Jay (pictured above), is the founder, organiser, chief mechanic and everything in between, of Derby-based community BMX group, Ozzy Wheels.
Jay has been BMX riding across the Midlands with family and friends for over thirty years. After making Derby his home and starting an ‘unofficial’ BMX club in the beautiful Osmaston Park in Derby, he realised that he had the skills and passion to create something amazing for his local community.
Ozzy Wheels offers local people the opportunity to try BMX riding and gives young people a supportive place to learn a new skill and develop a passion for a new sport. They can do this in whatever way they choose – the focus is on individual strengths and ideas of success rather than the traditional competitive environment of a club. Through his work in youth sport, Jay has become something of a role model in this part of Derby. Jay was a boxing coach for years, then he became the go-to person in the community to repair and service bikes. He is now the leader of a community group that has gained real momentum and support from large organisations in Derby.
Ozzy Wheels meets Life Cycle Derby
Jay first got in touch with Life Cycle Derby in early 2021 when he submitted a great progress shot of his riding to our winter photo competition and showing us the exciting things he was doing with Ozzy Wheels, during the lockdown and in the middle of winter.
We were able to offer Jay a place on our Sustrans Access funded City & Guilds Level 2 Bike Maintenance course in March. Jay said himself that he has been tinkering with bikes for years but mostly BMX so when faced with a mountain bike or disc brakes or hub gears he felt a bit out of his comfort zone and while BMX is his passion, he wanted to be able to offer support to any cyclist of any bike; our course was perfect for him.
Jay loved the course and made amazing progress taking in lots of new knowledge but most importantly building huge confidence in the skills he already had. He wanted to be able to fix any bike that anyone needed him to fix, often using recycled parts, giving an affordable repair service to his community.
Osmaston Park is an area of Derby with a reputation that's suffered in the past, but with the help of Life Cycle UK and a number of other key partners in Derby including Cycle Derby, Derby Homes and Derbyshire Constabulary, Jay and Ozzy Wheels are creating a community hub where young people can enjoy their local park space feeling safe, supported and, most importantly, ride their bikes!
Through achieving his City & Guilds qualification with Life Cycle UK, Jay has helped Ozzy Wheels to be self-sustainable and financially viable. He is supporting his community to get cycling and stay cycling whether it’s BMXing around the soon-to-be-built track in Osmaston Park, cycling to school, college or work or simply enjoying one of the many miles of cycle routes around Derby City and beyond. It has given him the confidence to really push his club forward and build some amazing plans for the future.