Talking life cycles, bi-cycles and re-cycles in Ōtautahi Christchurch
Rescue, Repair and Rehome are the 3R’s of a circular economy that should be embedded naturally into the life cycle of a bike. Ensuring this cycle is optimised takes no small amount of experience, education, and inspiration. It’s why we recently travelled up north to share in the vision of the good people at RAD Bikes.
In September, Lightfoot (metaphorically) got on our bikes, visiting the super committed, effective, and all-round good dudes at RAD Bikes in beautiful Ōtautahi Christchurch.
We’ve been running our OneBike programme on a very small scale as a start-up initiative over the last year. As we look to increase the size and scope of this work it’s important to gain further insight and understanding from the wider bike rescue community in New Zealand.
RAD (or Recycle A Dunger), have been working since 2013, originally starting as a Gap Filler project in post-earthquake Christchurch. In 2015 the RAD Bikes Charitable Trust was formed and, since then, they have gone from strength-to-strength empowering cycling and waste minimisation in the garden city.
They now run a number of helpful programmes that meet a wide range of needs for the local community. From after school maintenance programmes to monthly community fix-up events, mobile mechanics to repair courses, bike lessons for former refugee and migrant women to cycle powered cinema, RAD do a lot.
RAD works because it empowers volunteers to engage with their own bikes, setting them up to help and teach other bike owners. They’ve built a huge community of supporters – and racked up an equally large number of climate-friendly wins.
The trip up was incredibly beneficial to our Lightfoot team. There were a lot of key takeaways gleaned from our chats with the RAD team, and it was helpful to see the physical environment and resources they have there. A huge thanks to Jess and her team for their time.
Check out https://www.radbikes.co.nz/ for more info on their programme, or to get a bike.
And click here to find out more about OneBike is up to in Queenstown. Big things are just down the road for us – be sure to watch this space!