Middlesbrough recently became host to a new type of library aimed at encouraging access to bicycles in the local area.
Bike Libraries are a scheme which aim to give all children access to bicycles regardless of their circumstances.
The scheme aims to recycle and reuse unwanted bikes to enable people, who don’t have the means to buy a bike, to appreciate the simple pleasures of owning one and going on rides.
The most recent Library is located in Middlesbrough bus station.
It came from the idea for Bike Libraries when the Grand Depart visited our region, inspiring the idea to get as many people as possible on bikes,.
Bikes are donated at drop off points, where they are stored and repaired for use before being distributed across the Bike Library network.
These donation points can be local shops or businesses which don’t necessarily have the means to be a library but have volunteered and want to be part of the scheme.
Not only does the scheme offer the chance to borrow a bike but it is also a great way to learn a new skill and for students at Teesside University to volunteer to help.
The libraries need support and help with the maintenance of bikes as well as led bike rides and other activities.
The libraries are currently being set up all over the region, after being a starting place in the 2016 Tour De Yorkshire, Middlesbrough applied for a Bike Library.
Ama Butler, Special Projects Assistant for Tour Yorkshire, said: “I’ve been lucky enough to visit a lot of the Libraries and see the good work they are doing.”
“All of our Libraries are so different, the range of activities and options for adults and children borrowing bikes is really impressive.
“With our next round of Libraries launching soon, there will be nearly 50 places across the region where people can borrow and ride bikes for free. I’m very proud that I get to be involved in something so special.”
Funded by Yorkshire Bank and backed by Cycle Yorkshire, the scheme is now reaching adults as well as children and is also offering led rides for those borrowing a bike.
The Libraries aim to increase in numbers with interest being shown in the idea from various regions.
There are currently 33 Libraries all over Yorkshire, with plans for the next round of Libraries launching soon, there will be nearly 50 places across the region where people can borrow and ride bikes for free.
Although the idea is currently concentrated in Yorkshire and the North the scheme is set to travel further with big plans from those at Tour Yorkshire.
Ama said: “I think if other parts of the UK and world wanted to set up similar projects, a lot of people in a lot of places would benefit from them.”
“Today Yorkshire, tomorrow, the world.”
If you would like to get involved and help the Bike Libraries you can volunteer as well as being able to donate any old bikes at your nearest Donation Station.
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