What does Ride On Do?
by Theo Moye
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, half the children there couldn’t access the free course because they did not have bikes.
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 and so Ride On was born.
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.
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 goodwill.
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.
By 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.
Take a look at is short video about Ride On and what we do.
So this is where we tell you how friendly we are….
Actually, let one of our fellow cyclists do it for us.
Rachel had emailed us about problems with a second hand bike she had purchased, from a different place, and was concerned that she may have to “ditch it” because she was feeling unable to solve the problems affordably. Once she had visited Ride On she felt compelled to drop us a line:
I was really impressed with Ride On Cycling charity. The gentlemen were genuinely interested in helping and I felt confident that their advice and help was because they actually care.I didn’t feel any pressure to buy anything and was given lots of free advice and support that I now don’t feel like giving up on my second-hand bike! I have already recommended them to family and think they are a really positive charity for the cycling community.
Find out more about the Ride On Team: Meet our team.
We continue to be very grateful to local businesses, organisations and individuals who provide us with support, advice and encouragement. Learn about our supporters
We are a Registered Charity No.1174055