BSA Star Rider

As I’m sure you know, our bike project is one of the sparkling diamonds in our treasure chest of activities. What you may not know is that repairing bikes is not the only skill the group members have. One of a very talented bunch, our very own Evelyn has a skill for writing that has had us all cock-a-hoop! So, I’ll shut up for now and let you read Evelyn’s account of bike clubs recent restoration of an old BSA bicycle… Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Dave had gone to the cattle market in search of bike parts going cheap, when he saw a man selling an old rusted to heck brown and white bike. So being the bike enthusiast that he is, Dave approached the man and gave the bike a once over.

“How much do you want for that?” Dave asked,

“Twenty quid, duck“ The man stated. Dave gave a chuckle, hoping that the man was not serious, but the man did not join him in the laughter,

“Okay, thanks, but that’s more than I want to pay for it” Dave declared, before turning to carry on in his search for cheap bike parts,

“Hey, wait! How about we play a game of coin toss?” The man called out. “The person who wins gets to decide to pay what they want, between £8 and £15” the man called, making Dave stop in his tracks.

Never the one to turn down a game of chance, he agreed. People stopped doing what they were doing and turned to watch the two grown men play a game of coin toss. The man tossed the coin in the air, “Heads” he called only to have Dave reply with a shout of “Tails.” The coin landed on the floor, bounced, span on its side for a few seconds before revealing the winner.

It was….tails! Dave had won the bike for £8. Begrudgingly, the man selling the bike handed it over and took the money. Dave pushed the rusted bike along the pavement thinking to himself “The bike crew is either going to be happy I found this, or they will be questioning my sanity once more?!”

The Bike arrives at Space

It was a Wednesday when the bike crew first saw the bike that Dave had ‘triumphantly ‘brought for the low price of eight quid. Cameron was working on another bike doing the last little touch ups, James was at the drinks station making a round of drinks, Ash was pottering around cleaning up some breaks.

Evelyn had just arrived with headphones in listening to MIC drop by BTS, she shrugged off her rucksack, giving the guys a one handed wave and Dave a fist bump, when she spotted the new addition to the collection of bikes. “What is that? And why is it here?” she questioned.

“Oh I picked it up from the cattle market last week” Dave nervously stated.

“You got it from the cattle market?” she asked, looking at Dave as he looked from the bike to her and back again, “The guy selling it wanted twenty quid for it, but I didn’t wanna pay that much, so we ended up in an epic coin toss, I won and here we are with a bike” Dave proudly stated.

Evelyn looked from the bike to Dave, “Great” she said sarcastically, bringing a hand to rub her forehead

“Does it work?” she asked, Dave chuckled “I don’t know, but it will” he replied…Evelyn said nothing.

“I’m thinking if you and Cameron probably start with stripping the bike, and sanding down the surface rust, then we can see if there is any hidden problems” Dave suggested, Evelyn agreed and grabbing Cameron they set to work sandpapering the surface rust off the bike.

Restoring the bike from brown and white to the blue BSA Star Rider beneath

Throughout the next few weeks, the bike crew set about turning the bike from the rusted brown and white mess that it was, into the BSA Star Rider bike that you see in the pictures, with a Cameron’s prowess of sanding down the rusted bike parts along with the rest of the crew’s hard work.

Cai, Evelyn and Ben were sanding down the brown and white painted bike frame, “Can you believe that Dave got this bike, Eve?” Cai questioned, as he pressed down hard on the sand paper to get the old paint off “This is Dave we are talking about!” Evelyn replied. Just then the doors opened and Tom came in holding a couple of picture’s in his hand.

“Dave, I did some research in to why we are discovering two different shades of blue under the brown and white paint, following the crew’s discovery of the BSA logo beneath the old paint, it turns out that this bike is a BSA Star Rider, from the 1950’s” Tom declared.

The rest of the crew looked at the pictures asking themselves why someone would paint over the logo and the original paint work.

The bike crew got to work putting the now freshly sandpapered bike frame, front wheel, back wheel and mud guards back together, then they set to work fixing up the other problems with the help of Bike Club workers Richard and Dave.

The Finished Product

The bike crew spent weeks checking and cleaning and repairing the bikes many components to ensure that they work properly. One day, Cai stated “It’s finished” as course of high-fives rippled through the group. “What would I do without you guys?” Dave declared, to which Evelyn replied “Probably lose your head and end up in a padded cell screaming about bikes” which is par for the course banter from Evelyn.

The bike is now finished and ready to be put back on the road, nigh on 60 years after it first hit the streets, and Dave is now banned from playing coin toss!

Location, Location, Location

Last year we made a really important decision to move our Mansfield Street service to a new location. Workspace, as Mansfield Street had been known, was the location for clients focussing on employment and skills. It was great but, due to the number of new clients, we needed a site that could better accommodate us.

We found a fantastic building in the Radford area – just off Radford Boulevard to be precise – that we moved into in late 2017.

The new site is very different to Mansfield Street in a number of respects, most especially in terms of the open plan nature of the building. That means we’ve got a more accessible space for big projects, such as the Bike Club.

James, the Manager at Radford Boulevard, has been really impressed by how smoothly everything has gone. “For me, the fact things have come together has been great.” He had some worries it might take a little while for some to adapt to the new site, however, as he says, “the resilience and speed of adaption has been brilliant.”

The new premises is a wonderful addition and in a very unique and culturally vibrant area of Nottingham, which hopefully will add to the special character of the new location.

Mansfield Street meanwhile hasn’t been neglected by any means. It is going to become our site for clients with more complex needs. It’s early days there but when we’re settled we’ll let you know!

In the meantime, we’ve still got a lot to do at the Radford site, but it’s already a hit with clients and staff alike!

Bike Club

At Space Inclusive we have loads of great ways to engage our clients, and one at our Workspace site in Sherwood is the bike club.

The premise is really simple, it aims to help our clients learn more about bikes, whether it’s maintaining and repairing them, or riding them. The skills clients gain are numerous, from problem solving and team-work skills to some practical and vocational experience that can be used if clients are taking the next step to paid employment.

Our support worker, Dave Bevan, says “All the clients in the bike club get a huge amount out of it. They are learning new skills and are developing a real interest in bikes”.