Bike Kitchen cooks up a two-wheeled treat for Lochaber residents

The Bike Kitchen open day, pictured, was a big success. NO F49 bike kitchen open day1
The Bike Kitchen open day, pictured, was a big success. NO F49 bike kitchen open day1

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The newly-finished Fort William Bike Kitchen shed in Claggan enjoyed a successful open day on Saturday.

Lochaber Environmental Group (LEG) has been developing the Bike Kitchen for a couple of years with help from various funding sources.

The completion of the new base for the Bike Kitchen was unfortunately delayed this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but it finally opened on Saturday.

The open day was well attended, with visitors from as far afield as Kinlochleven and Acharacle, with two intrepid visitors from Acharacle making the journey to Fort William by bike and train to see the new shed and try out the LEG Bike Library ebikes.

The Bike Kitchen shed was built as part of a Cycling Scotland funded project, which has also funded the installation of bike racks in Glen Nevis at Braveheart and Steall Falls car parks and at the North Face car park.

The Bike Kitchen promotes Active Travel, runs bike repair workshops, restores bikes for the Adopt A Bike scheme and is the base for LEG’s new Bike Tool Library.

Kate Willis, LEG Environmental Development Officer (Active Travel) told the Lochaber Times: ‘Richard Kidd , the Bike Kitchen mechanic, was kept busy on Saturday, helping to match up some of the recently restored Adopt A Bikes with happy new owners, who are planning to use their new bikes to commute to work.

‘The bikes are donated to the Bike Kitchen then restored by Richard so they can be adopted out to new owners.’

As part of its Bike Kitchen and Low Carbon Lochaber projects, LEG has created a Bike
Tool Library, which has a great selection of bike tools available for people to borrow. It is based in the Bike Kitchen shed. Anyone can sign up to be a member of the tool library, which has a small annual membership fee.

Many bike tools are expensive and not used that often, so membership of the tool library provides cheap and easy access to a wide range of tools helping cyclists keep their bike running smoothly.

LEG also has five electric bikes, which can be borrowed free of charge for a day, a week, or more. This is a great way to try out an ebike, especially if you are thinking of buying one but would like to try different models before you buy.

The ebikes are available for loan to individuals and businesses. LEG also runs guided ebike rides to introduce people to the joys of ebiking.

Electric bikes are fun to ride and provide a great alternative to cars for daily commuting, for short trips around town and for recreational riding.

The Bike Kitchen is funded by the Climate Challenge Fund, Paths for All Smarter Choices Smarter Places and Cycling Scotland.