‘Bespoke Be Heard’ Cycle Scheme

Clarendon school has been running a bicycle maintenance scheme since September 2010, teaching young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN), to refurbish second hand bikes. One hundred percent of profits from the resale of these bikes are reinvested into providing additional opportunities for young people with SEN. Students gain an AQA Unit Award in Cycle Mechanics as part of their experience.

Earlier this year they beat 58 applicants to win the borough’s ‘Richmond’s Den’ competition for social enterprises. Now they have been nominated for The Richmond Business Awards and we’re encouraging everyone to take 2 minutes to show their support to this very worthy enterprise.

Here’s how you can register your support for ‘Bespoke Be Heard’, but be quick, the deadline is Friday 20 September:

  • Go to http://www.richmondbusinessawards.com/nominate/
  • Look for the ‘The People’s Choice’ Box (in red on the left side of the page) and fill in:
    • Company Name: ‘Bespoke Be Heard’
    • Enter your email address (just to stop multiple entries!)
    • Category: ‘Best Charity or Social Enterprise’
    • Click on ‘Vote’

Better by Bike – Hiring a Bicycle

If you are visiting the borough as a tourist, or if you have friends come to stay, what better way to see the borough than by bicycle. As part of our Better by Bike series we’ve collated a list of places where you can hire a bicycle in the borough. Get in touch via our Contact Form if you know of somewhere that we’ve missed.

Action Bikes, Sheen and Whitton
Two stores in the borough, East Sheen (Map Link) and Whitton (Map Link)
Website - https://www.actionbikes.co.uk/hire-bikes/

They have hybrids and Bromptons for hire. They also have road bikes, useful if you want to do some laps of Richmond Park or further afield. The hire bikes are kept at Victoria, but with prior notice they can get them to their Sheen or Whitton shops.

Blazing Saddles, Richmond
Next to Richmond Bridge – (Map Link)
Website - http://blazingsaddlesbikehire.com

They have front suspension mountain bikes in a range of sizes

Park Cycle, Richmond Park

Located at the Roehampton Gate car park (Map Link)
Website - http://www.parkcycle.co.uk/

As well as adult trail bikes they also have children’s bikes, children’s trailers and tag-alongs for very small children and baby seats (which attach to the adult bikes). They even have tandems for hire if you fancy a try. If you fancy emulating Bradley Wiggins, they have road bikes as well.

Richmond Cycles, East Twickenham
Next to Richmond Bridge – (Map Link)
Website - http://www.richmond-cycles.com/content/cycle_hire_in_richmond.php

They have mountain bikes (29ers, so an opportunity to try the different wheel size) and hybrid bikes for hire.

Richmond Station Cycle Hire
Located within Richmond railway station, on the lower (platform) level – (Map Link)
Website - http://richmondcyclecentre.co.uk/

They have a selection of hybrids as well as Bromptons available to hire, useful if you want to try one before you buy.

For some inspiration on routes to try beyond the well ridden trails of Richmond Park and along the Thames, have a look at our list of over 90 routes to try out.

There is also information available on the council’s tourism site.

Better by Bike – The Merry Pedaller

Our ‘Better by Bike’ series, allows us to share stories of local residents and their experiences on their bikes. This week, life long Twickenham resident Ginnette shares the story of what motivated her to set up a local bike tour company, Merry Pedaller Bike Tours, and her experiences along the way. You can find her website here.

If you’d like the opportunity of a guest spot on our website to write about anything local and cycling related, do get in touch.

Ever felt like you were in the wrong job and not getting job satisfaction? Well this is how I felt having been an electrician for 14 years – I felt I needed something else. After leaving the UK frankly pretty miffed with the country and its weather, I went and travelled for 6 months through some amazing places. However on my return I felt there was no place like home. Having lived in Twickenham all my life I realised what an amazing place I lived in and ok the weather was rubbish but actually we never get extremes like tornadoes, earthquakes, mud slides and intolerable heat waves – thankfully! Continue reading

Better by Bike – Local Borough Markets

Since cycling and good food go together, we’ve compiled this list of local markets across our borough along with details of when they’re held as part of our Better by Bike series. Supporting your local market is a real way to return money into your community and what better way to get there than by bike. Many markets already recognise the value of their customers who come by bike, since both cyclists and pedestrians spend more when shopping locally than those who come by car. Get in touch via our Contact Form if you know of somewhere in the borough that we’ve missed.

Barnes Farmers’ Market
Location – Essex House Surgery (Opposite Duck Pond), Station Road, Barnes (Map Link)
Held – Every Saturday, 10am to 2pm
Website - http://www.barnesfarmersmarket.co.uk

Kew Village Community Market
Location – Station Parade, next to Kew Gardens Tube Station (Map Link)
Held – First Sunday of the month, 10am to 2pm
Website - http://www.kewvillagemarket.org/
Twitter - http://twitter.com/KewMarket

Richmond Artisan Market
Location – Heron Square, Richmond Riverside (Map Link)
Held – Every Sunday, 10:30am to 3:30pm
Website - http://www.duckpondmarket.co.uk/Duck_Pond_Market/Richmond_Artisan_Market.html

Twickenham Farmers’ Market
Location – Holly Road Car Park, Twickenham (Map Link)
Held – Every Saturday, 9am to 1pm
Website - http://www.lfm.org.uk/markets/twickenham
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/TwickenhamFarmersMarket

Whitton Community Market
Location –  Whitton High Street (Map Link)
Held – Last Sunday of the month, times vary, see website
Website - http://www.whittontowncentre.co.uk

Better by Bike – Buying Second Hand

We’re asked often about where locally you can buy used bicycles. So as part of our Better by Bike series we’ve collated a list of places we’re aware of in no particular order. LCC have produced some advice on buying a second hand bicycle. Get in touch via our Contact Form if you know of somewhere in the borough that we’ve missed.

