Free bikes on offer at cycling festival

ON THEIR BIKES: The Mayor of Kirklees, Coun Eric Firth opened the Mirfield cycling festival at Mirfield free Grammar on Tuesday. (d23081159)
ON THEIR BIKES: The Mayor of Kirklees, Coun Eric Firth opened the Mirfield cycling festival at Mirfield free Grammar on Tuesday. (d23081159)
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GET on your bike! That was the message to children on Tuesday.

Community organisation Streetbikes ran the Streetbikes Cycling Festival at Mirfield Free Grammar to get young people involved in cycling.

Two groups of children cycled from Dewsbury Moor and Fartown in Huddersfield along the greenway to Mirfield.

Around 50 children attended, and 20 were lucky enough to win a recycled bike in a raffle.

Prizes were also given to recognise the achievements of individual cyclists, such as improvements in behaviour or cycling ability.

Streetbikes was founded in February this year as part of the Kirklees Bicycle User’s Group.

Group co-chair Gill Greaves used her contacts with community workers across Kirklees to set up workshops to teach people of all ages how to cycle, look after their bikes and stay safe.

With money from Kirklees Council, Streetbikes has hosted 12 events across the area during the summer.

It has given the organisation’s group of 12 volunteers the chance to pass on skills and bring together young people from different communities.

Ms Greaves said: “Everywhere we have been the kids have absolutely loved what we have been doing and it has made a difference to community safety in some places.

“It’s a project that should be sustained.”

Over the summer, Streetbikes has given away 150 recycled bikes to people who might need them for work or apprenticeships, to people with learning difficulties and people who might not be able to afford them.

Bikes have also been given to older people and pensioners who have not cycled for many years.

The bikes are donated to Streetbikes, or else perfectly good bikes have been found abandoned in rubbish tips and made safe by the group.

Tuesday’s festival was opened by the Mayor of Kirklees Coun Eric Firth and was attended by cycling enthusiast Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield).

Coun Bolt said: “I was really impressed with the work that Streetbikes have done in bringing all of these people together.

“Using bikes recovered from lost property they are giving young people access to skills.”

Streetbikes is hoping to run more schemes during the next school half term and will be supporting Coun Firth on a charity bike ride on the Spen Valley greenway in March.