A Brief History

Cycling to Norway

The Bristol Bike Project came into being in December of 2008 after founders James Lucas and Colin Fan (pictured above) envisaged the idea of a community bike project while on a cycling trip around Scandinavia. Through his time volunteering at Bristol Refugee Rights, James had come to recognise the importance for disadvantaged and marginalised people to be independently mobile in our city. For many of these people, public transport and car ownership were financially unobtainable and coupled with the ever increasing environmental impact of a city overly reliant on fossil fuels, the objective became clear: Help people get out on two wheels.

Posters were put up asking for unwanted bikes and within a few days we were inundated with donations. Over the subsequent months, our wrenching skills were put to the test as we endeavoured to get as many of these bikes out to deserving folk as possible. We quickly outgrew our somewhat basic workshops (An old horse stable on the outskirts of Bristol and a back garden in Montpelier, as pictured below.) In April 2009 we moved into our fantastic new digs as part of Hamilton House, a community art and social space located in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol.

early days pre-workshop.jpg

The project has evolved massively in the time since – We’ve expanded our workshop space, registered ourselves as a Community Interest Company and setup a trading arm in order to sustainably fund our charitable work.

We now work with an ever growing cross section of groups in Bristol, including those suffering from mental health problems, recovering from substance addiction as well as people in supported/sheltered housing. We partner with over 50 organisations in and around Bristol in order to ensure our services are available to those who need us most. We also offer other opportunities to get involved through volunteering, our weekly bike kitchen, women’s night and maintenance courses.

For more information on the work we do, get in touch.