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This project seeks to develop greener travel options. Post Covid, we have renewed appreciation for clean air and our wonderful city. Finding places to park bikes securely at home is challenge enough, but most of us need a boost to get up Mount Pleasant's steep hills. This project seeks to set up a lockable bike shelter on an underused car park in Montpelier Tce with an ebike charger, 1 e-bike and a mountain e-trike. The project will be run by and for our local community. Low income? No problem. You can some swap time helping to maintain the bikes and assisting with admin. Own a bike but have nowhere to keep it safely? This bike shelter is for you too! Haven't ridden before or recently? Rest assured. Training will be provided by Bikeability to ensure that you keep safe. And the circular economy encourages us to share resources and buy bikes that are made to last and easy to repair. So what are you waiting for? Sunset ice cream at the Mumbles here we come!
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
This project will make cycling much more accessible to the residents of Mount Pleasant. e-biking has significant health and wellbeing benefits. (see "any other details" for a link to research findings) Bikeability accredited training will be available to all participants. It will be much easier to access the city centre (less parking woes) as well as other popular cultural venues and natural places in and around Swansea. There will be easier access to the City plusTawe and Coastal cycle paths. Cleaner air and less traffic congestion. Having easy and affordable access to ebikes will allow people to "try before they buy" (*see "any other details" for research findings) Access to ebikes and etrikes can help people to keep active, mobile and socially connected. Inevitably, a community led project builds social cohesion and a sense of accomplishment, as we work together for a shared purpose. And of course, success inspires other community ebike schemes and greening initiatives.
Steps to get it done:
The first focus is on the installation of the bike shelter and echarger as this will give us a solid foundation. Next we'll buy a comfortable and easy to use ebike and an etrike with a differential axle. Any overfunding will buy another ebike and then an etrike. So please share this far and wide - help us really get off to a flying start! *** Research findings: Ebikes and eTrikes can open up and/or sustain a world of participation as evidenced in the The Shared Electric Bike Programme Final Report 2016. Findings include 1. Shared e-bikes can attract new riders to begin to cycling 2.E-bikes can provide health and wellbeing benefits 3. E-bikes can enable new types of trips to be made as cycling trips 4.E-bikes can enable people to reduce their car use 5. Shared e-bikes can offer affordable and convenient access to new opportunities 6. E-bikes hire supports a “try before you buy” model.https://como.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Shared-Electric-Bike-Programme-Final-Report.pdf
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City and County of Swansea Council
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This quick update is month’s overdue. Alas, with one of our bikes in repair all September and the quest and promise of effective booking software always just out of reach, we’re now moving fast into winter. So, to keep this readable, here are the key points. • The 6 hour free borrowing system is still in place. Numbers of people have found that ebikes can replace their second car and a few regulars have emerged. Have a go! Book your bike via https://mountpleasantcommunityebikes.lend-engine.com • Welsh community ebike initiatives are linking up and looking for suitable ebike booking and borrowing solutions. Welcome to the (b)Leading edge! The attraction of Linka and iLockit style GPS/alarm-on-bike bluetooth locks is strong, especially for theft prone Swansea. Can we make the borrowing software work across small grassroots projects? Pitch in if you are want to help make it happen. • Changing our habits is hard! Mount Pleasant is close enough for most residents to walk into town. So ebikes are generally for leisure exploring or for appointments and trips to pick up supplies. Mumbles Pier, Clydach heritage centre, Llanelli Wetland centre and Summit Good’s women’s and men’s sheds in Dunvant are all highly recommended destinations. Morfa shopping centre and Llansamlet industrial parks are fab rides ones you’ve learned the routes. Talk to us about your interests, needs and barriers! • Swansea Council’s Active Travel consultation and online survey is closing on the 15th November. Having really clear, simple and safe routes is fundamental to wider bike adoption. As is theft prevention (CCTV on venue bike parking racks?). For example, from Mount Pleasant it would be great to have: a clear, marked bike route to the civic centre and coastal bike path through Sandfields; a safe commuter route to the station and a safe route through Mayhill and Townhill to and along Camarthern Road. To make sure we get those, please respond to the survey here or send your comments to Wheelwrights email@example.com. • Join the Global Day of Action on the 6th of November via the multi-organisational march that is leaving from Castle Square at 12 midday. Come by bike if you can! Also a request from Cycling UK “share the message on social media. If you're out riding at any point during COP26, share a photo of your ride, or one of our powerful images, with the hashtag #ThisMachineFightsClimateChange.” • Gaining confidence riding our hills and discovering our many underused cycle paths is amazing fun. There’s no excuse. There’s always clear days in winter. Jump in! • Our mother project, Hub on the Hill is having an AGM and get-together at Hoogah at 7pm on the 16th November. Please RSVP via firstname.lastname@example.org. • And finally, huge thanks to etrike ambassador, Naja Frenning for our logo which will be applied soon to the side of our bike shelter. Key links Council Survey https://www.swansea.gov.uk/drafttravelmapsurvey. Global day of action via Cycling UK https://www.cyclinguk.org/sites/default/files/document/2021/10/cop26_help_share_the_message.pdf Mount Pleasant Community ebikes on spacehive https://www.spacehive.com/e-bikes4mount-pleasant bike shelter tour https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ietg6tF7lt-tT6GymG1RFDpgT4nryDg0/view?usp=sharing facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/mpcommuniteebikes/ To book a bike https://mountpleasantcommunityebikes.lend-engine.com
