Shetland Community Bike Project

The bike project was set up for use by the whole community, it is coordinated by Caroline Adamson, and while providing a great service for the community it also offers valuable experience to people with significant barriers to employment.  Many of those working there have come through Job Centre Plus or Shetland’s Employability Pathway, some may have accessed the project themselves. Barriers to employment can include not having worked for some time, never having worked, problems with drugs or alcohol, mental health problems, and many more – anything that might make it more difficult to get into or keep work.

The bike project has a number of roles, revolving around its base on Commercial Road. They renovate, repair and sell bicycles, provide cycle maintenance and repair classes to School Groups and Youth Clubs, and teach proficiency training to groups to encourage road safety.

The bike project is passionate about cycling and helping people to get active. Cycling is a very energy-efficient form of travel, it is good fun and good exercise for all ages. It doesn’t take long to build up your confidence on a bike – though it might take some practice if you haven’t cycled for many years.

 In our community each year many bicycles are put to the tip or left out in the weather to rust. We collect and are given many bikes of all sizes and ages which we rebuild or dismantle for parts. These are then sold to raise funds for the continuation of the project, giving people access to cheap, quality bikes.

Cycling is great fun – but it is important to stay safe, here are some tips from the “THINK!” road safety campaign, for cyclists and drivers:

THINK! advice for when you're cycling:

  1. Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you
  2. Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
  3. Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
  4. Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility
  5. Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights
  6. THINK! recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations

THINK! advice for when you're driving:

  1. Look out for cyclists, especially when turning - make eye contact if possible so they know you’ve seen them
  2. Use your indicators - signal your intentions so that cyclists can react
  3. Give cyclists plenty of space when over taking them, leaving as much room as you would give a car. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened
  4. Always check for cyclists when you open your car door
  5. Advanced stop lines allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility. You must stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows
  6. Follow the Highway Code including ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights