Paul Simpson of St. Wilfrid’s Lodge No.8350 who is also the secretary of local cycling club, Kibworth Easy Riders, has helped to put smiles on the faces of seventy children this Christmas, all thanks to the overwhelming response of club members and the general public to its Christmas Recycled Cycles appeal.
The concept was simple, to appeal for donations of unwanted bicycles that were in reasonable condition but sitting unused in garages and sheds across the Harborough District. The skills of the clubs' members would then be put to the test in cleaning them and making them roadworthy, before gifting them as Christmas presents to children who otherwise wouldn’t be able to own their own bike.
The appeal was the brainchild of Keith Low and Sarah Young who, back at the start of November, when restrictions meant only riding bikes in pairs, were enjoying a break outside the village stores in Great Easton, mulled over ideas about what the club could do within its local communities – the Christmas Recycled Cycles idea was born.
Their original vision was to generate enough interest to have 10-15 bikes to give away as presents – in the end, they collected over one hundred bikes, from balance bikes for toddlers to bikes for teenagers and every size in between! Many members of the club then gave their time, skills and expertise to get them ready for Christmas.
Just six weeks after the idea was sparked, the Easy Riders have now delivered seventy bikes across South Leicestershire. “We know that 2020 has been a year when many have taken up cycling, but realise that for some it’s just not possible to do so, because bikes cost money that they simply don’t have. Who knows, the youngsters who’ve been gifted bikes this Christmas might get the cycling bug and be future members of our club,” said Sarah.
Pictured left to right: Keith Low, Paul Simpson of St. Wilfrid's Lodge, Sarah Young, and some of the bikes gifted to youngsters this Christmas.