On the 30th June, Steve from Alpine brought our electric trike and Phill took it through its paces to make sure it manages our hills so now we have the two crowdfunded ebikes and an etrike. And to celebrate their arrival and test our our fledgling booking system, we have a special July offer - Explore Swansea by ebike for a half day for free and help us debug our systems and promote ebike use! So create your account and book your bike/s and slot. Please give 48 hours notice especially if you’re booking the etrike. As you’d expect, a number of local people have already taken up the offer to test ride in return for feedback and/or social media support. And Angie Bettany of Hoogah and Room to Grow exclaimed that cycling around Mount Pleasant gave her a new perspective on our fab area. When Angie “flew” the Cube ebike up Cwmdomkin Drive to Penlan Crescent, an astonished bystander called out, “is she strong or is that an ebike?”. I answered “both” of course, but the truth is, they are great ebikes and most people who are reasonably healthy and have cycled in the past, should be able to manage the hills, once they’ve had time to practice using the electric boosts. It’s a different yet similar story with the etrike. The mountain explorer is a perfect name and it’s a great way to get around, but it is definitely not for those of us who are used to two wheels. At least, not without a serious amount of practice. This is because it feels entirely counterintuitive to ride and that is seriously dangerous on our cambers. This isn’t a problem however, because it is meant for people with mobility issues and those who haven’t ridden two wheeled bikes before and training will be provided as required. Just don’t expect to hop on and ride off on it unless you are already an experienced trike rider. In terms of finding an appropriate advance booking system, Lend Engine developer Alan has pulled out the stops to explore adapting their software for part day / short hires. While we are testing and debugging our systems, sponsors and Mount Pleasant neighbour are invited to try out our ebikes and etrike for half day loans to allow you time to properly learn how they work as well as to go somewhere nice. Like Clyne Gardens, Mumbles, Pontardulais or even… Llanelli. The perfect activity to share with a friend now the holidays are arriving. If you have skill administering software and/or bluetooth Master lock vault functionality - we need you, please get in touch! Please note- there is free level 1-3 safety cycle road training on offer by Bikeability on Saturday the 19th mail email@example.com and bike repair workshop in Montpelier Tce on As usual, you can find more detailed updates via our Mount Pleasant Community eBikes facebook page. Happy cycling Leonie firstname.lastname@example.org. 07970571375 our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/mpcommunityebikes Our Mount Pleasant Lend Engine booking page https://mountpleasantcommunityebikes.lend-engine.com Bike repair training https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-bike-repair-training-session-montpelier-terrace-tickets-154721657643
Although much great progress is being made, it has been agreed to delay launch while our membership and booking systems are being developed, tested and put into place. Test ride sessions will be scheduled regularly in preparation for launch. Please see /join our public Mount Pleasant Community ebikes facebook group for the full update and ongoing news. https://www.facebook.com/groups/499661091023458 Have a brilliant long weekend, Leonie For the MP community ebikes
All going to plan, our CCTV and app controlled gate locks will be installed on wednesday the 19th (thanks to SAS) and our user friendly Cube City Hybrid ebikes will be delivered on the 20th May. Our eTrike has been delayed at the docks but may still arrive by early June. So please pencil in 11am Saturday the 5th of June for our launch, in advance of a confirmation invite hopefully by this time next week. At the launch there will be 15 minute taster rides for experienced cyclists and the opportunity to sign up for safer (on the flat) intro sessions for newbies plus free longer rides for all sponsors and volunteers in the coming month. Having spoken to a lot of local people, the following plan has emerged. We can pilot things slowly or roll out faster. Either way, safety of riders and good care of equipment is paramount. To that end, Mount Pleasant residents are being invited to respond to a survey designed to establish if there is sufficient interest and support for a responsible-members-introduce-others-and-vouch-for-them scheme underpinned with appropriate rider and maintenance training from Bikeability for the start up team who then cascade it on. The idea will be to offer buddying (accompanied rides) for new members to give them knowledge of local bike paths and good practices for their own safety and that of the bikes. Local organisations who support vulnerable or excluded people, are also invited to register interest to become affiliate members with a regular booked 4 hour slot on weekdays for a trained person to accompany two of their program participants at a time. After the first month’s sponsors-thank-you and free trial period, priority will needs be given to Mount Pleasant residents for ebike use. However, even if you don’t live in Mount Pleasant, unless we’re oversubscribed, you will still have an opportunity to become a ride buddy or volunteer with free ebike use, so if that appeals please fill in the survey https://forms.gle/ZNKwJthYvRcNqtYN9 to let us know. Thanks again for helping to make it all possible!
