looking at some very useful cycling maps. The best of  bike maps in the UK at present is, which is linked to the fantastic cycle campaigner resource CycleScape.

The former is very useful for route planning (e.g. check out the route I took from Sheffield to Manchester, planned partly on CycleStreets, partly with Google), the latter is good for reporting issues to help local cycle campaigns prioritise their time.

In this post I want to draw attention to two other maps, however: the online “have your say” map of the City Connect project, where cyclists get to say what they most want from millions of pounds to be spent on cycling infrastructure in and around Leeds, and a map of cycle accidents.

Continue reading

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Broken handlebars!

We were confronted today with a problem that no cyclist should ever have to deal with: broken handlebars. Handlebars are a simple non-moving part, meaning that pretty much the only way they can break is to fail catastrophically, leaving the rider little or no control over the front of the bike and making a crash all but inevitable if the rider is travelling at any speed. Obviously this can be lethal. Pedaller’s Arms member Kira came in today with precisely this problem. Below is an image of it and a brief description of the solution.


Broken handlebars – thin aluminium fatigues and shears easily

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Prize Draw winners

kindly gave us some funding and asked the workshop users to fill in a questionnaire.  Each month we’ll pick a registration card out and they will win £10 to spend at Pedallers’ Arms.

To make matter more exciting we have just picked out the luck person for Dec and Jan at the same time (definitely not because I forgot..).  The chosen two are – drum roll -
Seb and Tom.

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Winter Warmer! Friday 24th 7pm – 10pm

christmas-light-bike (3)Please join us for a winter social in the workshop! Everyone welcome, faces old and new. Come along and enjoy some hot food, beverages and a good natter. If anyone would like to bring some food to share that would be excellent.

Hope you can make it!

Facebook event:

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Do you know where your local bike project is?

Repost from Bike Works ( original article by Fenn )
team building 2

Do you know where your local bike project is?

Dotted all over the country are grassroots bike projects using bicycles to contribute to positive social change. They offer things like affordable or free fix-your-own-bike workshops, free bikes for refugees, cycle confidence training, bike re-use and recycling and all ability cycling clubs. We think everyone should know where their local grassroots bike project is so they can use and support these great services. So do you know where your local DIY bike project is? Chances are, there is somewhere near you, so check out the list at the bottom of this post which was compiled by Ethical Consumer magazine.

This month the 4th annual UK Bike Gathering is happening at the Broken Spoke Co-op, where these projects will come together to network and support each other, a vital resource for projects many of which exist without outside funding and are often run by committed volunteers.

These diverse projects have different aims and structures. Some of them are politically radical spaces run by collectives such as 56a bike project, some are workers co-ops such as Broken Spoke Co-op, some are social enterprises, like us. But what they have in common is that they try to use bikes in some way to work towards positive social change. They are not ‘normal’ bike shops. But what do they do and how do they achieve this grand aim? Well, lets take the Bristol Bike Project as an example. Amongst other things they have a long running Earn-a-bike scheme which gives marginalised people access to affordable and sustainable transport – bikes are donated by local people and fixed up by volunteers, then the final few repairs are done by the project user with guidance from a mechanic. This scheme has given free bikes to lots of people in Bristol who really need them, like refugees and homeless people who are living on very little money.

A lot of attention is (rightly so) given to the project’s concrete and measurable outcomes ie. free bikes for people in need. But another real success of this project lies in its culture. The Bristol Bike Project aims to ‘provide a valuable and empowering service for underprivileged and marginalised groups of people’ and ‘to provide an inclusive, non-judgemental, vibrant and supportive workshop environment for volunteers and project-users alike, from all walks of life, that encourages and promotes skill-sharing and independence, where new skills are learned in a way that is empowering for all and friendships are made.’ For me, this is key. Having been a volunteer at the Bristol Bike Project myself, I can vouch for the fact that this was really happening during my time there. There was a culture of skill-sharing, a feeling that people from all sorts of background were actively welcomed, and a mix of skills and abilities which was really cohesive socially – people were helping each other out who might have walked past each other on the street and never engaged. If it’s done right, this is a real strength of community bike projects, and is its own form of social change. But this kind of culture is hard won, and is only created and maintained through its members’ regular reflection, both personally and more formally in meetings, on their project’s power structures and culture. And crucially, reflections need to be not just general, but specifically related to the real interactions and conversations that happen between people at the project. It’s useful to ask questions like: who populates the project? Who might feel comfortable there? Who might feel a little uncomfortable or like an outsider? Are the inevitable instances of racism, sexism, ableism and classism actively and compassionately challenged? Do people feel empowered to learn even when they’re new to bike mechanics? If a project can get this culture right, they will start to attract the ‘hard to reach’ people so often described in charity funding applications, but they will do so in a mutually beneficial way, and have a great time doing it.

by Fenn, mechanic in the Bikeworks ReUse Centre

UK Bike Project Directory:

Becycle, Aberdeen

Birmingham Bike Foundry, Birmingham

Cycle-Re-Cycle, Bradford & Halifax

Cranks, Brighton

Kebele, Bristol

Bristol Bike Project, Briatol

Cardiff Cycle Workshop, Cardiff

Coventry Cycling Centre, Coventry

The Bike Station, Scotland

Gloucestershire Bike Project, Gloucester

Cycle ReCycle, Hebden Bridge

Freewheelers Bicycle Workshop, Lancaster

Pedaller’s Arms, Leeds

ReCycles, Liverpool

London Bike Kitchen, Hackney, London

56a Bikeshop, Southwark, London

Tower Hamlet’s Wheelers, Tower Hamlets, London

Hackney Bikeworkshop, Hackney, London

Pedal MCR, Manchester

Bloomers, Manchester

Recyke Y’Bike, Newcastle

The Broken Spoke Co-op, Oxford

ReCycle, Colchester

Recycle-a-bike, Stirling

Bicycology, UK wide

York Bike Rescue, York

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Merry Christmas,

we hope you are having a good winter break and don’t have to do much for a few more days. We will be back on Jan 6th, until then we are eating mince pies, drinking too much and fixing up bikes hoping for a cycle friendly spring.

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Winter closing

We will be closing for winter from Dec 13th till Jan 5th.  If you need the workshop come down before then or else…

We all live in Leeds and most of us aren’t going anywhere (well, not far) but we decided to have a break and put some more time into tidying the workshop, sorting out jobs.  If you’re interested in sorting through parts, labelling things, making signs etc. then your help would be much appreciated and we will reward you with refreshments! Please get in touch if you can lend a hand.

Enjoy the winter holiday!

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