Bicycle Network: Ride On magazine
In a shed in Newport, unwanted bikes go to be given a new lease on life
Noel Dyson learned how to fix a bicycle when he was racing bikes in the 1960s.
In those days he did it to save money: now he’s fixing bikes to save them from going to landfill.
The retired motor mechanic has a shed on his Newport property where second-hand bikes come to be repaired or prepared for scrap metal. He removes any useful components from bikes with major problems such as a bent frame, before sending them to the scrap yard.
|Noel, right, is training Richard Jamont, left, and Graeme Riley, middle, to help him repair bicycles. The green bicycle in this picture is a ladies Peugeot. Noel needs a tail light lens for it. Can anyone help?|
A considerable amount goes to scrap. It gets melted down into steel ingots and then re-used.
"Like old cars, it is melted down. It’s much better than going to landfill,” he said.
The most common problems with fixable bikes are tyres, chains and brake systems. Noel keeps a supply of components rescued from bikes going to scrap. He also has to buy parts from time to time.
"Some of the recycled bikes we hold over for purchase by donation (to pay for new parts),” he said.
Noel is President of the Hobsons Bay Bicycle User Group and the 100-odd members each make two or three visits to the shed per year to carry out minor repairs. Noel will help them if need be.
The Hobsons Bay council helped pay for some of the equipment when the shed was set up three years ago. Since then about 70 bikes have been donated to the HBBUG.
An estimated 18 bicycles have been donated to charity; five have been kept as 'Borrow Bikes' to be used by those who want to come on free HBBUG bicycle rides; six are yet to be donated; four were set aside for fundraising (purchase by reasonable donation); 19 bicycles are yet to be refurbished; and an estimated 18 bicycles were recycled to scrap metal.
The bulk of the donated bikes have gone to the youth housing charity, Latitude. Noel does not have much contact with the recipients of the bikes, but was touched when he received a letter of thanks from a young disadvantaged girl, Stephanie.
Each recycled bike is given a sticker.
"We place our Bike Shed sticker on the donated bicycle as part of our undertaking with the new owner of the bicycle, for them to bring the bicycle back if there is a problem,” said Noel.
"We also require that the recipients of these bicycles that are donated to charitable organisations, are provided the bicycle for free."
Noel can be contacted on 9399 1240.