On April the 6th and 7th teams from Ashgrove Partnership, Sub Electrical and Coastal laid cables, installed a meter box and meter, erected and installed the shelter with a shelf sporting 3 double power points, all fully earthed and safe. The bike repair station from Beyond Recycling was also installed. With ebikes hard to get hold of due to covid supply chain disruptions and high demand, we’re pleased to have secured 2 Cube Export 500 Town Hybrids powerful enough to handle our hills with ease. They will be delivered as soon as Matthew from Secured Alarm Systems installs our CCTV security system. Delays to trike deliveries are providing an opportunity to look into alternatives like the Christiana Short cargo bike. We are also continuing to investigate apps to find one best suited to our needs along with suitable locks for the shelter and bikes etc. Andy Elliott from Coastal is also investigating how we can obscure the road facing panel and is organising the design of a sign celebrating our sponsors so please look out for a separate email about that. We are also looking for ebike ambassadors to induct and buddy less experienced neighbours in return for ebike use of course. So all going to plan, we’re set for an early June launch and Big Lunch street party combined, with the interim period being used to set up and test our systems for booking the bikes and making them accessible to everyone.
Happy Spring! Buds are definitely sprouting fast and our ebike project is moving forward with gusto too. The cable, power points, shelter and repair station will be installed on the 6-7th of April. Castle Councillors have donated extra funds for an app. And we will soon be test-riding ebikes and etrikes to ensure they are suited to our hills. The official launch will be scheduled once we have a date for lockdown-easing but system debugging begins as soon as the bikes arrive. So it won’t be long before you can shake off your lockdown blues on our ebikes! Lots remains to be decided however. For example… should we wait for at least one shiftless (automatic) gear changing Gazelle Bloom ebike because it’s easy to use, even though it won’t be available till the autumn? Or shall we get two medium Merida Espressos? Where is the best place to put the chargers and store the batteries in the bike shelter? How do we most easily keep bikes and people safe and secure? Is the Movatic app or a library of things website the best booking system for us? What should we charge so that the scheme is accessible, sustainable and can grow? Last week’s exciting announcement that Sustrans Wales is running 4 e-cargo bike pilots this year and McKinsey’s huge growth in micro-mobility forecast, confirms that we are on the (b)leading edge! Also, CoMo have just launched a brilliant community bike sharing guide. So it’s the perfect time to join in and help our very own grassroots Mount Pleasant scheme, hit the ground running! Would you love our community to be healthier and more sustainable and; Have a knack for book keeping? or Enjoy promoting projects and events? or Have knowledge of Ebikes and maintenance? or Are experienced with community organising? or Would like to learn these skills or pass them on to the next gen? Whether you'd like to be part of a working/steering group or have a few hours spare - your input can make all the difference now. So please drop me a line with the title ebikes at leonie(at) geni-us.net And we'll all be cycling soon! Links https://www.gazellebikes.com/en-gb/bloom-c380-hms https://www.cyclesolutions.co.uk/bikes/electric-bikes/merida-espresso-city-300eq-se-418w-2021-electric-hybrid-bike--green__74230 https://documentation.movatic.co https://www.lend-engine.com https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/micromobilitys-15000-mile-checkup# https://gov.wales/e-bike-pilot-scheme-launch-wales https://como.org.uk/shared-mobility/community-schemes/community-bike-share
Although progress has been slower than anticipated, things are moving forward steadily. Bike repair station Firstly, a big thank you to Beyond Recycling and Chris Day for awarding us a lockable Bike Repair Station. This holds the bike up to make it easier to work on and provides secured tools, a pump and a QR code that links to a full set of bike repair instructions. It can of course also be used for skate boards, wheelchairs etc. Bike Shelter and power Installation A zoom has been scheduled with key stakeholders this coming wednesday to clarify and agree power and shelter installation issues. Richard the electrician isn’t able to instal the cable before March. UrbanFab Bike Shelter Since no locally manufactured solutions have emerged, I’ve approached Stuart from UrbanFab to confirm that he’ll keep the 10 bike shelter for us at the current sale price. Tho I’d originally budgeted for an 8 bike shelter, the 10 bike shelter on offer is less than a £100 more, has a panel in the middle of the front that creates two sections. This means that the electric bikes and the bike storage sections can be accessed via different gates and the central panel also makes it sturdier. If masonry paint works on metal (?) we have a big pot of bright yellow paint for it. eTrike After Andy from eBikes Dufftown showed the Jorvik etrike by zoom, I went back through notes from Bev (huge thanks!). She’d discovered Alpine Bikes and