Cycletastic is a voluntary community project managed and supported by local people who aim to broaden access to cycling. The project was started in 2006 by Josie Warshaw, and originally operated from a disused theatre scenery dock belonging to the then Mecca owned Kilburn State Bingo Hall.
The project has evolved over the years; providing basic bike maintenance sessions – that focus on educating local people of all ages to maintain their own bikes – whilst providing a mainstay bike repair facility and assistance to people of all ages and backgrounds, including low incomes and other varying hardships. Through effective engagement with local people the project has enjoyed support from Brent Council and the local Police service.
The bike shed at Streatley Road NW6, was installed in April 2010 and operated for a series of Summers’ as an outdoor drop-in bike maintenance facility with a permanent volunteer base. From the shed 100’s of new and regular local cyclists visited to receive a cost effective solution to keep their bikes rolling and essential advise to stay safe on the road and avoid bike theft.
In November 2014 an exciting new opportunity arose to take over a vacant shop unit at Willesden Green. Finally having some additional space, and most importantly a roof over our heads long- term, shed volunteer Haroon Hanafi now manages the pop up shop at Queens Parade on Willesden Lane taking a salary from bike repair servicing.
The shop provides a venue to train 3 young people in bike maintenance, customer service and business management and aims to help fund trainees to become bike industry accredited. The shop space continues to be assisted and co-ordinated by volunteers, offering affordable low cost second-hand bikes and parts and a tool resource that is accessible to all. Qualified bike mechanics offer repairs and bike servicing to local bike owners.
It is the overarching aim of the project that Cycletastic encourages local residents to start cycling, become confident on the road, discover simple maintenance techniques to keep their bikes on the road and enjoy all the benefits of cycling as a low cost solution to transport requirements and leisure time fun.
To continue sustainability of the project and assist with shop overheads, Cycletastic gratefully receives donated bicycles that have fallen out of use. Our trainees and volunteers recondition them so that they can be sold in the shop with the bonus of learning maintenance skills in the process.
In 2015 the Cycletastic Community Shop offers a drop in repair facility and regular learning workshops, bike trailer hire and bike smoothie machine hire. Please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org
Josie Warshaw – Project founder and project lead.
Haroon Hanafi – A key product of the project that shows exactly how we work. Cycletastic supported Haroon through his professional accreditation (Cyctech) qualification and gave him the perfect arena to develop the skills he learned. A resourceful cycle mechanic Haroon now manages the community bike shop and trains service vistors, workshop attendees and aspiring trainee bike mechanics. Haroon works 5 days per week and drws a wage from servicing bikes.
Richard Thompson– A recent addition to the team assisting Haroon in the shop and now a fully trained Cyctech accredited mechanic.
Chris Bissell – Mainstay volunteer for 6+ years Chris brought his key skills from the cycle retail trade to the project and encouraged further development opportunities within the project. A regular at the bike shed and our Dr Bike events and always the fountain of knowledge for those tricky fixes. Owing to time constraints Chris now has limited contact with the project but helps with IT problem solving.
Other key people that have assisted us; Rob Flynn, Motti, Noreddine Belka, Alistair Lambert, Malcolm Bush , Robert L, Ellis Philips, Sarah S, Lloyd Fothergill, Elizabeth Morley, George Allawi, Robert G, Helen D, Michael Caroe Anderson, Toni Blake, Virginia Cleugh, Nic Clerke, Gareth Brennan, Paul Brown, Rowena Kaszubowski, Nicholas Grillo, Michael Stuart , John Mcgee, Eddie Murphy, Charlie Fernandes, Haroon El Sawah, Ranju Banerjee, Vanessa Kavanagh and so so many more.