It is not going to work.
We could bore you with endless statistics. We could then proceed with some numbers and facts. And then possibly some case studies. We could follow it with an endless list of people and projects we helped. Or just quote the feedback we received. We could complain about the long hours. Or shout about the impact we have made on some folk’s lives. But we will not…
David woke up one day with a dream; call it a vision. A dream that not many understood and certainly not many believed in. He then persevered to make it come true. The Bikes College has started on that day; a small idea that took over David’s life. He has heard it all: ‘it is not going to work‘ followed by ‘are you mad‘ and often accompanied by ‘are you kidding me‘… Now to save you from a lot of jargon and boring detail let us fast forward to April 2017. Today is the 1st anniversary of the TBC shop opening on Copley Hill in Leeds. It has been 12 months which is 52 weeks which is 365 days which is 8760 hours of David’s life committed to something that according to many others had no chance of existing. This is history; still in making.
We have turned over almost 2000 bikes. Yes that is two thousand bikes since we opened our doors; that is on average 39 bicycles every week. We sold some to ensure that we can do what we do with absolutely no financial support from anyone- we still do not receive funding, we still do not ask for grants, we still do not rely on donations. We dismantled some of the above to ensure that our spare parts room is full of shiny bits to make your bikes run smooth. We gave some to different projects in Leeds and beyond to ensure that they can do even more. We also gave some away to ensure that anyone can get a bike without the need to ask for one should they feel no need to do so. And every time we created non salvageable ferrous waste we gave it away to the local small businesses free of charge to ensure that our rubbish can become someone else’s treasure. That is how we started after all…
The journey that you have witnessed is just a beginning and we will grow bigger and bigger; we promise! But we recognise and appreciate some help and support without which David’s dream would have never materialised. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Amelia D.- thank you for joining TBC and thank you for reminding David what is important at the most crucial moments
- Janice F.- thank your for this life changing chat and a cup of Earl Grey in the middle of Bramley a few years ago, and for bringing Ed W. too
- Ed W.- thank you for bringing ideas together and brain storming them to explain the bigger picture
- Kev and Sylvie- thank you for the inspiration and the positive vibes that transformed some dark energy into something so powerful that it still surprises David even after all these years
- everyone at The Bristol Bike Project- we salute you guys for you have laid the foundations for TBC
- Nick from The Bristol Pedal Revolution- thank you for the endless chitchat and the wacky ideas
- Harvey from The Bike Bunker- thank you for showing David what is important in life
- the Leeds City Council- thank you for everything for without you guys this would have never flourished as much
- Roger F.- thank you for your help and support, and for your invaluable advice
- John P.- thank you for your help and support (and all these contacts you have)
- The Pedallers’ Arms- thank you for opening a few doors that have led to the conception of TBC
- Bike Mill- thank you for supporting the same cause and making Leeds the cycling capital of the North
- Tom and Edna M.- for pointing out how unique David’s idea was
- Ruth D.- thank you for bringing ideas together and painting even bigger picture
- Marek S.- for invaluable bespoke business advice
- Raitis- thank you for keeping the fleet running
- Conor W.- thank you for another point of view and invaluable advice
- Pip B.- thank you for everything (period)
…this is just a beginning!