Our mission is to help people of all ages and walks of life to unlock the benefits of cycling. We are based in Bristol but we also work in North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath, Swindon, Bournemouth, Hereford, Derbyshire and Nottingham.
Click the headings to skip to the relevant section:
Our "Bike Back" project makes affordable, refurbished bicycles available to people in Bristol and Derby. We rely on donations of unwanted bikes from the general public, which we take into secure workshops in local prisons. Here, our dedicated tutors teach prisoners the skills to strip down and rebuild the bikes so they run better than new. Prisoners earn a City & Guilds qualification in bicycle mechanics - giving them the tools to build a brighter future upon release. The fixed bikes are safety-checked by our professional mechanics, then sold to the public at affordable prices.
To find out more about our projects, purchase refurbished bicycles or book a service - click the links below.
Donate your old bike
Our Bike Back project can only continue thanks to the generosity of kind donors like you! Click here to find out how you can donate your unwanted bike.
We use cycling to address the key issues faced by our society: poor physical and mental health, social isolation, transport poverty, lack of skills and employment prospects; air pollution and environmental damage. We reach out to people from disadvantaged communities and help them to unlock the benefits of cycling and bikes: Whether that’s training prisoners as bike mechanics; offering joyful days out tandem riding to visually impaired people; or helping kids in poverty to get active and learn new skills.
Our charitable projects
- Bike Back – prison-based bike recycling
- Bike Generation – bike activities for disadvantaged kids
- Over 55s – cycling and peer support for over 55s
- Two’s Company – tandem rides for blind people
- Cycle Buddies - supported cycling in your local area
All projects are based in Bristol, apart from “Bike Back” which takes place in Bristol and Derby.
- Discover our participants' stories and read about our impact here.
- Support our projects with a donation.
Supported bike rides
We help new or returning cyclists by pairing them with a trained volunteer 'Cycle Buddy.' Our Cycle Buddies are confident cyclists who pass on their skills and knowledge and provide support in a judgement-free space. By cycling together on a regular basis, participants build confidence and discover quiet routes in friendly company. No pressure, no competition, just cycling. The scheme is open to anyone who needs extra support to become a confident, independent cyclist – and Life Cycle is particularly targeting people who are on low incomes, struggling with their mental well-being or wanting to improve their physical health.
Our Supported Leisure Rides enable nervous or returning cyclists to explore Bristol’s cycling network with the support of a trained Ride Leader. These short, gentle rides are the perfect way to get back in the saddle and build confidence on a bike. You'll be guided on local cycle paths and quiet roads as part of a small group. If you've been feeling isolated and inactive, this is a great way to meet other people and boost your well-being in a friendly environment. Discover our Leisure Rides.
Cycle skills training
One of the main reasons people are put off cycling is the fear of riding on the road. We know that with the right training and support, cycling can be a safe and enjoyable activity for most people. We offer road skills training to children and adults, helping them build confidence and knowledge to ride wherever they want, whenever they want. This includes support with route planning and help discovering quiet and off-road routes. To do this we offer:
- One-to-one cycle training for adults and young people.
- Short cycling courses for adults.
- Family and group cycle lessons.
- Bikeability training in schools.
- School holiday courses for children.
We are also a 1st4Sport-accredited cycle instructor training centre.
Click here to find out about our cycle instructor training courses.
Life Cycle is both a 1st4Sport and City & Guilds accredited training centre. We offer quality training courses to people who want to build their career in the cycle industry.
1st4Sport Cycle Instructor Training
We offer both Level 2 and Level 3 instructor training, helping new recruits to qualify as cycle instructors (level 2) - plus “train the trainer” courses for those wishing to become cycle instructor trainers themselves (level 3). We teach in small class sizes using expert cycle trainers – and we provide friendly, individualised support every step of the way.
City & Guilds Cycle Mechanics courses
Our City & Guilds courses are the “industry standard” qualification for professional bike mechanics. We offer these comprehensive courses to aspiring and working mechanics looking to boost their skills and progress in their career. We have an excellent selection of quality tools and equipment - and everyone gets their own work station and tool board. As always we teach in small class sizes, using a learner-centred approach.
Continued professional development (CPD)
Our CPD courses are open to anyone - whether or not you help us deliver our services. We offer short courses such as First Aid and Ride Leader training. We regularly train scout leaders, teachers, police officers and many others who cycle as part of their jobs. These courses are also perfect for qualified cycle instructors, who should take a minimum of 3 hours' continued professional development each year.
Our "Bike Back" projects in Bristol and Derby also carry out bicycle repairs and servicing for the general public. We have two fantastic teams of experienced mechanics who work hard to make sure local people are not prevented from cycling by mechanical issues. To find out more about bike servicing:
Bike maintenance courses
We run bike maintenance courses for all abilities: from beginner to professional. Courses take place at our workshops in Bristol and Derby and are taught by qualified teaching mechanics. We have an excellent selection of quality tools and equipment - and everyone gets their own work station and tool board. We work hard to create a supportive environment using a learner-centred approach.
Our "mobile bike mechanic" service was set up for employers and event organisers who want to encourage healthy lifestyles and green travel. Dr Bike enables organisations to treat their staff or customers to a free bike safety check and service of key components. Our qualified mechanics come to your workplace or event and provide tips and advice, as well as making sure bikes are safe and running smoothly. Common mechanical issues are a key reason why people are put off cycling: Hiring a Dr Bike is a great way to reward cyclists and encourage others to give it a try. There is also the option to add on cycling talks and cycle skills training.
Thanks to funding from several local authorities (and charitable trusts), we offer free cycle stands to small businesses and community organisations across the West of England. This helps organisations without a large 'sustainable transport' budget to enable staff and visitors to cycle, whilst boosting their green credentials.
- Click here to find out about our subsidised cycle parking scheme, Take a Stand.
- We also sell cycle stands to larger organisations that do not qualify for the subsidy scheme.