It all started in late 2011 when our founder Martyn Laxton was delivering Bikeability training (‘cycling proficiency for the 21st century’) in a local Devon primary school, only half the children there could access the free course because the remainder did not have bikes.
He was amazed, bikes have never been more affordable, yet there were children missing out on a “rite of passage” of their childhood, namely access to a bike which could afford them the health-giving fun and freedom that riding their own bike could bring!
Martyn decided that this situation was unacceptable.
He approached several organisations and began sourcing unwanted bikes.
He negotiated with a local prison for its inmates to strip and refurbish a selection of bikes.
Martyn went on to persuade some lovely people he knew, to give their time for free to help him get these bikes to children who would not have any chance of owning their own bike.
Ride On was born.
What a success!
Once local people heard of the project, they started donating second-hand adult bikes and children’s bikes as well as tools and spares.
Further success followed when Ride On was granted charitable status by the UK Charity Commission in 2012, was involved in several “first time” community projects and won a small start-up grant to equip a workshop. All this was achieved with volunteers and local good will.
The project soon outgrew its borrowed facilities, we had to find a permanent base from which to operate to “Get More People Riding More Often” on safe affordable recycled bicycles.
Fast forward to 2014, Ride On was growing quickly from its new base on Exeter’s historic quay, with volunteer numbers increasing each month and community projects being delivered in various sectors of the city and surrounding areas, as more and more people found out about the great work the organisation was delivering.
We are still a volunteer-driven organisation, aiming to create a place where the local community can visit and talk bikes, exercise, road safety, cycle training for any age, learn to ride, bike maintenance, route planning and all things bike-related with “can do ” people.
We are a Registered Charity No.1149065