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All you need to know about the Frome Community Bike Project

The Frome Community Bike Project <i>(Image: The Frome Community Bike Project)</i>
The Frome Community Bike Project (Image: The Frome Community Bike Project)

Frome’s got just the ticket to ride.

The sun is shining, the country lanes are awaiting exploration and you’ve made a plan to dust off your bicycle and take it for a leisurely spin around Mendip. However, on closer inspection, your tyres are flat, you’ve no idea where the pump is and you reluctantly shelve the idea and opt for a wander instead. But, hold up! If you are fortunate to live close to Frome then help is at hand in the guise of The Frome Community Bike Project.

Recently opened in town, this not for profit Community Interest Company exists to support and encourage Somerset residents to get back in the saddle and enjoy life on two wheels. They offer many services including a vital maintenance and repair service for all those bicycles which are owned by folk who aren’t too nifty with a spanner. In addition to this they have a strong team of volunteers who repair donated bikes and host Cycle Confidence classes as well as organising regular community bike rides around our quiet rural lanes and by-ways.

The Frome Community Bike Project exists to encourage and support the local community to cycle more for everyday journeys and in doing so, they also offer free e-bike loans for four weeks as part of the lottery funded ‘Cycle Together’ scheme. Their ethos is to improve physical and mental health whilst supporting Frome to reduce the town’s impact on climate change by reducing congestion and improving the air quality.

It all started with a group of volunteers hosting a ‘bike jumble sale’ to help raise funds for local charity, Frome’s Missing Links to support their work creating safe, traffic-free routes around Frome. The sale was so successful that it became an annual event with over 100 bicycles donated. Emma Parker, co-founder of the project said, ‘It was a great fundraiser but people wanted more, we sensed a need for help with changing a puncture, or regaining confidence when cycling in traffic, so we decided to make it a permanent offering and launched the Frome Community Bike Project.’ The wheels continued to turn with collaborations now being formed with the local schools and Frome college, whilst also offering volunteer placements for teenagers completing their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. ‘We receive emails everyday with people donating bikes to us for fix and sell on. All the proceeds go towards improving the infrastructure around Frome to make cycling a safer and more pleasant experience for all.’

If you’re a keen cyclist and wish to volunteer your bike knowledge to the Frome Community Bike Project, the team are always welcoming new faces to lend their expertise. Visitors arriving to Frome are also welcome to hire bicycles and explore this area of Somerset. Day hire rates start at £12 and bookings can be made by contacting the team hello@fromebikeproject.org

 



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