their titling trikes as well as mountain trikes that feature a lower centre of gravity. This company champions customer service and brings their trikes from Leicester to induct customers via a 90 minute session as part of their service. I spoke to the manager who has offered to bring both their tilting etrike and their Explorer Mountain trike from Leicester so we can try them both before we buy one. This may not be before April. Let me know if you’re interested. eBikes I have spoken with Steve E and Gareth from Cycle Solutions who have offered to supply us with ebikes at near cost. I’m waiting to hear which 2 ebikes they can supply us within our budget. Security A number of people have asked about security. The shelter is metal and will have a sturdy combination lock on each gate. It will also have a solar sensor light on top and inside and is overlooked by houses. It is however see-through which possibly isn’t ideal. Security in terms of theft of bikes or parts while on loan needs closer investigation. Each bike/trike will have a D lock and we’ll need to establish how to keep batteries safe while parked outside shops etc. Harriet from como.org.uk says the Vodaphone Curve trackers deserve investigating. Plaque A plaque is planned to thank all the sponsors. Initially I thought to credit the Council and Coastal by logo and mention businesses who funded the shelter for amounts of £100 or above. However, if y'all agree, it would be great to mention everyone who sponsored the project by first name. Systems and processes Fancy jumping on an ebike or etrike this spring? Come join our steering/ co-ordination group to ensure it works well. Fortunately, Harriet/ CoMo is publishing guidance including user agreements this week. However, we’ll need a range of project specific policies. Plus someone to check the wording of the insurance policy we’ve been quoted on. Harriet suggested two potential apps and has a research student investigating community friendly app options. We’ll also need alternatives for people who don’t have smart phones, money or perhaps even proper ID or security deposits. Hopefully spring will see all or at least many of you having regular ebike adventures. Please let me know your thoughts and what you can help with to get us there. Please mail: hubonthehillswansea @ gmail.com (spaces added to prevent spam). till soon, Leonie
Hi wonderful sponsors, Thank you again for your interest and support. Firstly, some practicalities. Your pledges will be transferring into our Hub in the Hill account soon if they haven’t already. Don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s any issues. With the Festive Season upon us, we have a few weeks to review next steps. And your input is important. Early in January I’ll be speaking with Coastal about installing the bike shelter and ebike charger. The UrbanFab bike shelter that I’ve selected is made in England. It was the most suitable I could find in the time. If there is a local company that can build something that is equal or better for the same price or less, please ask them to send a quote to email@example.com. In fact, the same goes for the ebike charger. Wheels! Next, the exciting task of ordering the ebike/s and etrike. Best done sooner as supply chains are slow due to covid. I chose the Gazelle Orange C330 because Wired reported that it was the most sturdy, comfortable and easy to use ebike in 2020. However, we have extra budget and might be able to get two equally sturdy, comfortable and easy to use ebikes for the money we have, because Cycle Solutions is offering to get us ebikes at cost price. Also, Andy Meynell, trustee for Bike Dufftown tells me that their three etrikes haven’t been as popular as anticipated. He is offering to show us their different trikes via zoom early next year. So, I’m looking for people who know about ebikes, want to learn about ebikes, know about maintaining them or want to learn about maintaining them. If you have knowledge or offers of skills and time to contribute, I’ve scheduled a zoom conversation for 7pm on the 29th of December. Please mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a reminder. Last but not least This project is an opportunity for us to hone our skills in self-organising as community. I’m reading Cormack Russell’s Rekindling Democracy via Kindle for tips and inspiration. Dragon Dreamers are advocates for enlisting all voices in community by dreaming together, starting with an open question. So here it is; “When we look back in two years’ time at a remarkably successful project that reached all sections of our community, what did we do to make this possible, even easy?” Please give this some thought and contribute your ideas preferably via the discussions I’ll be setting up on the Mount Pleasant and Hub on the Hill Facebook pages or via this google doc as your response may otherwise get lost in my inbox. Lots of warm wishes for a fun and creative Festive season. Leonie and Hub on the Hill links: Urbanfab https://www.urbanfab.com/products.php?p=97&type=Eco-Gated-Shelter-10-Bike Bike Dufftown https://www.cyclinguk.org/group/bike-dufftown Rekindling democracy http://rekindlingdemocracy.net Dragon dreaming https://dragondreaming.org Your vision https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ElVHM4bIPRNf2hGFHXBtpS3c65iIAID4Yyngqox453I/edit