Bike Kitchen offers workshops in Sheffield

John Cotton, mechanic at The Bike Kitchen
John Cotton, mechanic at The Bike Kitchen
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Sheffield, the Steel City?

Pfft, soo last century. It seems in 2014 a better moniker might be Sheffield, the Push Iron City.

Cycling is all the rage in South Yorkshire right now - from the Tour De France which passes through the region in June to the UK-wide Space For Cycles conference which is being held here at the weekend.

Now, a team of keen bikers are telling Sheffielders if you (like them) can’t stand the heat of the car, get into the kitchen. The Bike Kitchen.

That’s the name of a thrice-weekly workshop - one of the first of its kind in the north - in which qualified mechanics will be on hand to help two wheel beginners repair and maintain their vehicles themselves.

The drop-in service - costing a nominal £4 per biker and held in Attercliffe - will see experts offer up their knowledge and their tools so novices can learn how to fix up everything from a puncture to a loose chain. It is being co-ordinated by Heeley-based social enterprise Recyle Bikes, which has delt second hand cycles since 1996.

“The demand for something like this has rocketed over the past year or so,” says Angela Walker, project co-ordinator. “More and more people than ever are cycling and that means more people wanting to learn how to carry out safe repairs themselves rather than paying someone else to do it. That’s where these workshops come in. There’s one in Manchester - which is where we got the idea from - and there are others poppping up in other cities.”

One of the experts on hand will be mechanic Karlos Bingham

“There are plenty of bike shops in Sheffield who will mend your bike for you,” he says. “We’re different in that we’re here to provide the space and support so you can do the work yourself. Cyclists can use the ‘Bike Kitchen’ as their maintenance support service - there’ll always a Cytech-qualified mechanic around to advice.

“We see it as ‘Do-It-Together’ rather than ‘Do-It-Yourself’ service.”

The scheme has run as a limited pilot since October but, from tonight, will now be open to everyone.

Takes place at 6 Princess Street, Attercliffe. Runs Tuesday and Thursday 4-8pm, and Saturday 1.30-5.30pm, and is open to anyone over the age of 18.

Places can be booked on 0114 399 1100 or just drop in.