A Scottish Government scheme has provided £5,500 to create three all-weather bike repair stands on Bute, to get more people active.
Bute Community Cycling Group will purchase the bike repair stands, an innertube vending machine, and cycles, thanks to the Cycle Friendly Community Development Fund, provided by the Scottish Government and delivered through Cycling Scotland to provide greater access to bikes and more opportunities to cycle.
The stands are around five feet tall and provide the tools needed to carry out basic repairs, including pumps.
David Hayes from the group, which was only formed in May this year, said: “It’s for everyone. We want more people to cycle on the island, or at least just be part of active travel. I know there are more people coming onto Bute with their cycles. So they can benefit also.
“We will have three of them. I think they are becoming more widespread now.
“On Bute we do have a local bike shop but it’s not open all the time. When you think of the summer nights it means a lot of cyclists don’t have any method of doing basic repairs or fixing punctures.
“And we’ve had people say if they are on the other side of the island what do they do if they have a problem with their bike?”
The group has put forward five possible locations for the three stands. Currently only three of them have been rubber-stamped. They are at Rothesay Ferry Terminal, Scalpsie Viewpoint Car Park and Ettrick Bay Tea Rooms.
David added: “These three spots have cyclists coming through. We just have to firm-up the locations. We need to get little concrete bases which the stands are affixed to.
“To get new people involved in cycling or being active, a lot of the time it comes down to confidence.
“There is a real push to get more people on the island on their bike. Once you get out of Rothesay the roads are very quiet. That’s what attracts cyclists to the island.
“But we need to have infrastructure in place so people are a little more confident.
“I have been a cyclist for a long time so I can get on my bike and go anywhere. But people wanting to get more active, they need to gain that confidence first. Then they will get their bikes out the sheds and cycle more.”
The group is expected to take receipt of the stands in the coming weeks.
Pete Mills, development officer at Cycling Scotland said: “We’re supporting communities across Scotland to use cycling as a way of achieving their aims. From projects that support mental health to those that tackle homelessness, the funding will support the purchase of bikes, equipment and maintenance tools as well as provide training and promote projects locally. We’re excited to give more people across Scotland access to bikes and the opportunity to cycle.”