Bike afterlife: make a difference by trading in your old banger

Destination unknown? How parting with you old bike can change lives

Ever wondered what happens to the old bikes you forsake in favour of a bit of cash against a fresh new ride? We did, so we headed to Evans Cycles HQ to find out.

Trading in an old bike can be a heartbreaking experience – even if you’re swapping it for a new machine that sparkles with boxfresh potential. The good news is that with Evans’ trade-in offer, you can let your once-loved steed go with the comfort of knowing it’ll help someone else out.

That could be though providing a new form of transport to families in Africa, getting primary school children into cycling or simply giving new jobs for those trained, or being trained, in the art of bicycle mechanics.

Everything from old mtbs and kids' bikes to choppers and rusty racers:
Everything from old mtbs and kids' bikes to choppers and rusty racers:
A mountain of old bikes is scoured for refurbishment potential then loaded on a truck for delivery to charities around the UK

The bikes that are traded in are stored in Evans Cycles warehouses around the country and then shipped out to worthy causes. Now in its fourth year, nearly 5,000 old bangers have been traded in – totalling a value to customers of £174,000. For 2015, 11 different charities are benefiting from you turning over a loved riding companion, or neglected shed dweller.

These include community bike workshops, initiatives offering opportunities for youngsters outside mainstream education to learn workshop skills, and training for those from disadvantaged groups.

One such charity is the Bristol Bike Project. Based in BikeRadar UK’s hometown, the charity is a workers’ cooperative that repairs and relocates unwanted bicycles. The project works with an ever-growing cross-section of underprivileged and marginalised groups in Bristol, including those within the mental health sector, homeless people, recovering substance abusers and youth groups – enriching lives with the offer of accessible, affordable and sustainable transportation.

Another group making the best possible use of your cycling cast-offs is Gloucestershire Bike Project.

Project co-ordinator, Maureen Parker, says: “We run a range of workshops where vulnerable young people and adults are offered the chance to come and refurbish a bike to keep and use to get around."

Gloucestershire bike project is one of the community bike workshops that thrives on trade-in bikes:
Gloucestershire bike project is one of the community bike workshops that thrives on trade-in bikes:
Gloucestershire Bike Project is one of the worthy causes your old bikes go to help

“It is surprising how many young people don’t have access to a bike," continues Parker. "We work with young people from quite deprived areas and many of them come from difficult backgrounds. They often struggle in school, and as a consequence have pretty low self-esteem.

“To watch them thrive learning the practical skills of bike maintenance and repair is amazing. They get really into their bikes and take a great deal of pride in their workmanship.”

So, there you go, there’s life in your old bikes yet.

The trade-in offer is available until 2 June – with between £20 and £500 off your new bike depending on its price (not the worth of your old one).

Find out more at the Evans website.

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