Breaking Cycles CIC aims to develop and maintain involvement in a range of community projects that support people in improving their lives through cycling. Please get in touch if you are interested in getting involved in any of our projects or if you would like our support with a project of your own..
Clitheroe Bike Library
Clitheroe Bike library is our longest standing project. It began with us purchasing 8 The Light Blue town bikes and providing cycle training for our first batch of library members. We have loaned bikes to people in need of transport for reasons ranging from; having their current bike stolen to avoiding public transport due to COVID during the first lockdown. We also lend bikes out to those who just want to have a go or re-connect with cycling. This project was funded by Connecting East Lancashire’s Access fund and supported by the local businesses who sponsored our baskets.
This project is well supported by the local cycling community and continues to provide opportunities for residents of the Ribble Valley who want to re-engage with cycling or have a go for the first time.
We are currently investigating funding sources to give us a more permanent home and expand upon the range of bikes we have to offer. We are particularly interested in acquiring some eBikes and children’s bikes.
On Yer Bike for Lent
With funding from Connecting East Lancashire’s Access fund, we installed bike racks and secure anchor points at 4 local churches with the aim of using the festival of Lent to encourage churchgoers and members of the wider community to give up their cars or take up cycling during lent. It is our aim to establish an annual Easter cycling event which will keep this project in perpetual motion.
Treading lightly upon the earth (Harwes Farm CIC)
Inspired by our commitment to cycling everywhere, no matter how hilly it is (eBikes!) Harwes Farm CIC commissioned us to provide some cycle training and a bike rack to encourage access to the farm, which is on top of a massive hill in Kelbrook, by bike. Although the electric car and ATV are generally favoured over bicycles, the smell of carbon emissions at Harwes Farm is very rare!
Riding with the Times (Harwes Farm CIC)
This project, funded by east Lancashire Clinical Commissioning group, explored the use of bikes to gain access to the therapeutic benefits of green spaces. The project was a huge success and something that we are keen to repeat or replicate in other areas.
The Road to Recovery
This project is based in Colne, at Elisha House Recovery Community. We have been developing cycling as part of the routine that supports people in recovery with adopting healthier lifestyles. Funding for this project has come from Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities fund and the Canal and River Trust. We also received some funding from Connecting East Lancashire’s Access fund, which provided us with Bikes, tools and secure anchor points to keep everything safely stored.
Initially, the project involved making sure that cycling, largely making use of local canal towpaths, became part of the routine at Elisha House. We then created a national qualifications framework linked ride leader course, which is certificated via the AQA unit award scheme. 8 members of Elisha house’s community have taken part in this course and gained the skills, experience and confidence that they need to lead their own rides. An unexpected outcome from this project was that some of the ride leaders have become involved in volunteering to provide holiday activities for young people who are at risk of becoming involved in substance misuse, addiction and anti-social behaviour! In addition to this, two of Elisha House’s ride leaders have had access to paid casual work using their new skills.
The final phase of this project is publishing a range of the routes we use, with easy to follow digital and printable guides, on our routes page. These will also link to the Canal and River trust’s activity map. We are also running a weekly ‘recovery ride’ which provides an opportunity for members of the public to engage with the regular outdoors activities taking place from Elisha House.
Once this project comes to completion, we would like to explore options to maintain and expand upon what we have created. We are exploring the possibility of creating a bike library to serve the Pendle area as well as looking for contributions and sponsorship to help us maintain the equipment we have acquired and continue to offer ride leader training to members of the community as it grows.
Pendle Holiday Activities
As part of Pendle Council’s ‘Fun Vibes, Active Lives’ Holiday activities and food programme, Breaking Cycles CIC, Elisha House CIC and Harwes Farm CIC collaborated to provide a range of activities for the most vulnerable young people in the Pendle area.
These young people are those who are at risk of becoming involved in antisocial behaviour, substance misuse and addiction. We used our local contacts and networking skills to gather referrals for the young people. These referrals came from professionals who were aware that these young people were not accessing other activities despite being in need of something positive to do. We provided activities, in small groups, for them. This was relatively successful, but we felt that, with more lead time, we would have been able to provide for more young people.
Chris Grimsley of NLP in the Northwest has made a significant in kind donation which has allowed us the freedom to extend our lead time and increased our capacity to begin discussions with referring professionals from January 2022. We cannot thank you enough for this Chris, your support may well be the difference that makes the difference for the development of this project!
We intend to run a holiday activities programme for young people aged 11 – 16 over the Easter and summer holidays in 2022 and hope to develop this into a self sustaining project that only requires minimal outside funding.
If this is something that you would be interested in helping us to develop, please get in touch and look out for our professional’s event in January 2022.
Edisford Cycle School
Breaking Cycles CIC and Edisford Primary school share an interest in making cycling part of the school’s curriculum.
We are initially exploring opportunities to develop a blue graded MTB trail on the school ground and create a small facility for teaching roadcraft from the safety of the school playground. We intend to achieve this by using volunteers and reparation work, which we plan to reward with education and certification that supports people on their path towards education and employment.
Ultimately, our aim for this project is to create a pump or BMX track on the school grounds that can be used during the school day and made available for the local community.
The school is already used, on a regular basis, as the HQ for road race events and we want to develop this to encompass a wider range of cycling activities. We are also hopeful that this will encourage pupils and staff to cycle to school and demonstrate the need for improved infrastructure around Clitheroe and in other Ribble Valley towns.
Working with the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership, we are exploring the possibility of exploring the Pendle Hill Landscape by bike!
This will initially involve a lot of investigation into the legalities of land access, the impact that mountain biking and Gravel Cycling has upon existing rights of way and where people are already riding.
We are hoping that this project will result in creating a guide for cyclists that communicates the best places to ride in the Pendle Hill Landscape.
Bowland Cycling Festival
The Ribble Valley Cycling Development group is exploring the creation of a cycling festival that celebrates what the Forest of Bowland AONB has to offer. Our aim is to do this by encouraging Clubs, Companies and public sector organisations to run a range of stand alone events around the same weekend in June.
If you would like to contribute to this festival, you can apply to join the RVCDG here.
We are looking to launch an official website and social media pages in January 2022, information about this will be shared on social media by Breaking Cycles CIC, The Greeen Jersey, Hellicliffes MTB Park, Six Connections, Gosh Art and other organisations involved in the development of the festival.