The changing face of social enterprise — Second Pedals CIC

Second Pedals CIC is bicycle refurbishment, rebuilding and resale enterprise based on Castle Vale, Birmingham, and is another example of how the CIC legal structure is being used to start up and grow interesting and useful trading activities that have a social purpose and offer community benefit.

Second Pedals exists to encourage healthier and more active lifestyles through cycling, to reduce the number of old unloved bikes that end up in landfill, and — most importantly — to repair, refurbish and rebuild bikes so that they become affordable new cycles for those who really want to make use of them.

Mariam Yate, one of the founders of Second Pedals, says, “We started the enterprise because we wanted to see more people using and riding bicycles. But in order to use a bike you need to have access to one, and for many people bicycles are too costly. We wanted to find a way of making bikes more affordable. When we realised how many bikes end up at tips and scrap yards, we started to put two and two together! As passionate recyclers we started collecting these bikes and giving them a makeover and a fresh lease of life. This was where the idea for Second Pedals came from — it was about recycling cycles!”

But bike ownership is not the only barrier to bike useage. Repair, maintenance, riding confidence, road skills and safety, and companions to cycle with  — all of these too play a part in how likely people are to make use of the cycles they have.

To meet these other rather different needs Second Pedals began to develop Dr. Bike repair surgeries, the sale of spare parts and accessories, and bike clubs and group rides.

When we realised how many bikes end up at tips and scrap yards, we started to put two and two together…it was about recycling cycles — Mariam Yate

After 18 months of trading the enterprise has grown into a monthly pop-up shop and is looking at options for a second. Second Pedals always needs volunteers to help out at the pop up shop and events, so there’s bound to be something you can help with if you’d like to volunteer.

What the business really needs now, however, is affordable premises that it can use as a base to develop and grow. Maybe you can help there too?

So if you’re thinking about acquiring a bike for yourself, or a family member, or a first cycle for a child, you don’t have to go to the flashy new cycling boutiques, trendy as these now are. There is another way: let Second Pedals ‘recycle’ you a cycle.

As ever, it’s what customers say that counts. — and you can read the testimonials from happy customers on Second Pedals’ Facebook page for yourself.

A happy customer (photo: Second Pedals)

Second Pedals

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Birmingham UK. Freelance research, evaluation and policy consultant specialising in social enterprise and the third sector. I maintain the BSSEC blog and website

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