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How ReBicycle started

After several years of teaching cycle skills around the Wellington region, it was clear to ReBicycle founders Mike and Hilleke Townsend that many kids didn’t have access to good usable bikes. Then a Facebook post prompted Hilleke into action. A steady stream of former refugees would be arriving in the Wellington region. These people often arrived with nothing, and it could be years before they would be able to drive or afford to run a car. She came across an Auckland initiative, Recycling Bicycles for Refugees, which put it simply;

“Bikes are a great way of preventing isolation and keeping the community in touch with each other. When you arrive here with everything you own in a small suitcase a bicycle is very valuable in many ways.”

So, after a night of bouncing name ideas off each other (names are important, right?), Hilleke and Mike founded ReBicycle. Together with fellow board members, Leah Murphy and James Burgess, and a dedicated group of volunteers they are steering the collection of quality donated bikes, fixing them up and distributing them through referrals from local agencies.

The first bikes went out to a Syrian family of former refugees. They’re still learning English so we’ll let the kids laughter show their appreciation.

 

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EkeRua


Tēnā koutou katoa! We’ve got an announcement to make… to celebrate Matariki, the upcoming World Refugee Day and our upcoming 2nd-ish birthday, ReBicycle is growing up. We recently asked Vic Uni Te Reo lecturer, PhD and bike rider, Vincent Ieni Olsen-Reeder to help us find a Te Reo Māori name. He generously obliged and came up with a new name that we love, EkeRua. Here’s what it means:

“Eke is the general word given to ‘riding’ modes of transport. This covers all public transport, surfing, skating and cycling. In a sense, eke also means to achieve and overcome. This derivation comes from the word hangarua, recycling, which means to ‘purpose twice.’ Thus the name means to jump on a bike again.”

So from now on, you might see either name or both being used. We’re hoping to gradually introduce EkeRua into everything we do. We hope you love the name as much as we do! Kia ora 🙂

Bike months!

Bike months!

We’ve come out the other end of the bike silly season feeling a bit more relaxed, inspired and energized to do more!

Between February and early April we organised or supported events from Upper Hutt in the north, to Strathmore Park in the south. Bike the Trail, The ReMakery big bike fix up, our own events at Carrara Park, Newtown and Kahurangi School, Strathmore, supporting Neighbours Day in Newtown, Community dinner at Vogelmorn, the International Women’s Day event in Kilbirnie, lots of library bikes coming and going to schools around the region for cycle skills training, and lots of bike fix ups at our Newtown hub.

Somewhere in the midst of it we received some recognition at the Love Cycling awards.

Lovecycling certificate

While winter may be quiet on the event front, we will be continuing with our weekly workshops at 230 Riddiford St, Newtown. Open every Wednesday from 6-8pm. Come along and volunteer your time or skills to help fix up bikes for our growing waitlist. Mechanical Tempest will soon have regular opening hours in the same space, so keep an eye on their updates, if you have a bike project of your own you’d like to work on.

Neighbours Day Strathmore Park – Bike KREW Rodeo 2018

Neighbours Day Strathmore Park – Bike KREW Rodeo 2018

The Bike KREW Rodeo is back at Kahurangi School for Neighbours Day in association with ReBicycle Wellington and supported by the Wellington City Council Communities on Bikes Fund, Nikau Foundation, The Tindall Foundation and Thankyou Charitable Trust.

Saturday 24th March, 1-3pm at Kahurangi School, Strathmore Ave, Strathmore Park.

We are creating a temporary bike playground for children in the park. This will include mobile obstacles such as a seesaw, balance boards, slalom, and a range of textures. The aim is for kids to have fun while building skills and gaining confidence: children learn by playing.

Bikes and equipment for children from ages 2-10ish will be provided, plus trained volunteer instructors. All kids with all levels of ability or difficulty can take part.

Bring your own bike and helmet, or loan one from ReBicycle.

For Neighbours Day, Strathmore Park Community Centre are holding a BBQ from 11am-1pm, then ReBicycle will be bringing back the Bike KREW Rodeo to Kahurangi School from 1-3pm. After 3pm you can head on up to Raukawa Centre for a picnic until 5ish.

No rain day planned, but we’ll cancel by about 10am on Saturday if it’s too wet or windy. Check Facebook for updates.

