Although there are some bikes on the fancy end of the two-wheeled scale among the racks, Pedallers’ Arms sees a lot of people come down who otherwise might have had to give up on their bicycle because they didn’t have the money or the know-how. For a lot of the people who come through the doors, pedal power is their only way of getting around.
Amanda explains that it’s for this reason they are as inclusive as possible. Memberships for the year range between £15-£25 or donations can be made, depending on what’s affordable. Understanding that in some circumstances even this cost is out of someone’s budget, Pedallars’ Arms are still willing to help where they can.
“We don’t turn people away because they don’t have any money. We get a lot of people who for whatever reason can’t afford to contribute, which is fine,” says Amanda. “With second hand parts there is a bit of leeway. If someone comes in and their bike is knackered and there is a part that would fix it, it’s up to the discretion of whoever is on shift whether to just give them it.”
This hunger to help people to maintain their own bikes for zero profit partly comes from a passion to see more cyclists on the roads. Although Amanda has noticed numbers increasing, there is an underlying feeling that despite having been a push to get people riding, especially after the Tour De France, more could be done to encourage nervous riders.
“Often a lot of people don’t want to ride on the roads and ride with cars. The council are trying but it’s all about winning over the council because at the moment they won’t reallocate road space, they don’t want to cut down on car capacity. However, until you do that you can’t put in the infrastructure that bikers need. It’s a tricky one.”