Lockdown Bike Fixes

Meet Ruddington resident Julian Bentley!

He is a self-employed maths tutor who, like many others, watched his normal workload drop away during ‘lockdown’ although continued to offer some Maths tutoring by video. Meantime, as lockdown began, Julian noticed a lot of new bicycle riders in and around the village – many of whom were having difficulties such as saddles set too low, insufficiently inflated tyres and so on.

“I knew from spending three years as a cycle Instructor that a lot of new riders would have a knowledge gap around cycling matters, such as not knowing how to fix a puncture or correct defective brakes” says Julian. “So, having a bit of knowledge and experience from volunteering for other bicycle projects in Nottingham, I decided to offer free lockdown bicycle checks and fixes (socially distanced, of course). After posting on Facebook, I found the demand for my services was very strong!”

That, and additional publicity received via RUDDINGTON.info, mean that since the first Saturday morning session on June 6th Julian has so far met 31 local bicycle riders, worked on 34 bikes and done approximately 80 fixes.

“I’ve been surprised by the unsafe state of some of the bicycles people brought in – especially children’s bikes” he continues. “Even when relatively new, the cheaper ones are supplied with very low quality components that quickly fail. Most people have seemed pleased with the service, but were surprised when I didn’t charge them. All I asked in return was for them to sign my petition, ‘Bring Back Rural Rides.’” (‘Rural Rides’ was a popular guided bicycle rides program which was axed following Nottinghamshire County Council funding cuts back in 2011.)

He adds: “A common issue for most people is not having the saddle high enough (this causes knee strain and makes riding harder) – so that made for some satisfying and easy fixes. Overall, I’ve had a great response from people in the village and it was very rewarding to help them out with their neglected bicycles!”

Julian has promised more free bike fixing sessions this month. Please keep an eye on RUDDINGTON.info social media or checking out our Events Calendar >>HERE<< for the next one.

{Article courtesy of Ruddington Parish Council. PHOTOS: Peter McConnochie @urbanscot}

You can read more about “Bring Back Rural Rides” and find Julian’s petition >>HERE<<

Related posts