Barnes Fair
St Mary’s Church, in Church Road, Barnes, collects and offers for sale 2nd hand cycles at Barnes Fair, held on Barnes Common in July annually.
Website - http://www.barnesfair.com/

Richmond Freecycle
Try posting a “Wanted” on the Richmond Freecycle Yahoo Group or watch out for those offering bikes.
Sign up for the group here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/richmonduponthamesrecycle/

Burt’s Cycles, Hampton Hill
77-79 High Street, Hampton Hill, TW12 1NH – Map Link
Website - http://www.burtscycles.co.uk/

Palmers Of Teddington
109 Stanley Road, Teddington, TW11 8UB – Map Link
Website - http://www.londononline.co.uk/profiles/123388/

Kingston Eco Co-Op
(Also collect unwanted bicycles for recycling)
Unit 5, Adams House, Dickerage Lane, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 3SF – Map Link
Website - http://www.kingstoneco-op.org.uk/what-we-do/bike-recycling

Recycles Bike Shop, Surbiton
151 Brighton Road, Town Centre, Surbiton KT6 5NW – Map Link
Website - http://www.recyclesbikeshop.co.uk/

Better by Bike – Turning Old into New

Recycling Unwanted Bikes and Bits
Perhaps you’ve just got a new bike and you’ve no room for the old one. Or maybe you’ve a few unused bikes lying around your garden shed. Rather than throw them in the skip, here are some places where you can recycle your bicycle as part of our Better by Bike series:

Action Bikes and Re~Cycle

Action Bikes collects any unwanted bicycles and parts,  including punctured inner tubes & tools, which are then loaded onto a container and dispatched to Africa by the charity Re~Cycle. They have some great photos of them in action on their Facebook page. Anyone can just bring what they have to any Action Bikes shop, including Whitton or East Sheen during opening hours and they will do the rest. Further details of what can be donated on the Re~Cycle webpage and this video shows the impact of their work.

Kingston Eco-op Bike Recycling Project

Kingston Eco-op is a social enterprise for Kingston upon Thames which offers employment skills and training for disabled people and those at risk of social exclusion. As part of this, they collect unwanted bicycles for use by the bike recycling project. You can bring your unwanted bike along to their premises (which are open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tues – Fri or by appointment):

Unit 5, Adams House, Dickerage Lane, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 3SF – Map Link

More details on their website and they also have a Facebook page where you can find details about the ‘Bikes & Bits’ sales they have from time to time.

Better by Bike – Cycling on Film

Our ‘Better by Bike’ series, allows us to share stories of local residents and their experiences on their bikes. This week, Teddington resident Mathieu shares his personal experiences of cycling with a helmet camera along with a selection of his videos. Mathieu’s experiences on film have been used to good effect to capture the current problems with Hammersmith Bridge. You can check out his blog here.

If you’d like the opportunity of a guest spot on our website to write about anything local and cycling related, do get in touch.

Why do I ride with a helmet cam? I’ve been asked this question a few times, and yet I never give the same answer. So allow me to explain it fully. I didn’t buy my camera with the initial intention of filming my commutes, but more to film rides in the mountains with my club.

It however became apparent that I could put that little camera to other uses.

Continue reading

Better by Bike – Cycling while pregnant

We’re always keen to promote cycling as means to make our borough a nicer place, by reducing congestion and pollution and making us all that little bit healthier. To help do this, as part of our ‘Better by Bike’ series, we’re sharing stories of local residents and their experiences.

This week, Mortlake resident Sarah Blackburn shares her personal experiences of cycling while pregnant, in an article she originally produced for our friends at Richmond NCT, the Richmond branch of the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) which covers Richmond, Barnes, Kew, East Sheen, Mortlake and Ham. As well as organising antenatal classes, they also provide post natal support to new mums and dads – check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

If you’d like the opportunity of a guest spot on our website to write about anything local and cycling related, do get in touch.

The 'Mummy' Bike

I’m a keen cyclist, although having cycled and mountain biked as a teenager growing up in Yorkshire, at first I thought those who cycled in London a bit mad. But after living here for a couple of years, I gradually progressed from cycling short distances near home and my longer commute on light summer evenings to a stage where I would cycle daily the 8 miles each way to and from central London on busy roads without being phased or feeling unsafe: I knew how to spot traffic and how to make myself visible (bright clothes, good lights, position on the road).

So when I became pregnant I didn’t feel like I should give up cycling. Continue reading

Better by Bike – Cycling with Young Children

Here in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, there’s great potential to make more journeys by bike or on foot, reducing congestion, making us all that bit healthier and generally making the borough an even nicer place to live in.

This week Richmond resident Tim Lennon shares his personal experiences of cycling with his young family around the borough as part of our Better by Bike series.

If you’d like a guest spot on our website to write about anything local and cycling related, do get in touch.

Doing the school run in style

If I want my eldest daughter to do something with me, the surest way to make sure she says ‘yes’ is to ask: “Do you want to go to [wherever] with Daddy, on the bike?” With her sitting behind me we can have a conversation, point things out, stop when we want to, and enjoy the scenery – and the journey – together. (“Daddy, the fire engine’s there! Let’s watch!”) She’s even happy to sit at the barber’s while I get my hair cut if we go there on the bike.

Continue reading