Who we are
At Bikeworks, we believe everyone should have access to cycling to increase physical activity, wellbeing, and connectivity, with environmental impact interwoven throughout.
Why we are a social enterprise
As a social enterprise, Bikeworks generates income through its trading activities, for example Team Building Challenges, Cycle Maintenance Courses, and Cycle Instructor Training Courses. The surplus generated from these activities goes back into providing free-to-access inclusive community cycling initiatives, such as our All-Ability Clubs, where 3,000 people with disabilities and carers attend our regular club sessions for free across London, accessing specialist cycles and our skilled team of Instructors.
Bikeworks was established as a social enterprise back in 2006 in the heart of London’s east end.
Founding partners Zoe Portlock and Jim Blakemore created the original vision for Bikeworks, inspired by London winning the bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, seeing this as a chance to seize the opportunity for excluded people and the wider community.
Over the years Bikeworks continues to prove itself an agile and responsive organisation, evolving its social business model in response to the needs of our beneficiaries, achieving more impact year-on-year, actively collaborating with other partners and stakeholders to achieve this.
Having started life in the living room of our founding partners, moving from location-to-location over the years, including warehouses to shop fronts, by 2018 Bikeworks had reduced the number of its physical locations across London to move towards a more flexible mobile outreach model. Significantly this marked a key milestone in our journey so far, when Bikeworks moved into its new home in the Lee Valley VeloPark on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park , realising the vision contained within the original Bikeworks business plan, titled “Olympic Bikes”.
Never has cycling been so important
Bikeworks’ East London Hub location in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, alongside our West London Hub and other outreach locations across London, has seen demand for accessing our All Ability Cycling Clubs continue to grow. To continue to address a range of different needs such as, mental health, dementia, physical and learning disabilities, a wider offer was launched over 2020-2021, to include Cycling for Wellbeing and the Ride-Side-by-Side.
As a community-evolved social enterprise, we remain focused on addressing disproportionate inequalities across London communities, and as an inclusive-cycling organisation our role is to prioritise the engagement of the most excluded, working together with partners to achieve this. We also recognise the longer-term impact caused by the pandemic, including its effect on exacerbating mental ill-health and widening pre-existing inequalities.
For Bikeworks there has never been a time when the role of cycling has been so important. With 2022 marking a decade of legacy since the London 2012 Games, in the Spring/ Summer we will launch the Bikeworks Inclusive Cycling Centre of Excellence, a visible home in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, taking the organisation up a gear as we continue to look at innovative ways of using the bicycle for good.