 

Sign up on the Facebook event

Celebrate Newtown – Bike KREW Rodeo 2018

Celebrate Newtown – Bike KREW Rodeo 2018

The Bike KREW Rodeo is back as part of Celebrate Newtown – Newtown Festival in association with ReBicycle Wellington and supported by the Wellington City Council Communities on Bikes Fund, Nikau Foundation, The Tindall Foundation and Thankyou Charitable Trust.

Sunday March 11th, 1.30-4.30pm at Carrara Park, Regent St, Newtown.

We are creating a temporary bike playground for children in the park. This will include mobile obstacles such as a seesaw, balance boards, slalom, and a range of textures. The aim is for kids to have fun while building skills and gaining confidence: children learn by playing.

Bikes and equipment for children from ages 2-10ish will be provided, plus trained volunteer instructors. All kids with all levels of ability or difficulty can take part.

Bring your own bike and helmet, or loan one from ReBicycle.

Rain day 18th March. We’ll cancel by about 10am on Sunday if it’s too wet or windy.

http://www.newtownfestival.org.nz/

Sign up on the Facebook event

2017 wrap up

2017 wrap up

We’re not quite done for the year, but we’ve just leaped past a few milestones so it’s worth an update:
505 page likes
422 bikes donated
301 bikes ‘rehomed’ (including 30 bikes sold for fundraising and about 50 bikes scrapped for parts or recycled)
Our bike library consists of 24 bikes (with all our adult bikes currently on loan and the kids bikes have been out regularly to events and schools bike skills training)
Since inception in July 2016, we’ve held 15 events and volunteers have contributed about 910 hours of their time!

We couldn’t do it without the support of our sponsors and the following grants: Nikau Foundation, The Tindall Foundation, Thankyou Charitable Trust, Wellington City Council Communities on Bikes fund, and donations from Switched on Bikes and Tranzit Coachlines & Tours as well as some awesome private donors.

We’re also super grateful for the ongoing support from the following retailers and organisations: The Mechanical Tempest, Newtown Festival, Sustainability Trust, Burkes Cycles New Zealand, Bicycle Junction, Mud Cycles, Iride Store, Avantiplus, and Capital Cycles.

Thanks also to our coordinator, Tessa, who does a stellar job keeping track of orders, bikes and budgets, and is also an amazing cycle skills instructor and pretty handy with a wrench. Her partner, Stephen, for putting up with all the bikes and deliveries, our mechanics Steph and Phoebe from Wenches With Wrenches and Dave in the Hutt, and finally our very cool trustees, Leah, James and Mike all deserve our thanks as well. Plus all of you awesome people who keep turning up to our fix ups and bust ups.

2018 is going to be a busy year for us and we’re excited about collaborations planned with Strathmore Park & Raukawa Community Centres, Changemakers Refugee Forum, and others. As well as building and beautifying our new home in Newtown, we’ll be having regular open evenings and weekend learn to ride sessions in the new year, so keep a look out for those.

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi

(With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive)

Once again, thank you all for your support.

Nāku noa, nā

Hilleke (Trustee and Founder)

Thank you Tranzit Coachlines!

Thank you Tranzit Coachlines!

We always thought Stuart from Green Jersey Explorer Tours was a good sort, but when he called with an offer of 5 brand new kids bikes for our bike library, we did a double-take. Turns out the good people at Tranzit Coachlines & Tours wanted to donate the bikes they built in a team building exercise to a good cause.

2017-08-29 16.44.41
Tessa and Mike from ReBicycle, Keven and Robyn from Tranzit and Stu from Green Jersey with the new bikes.

We are incredibly grateful to Keven, Robyn and the team at Tranzit for this generous donation. The bikes will be put to good use by Pedal Ready and on loan through our bike library.
Kia ora rawa atu!

Bike KREW School Days

Bike KREW School Days

ReBicycle took the Bike KREW Rodeo on tour to a couple of local schools to use on their Wheels Days. Lots of fun was had at Owhiro Bay and St Ants.

Contact us if your school is interested in borrowing our Bike Rodeo or the kids bike library. The Bike Library now includes 4 brand new 24″ MTB style kids bikes (suitable for ages 9-12) and spare helmets. We ask for a small koha to cover transport costs and repairs.