From the Evening Express’ journalist Donna Cooper comes this awsome – unfortunately unpublished – feature about beCyCle (thank you Donna, that’s all really spot on!):
They say from acorns might oaks grow.
As seems to be the case with beCyCle, a free student bike lending service based in old Aberdeen.
BeCyCle was set up in September 2007 by fourth-year psychology student Hannah Kruger, and second-year anthropology student Daniel Grunfeld, whom both come from Germany, and attend Aberdeen University.
Daniel, 28, whom used to be a professional bike messenger, said: “Hannah’s interest was mainly from an environmental point of view, while my interest lies in cycling and bike maintenance. “
The concept behind beCyCle – apart from the convenience of being able to borrow a bike – is to encourage fitness and to help the environment out at the same time.
With the aid of several voluntary workers, beCyCle has multiplied over and over, and they now have over 90 bikes to choose from – which includes mountain, road and BMX bikes.
No mean feat considering it’s humble beginnings of only three bikes operating out of Hannah’s back garden.
Daniel goes on, “We basically gather orphaned bikes and fix them up. We also run a community-based workshop which offers tools, spare parts and help to anyone fixing or building their own bike.”
The free workshop extends beyond the student fraternity.
Indeed anyone with a bike problem, whether it’s a flat-tyre, adjusting brakes, or even fixing a broken chain, are welcome to go along and seek help.
And it seems Daniel and the other volunteers have even been picking up a few tips themselves.
“The workshop has been a learning curve for us too, and we have been offered solutions and handy tips from enthusiasts’ who pop in. “
As beCyCle continues to gather momentum, and the campus continues to see lecturers’ and the like parking beCyCle bikes in the bike sheds, there’s one thing everyone at campus is in total agreement about, beCyCle is a wheely good idea.
If you want to donate spare bike parts, be a volunteer, or can offer storage in the area, email Daniel at becycle.org.uk
On January the 22nd 2009, the following piece was published in the Evening Express’ news section: