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Bicycle Kitchen gets off to a wheely great start

Reading likes to ride its bicycles and drink coffee – and now they can do both as a new initiative opens its doors in the town centre.

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Taking over the former floor space of Jackson’s department store while plans for the renovations are completed, the Reading Bicycle Kitchen launched on Saturday, June 14 with live music, balloons and bike fixing. There was also live music from Steve Moran.

Hundreds of people entered the store from its High Street entrance, bringing bikes to be fixed and to see what was happening.

Volunteers, all wearing green aprons, handed out balloons to happy children and invited people inside to get a taste for the cooking of the kitchen.

The Kitchen provides space for people to drop-in and maintain or fix their bikes. With pricing starting at £4 an hour to a maximum of £10 for four hours, visitors can bring their bike and help get it made road worthy again.

The emphasis is on training and encouragement, with all the tools and a range of experts on hand to talk you through what needs doing. And people can also enjoy refreshments.

Reading Bicycle Kitchen’s publicist Jessica Sage said: “We’ve just launched today. At 10am today one of our volunteers cut the ribbon and we officially opened the Reading Bicycle Kitchen.

“It is a do-it-yourself bicycle workshop for Reading cyclists, hopefully encouraging more people to dust off the bike that’s in their garage and bring it down to us and help them fix it.

“Rather than do it for them, we’ll teach them how to do it.”

The Reading Bicycle Kitchen also welcomes donations of bikes which can be fixed up or reused for parts.

It opens from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays and from 6pm to 9pm on Thursdays.

For more details, log on to www.readingbicyclekitchen.org, join its Facebook group or follow them on Twitter.

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