Student co-op the Green Bike Project has raised £3,000 with a 135-mile bike ride from London to Birmingham. Funds raised by the 38 cyclists who completed the challenge will go towards Birmingham charity Cyclists Fighting Cancer and expansion of the Green Bike Project’s workshop at Birmingham University.
The ride, which took up to 19 hours for some participants, began in the centre of London at Big Ben, where the cyclists split into four groups. The route took them out through west London and Buckinghamshire and on a slight detour to a community cafe in Northamptonshire.
Many hours and punctures later, they began arriving in Birmingham, with the first group completing the challenge at around 10.45pm and the last, very exhausted group arriving at 2.50am.
Sean Farmelo of the Green Bike Project said: “All in all, participants enjoyed the day. It was a good chance for members of the university’s cycling club to try a longer distance, and also a good opportunity for a wide variety of members of the Green Bike Project to get to know each other.”
The Green Bike Project, a community-led bicycle maintenance workshop and co-op, was set up by Birmingham University students in 2013 to provide a place for locals to work on their bikes, recycle donated bikes and get involved in the cycling community. The first student co-op of its kind in the UK, it is democratically run and a member of its local trade body, Co-operatives West Midlands.
Mr Farmelo added: “There’s a strong focus on education and, unlike a conventional bike shop, the Green Bike Project does not offer repairs. Instead members are encouraged to learn bicycle maintenance themselves, and volunteers are on hand to help them if they get stuck as opposed to doing the whole job for them.”
Training on routine maintenance is also offered by the workshop, which is open three days a week during term time.