Your Old Bike Could Change A Life

IN 2020, DISCERNING CYCLIST WILL DONATE £5 FOR EVERY OLD BICYCLE DONATED TO RE-CYCLE AND ALSO SEND THE DONOR A BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATED CYCLING PRINT BY STE JOHNSON. SIMPLY DONATE YOUR BIKE TO RE-CYCLE AND SEND A PIC OF YOUR BICYCLE TO US HERE! If you’re visiting Discerning Cyclist, the chances are you’re a big fan of bicycles. Every year, around 3 million brand new bikes are bought in the UK. But what happens to cyclists’ old bikes? Well, unfortunately, those that aren’t sold or left to rot in a shed end up in landfill. That’s why, in 2020, Discerning Cyclist is supporting Re-Cycle – an amazing charity that accepts unwanted bikes in the UK and sends them to rural communities in Africa where they can literally transform lives.

Re-Cycle – Bike Donation in the UK

Over the past 21 years, Re-Cycle, based in Colchester, Essex, have accepted over 100,000 bike donations from the UK and sent them to people in need in rural Ghana, Zambia, The Gambia and South Africa. For those in need, a bike can be the ultimate gift of independence. It can be a way to get to school. It can be a way to reach a job. It can even be used to collect clean and safe drinking water for a whole family. Many people in these communities spend hours walking every day in order to collect living essentials such as water, food or firewood, meaning they don’t have time to go to school or get a job. With a bicycle, they can drastically reduce the time such activities take, enabling them to use their time in other ways, while also massively broadening the area that they can reach.

How Re-Cycle Recycle Bicycles

Having partnered with other companies, Re-Cycle have over 100 drop-off locations in the UK, where you can donate your old bike. Their biggest partnership is with Halfords, with over 70 of their stores accepting bikes, before sending them down to Re-Cycle’s HQ in Essex.
At their headquarters, Re-Cycle then turn the bike into a “flatpack” for transportation by turning the handlebars and removing pedals etc. in order to be able to send as many bikes as possible in each container to Africa. They manage to get around 500 bikes in each container and, in 2019 alone, they sent over 20 containers. If my maths is right, that’s over 10,000 bikes and even more lives transformed.

How and Where to Donate a Bike

Both kids and adult bikes can be donated to Re-Cycle – so long as the bike is still in working order, they’ll accept it. Donating is also very easy. Simply find a drop-off point near where you live (full list here), select a location on the Re-Cycle website and then complete the online form. And Discerning Cyclist would like to give you some extra motivation to donate your bike in 2020as for the first 100 bikes donated by the Discerning Cyclist audience, we’ll donate £5 per bike to Re-Cycle AND send you a special illustrated print by Ste Johnson that reflects the Re-Cycle mission. All we ask is that you send an email to with a picture of you and the bike you’re donating (or just the bike, if you’re camera shy). We’ll be putting these pictures together on a celebratory post on Discerning Cyclist.

Other Ways to Support Re-Cycle

Don’t have a spare bike that you’re willing to say goodbye to? No problem. If you have a few quid to spare, you can also donate to Re-Cycle to help fund their amazing cycling mission.

Discerning Cyclist 2020 Mission

In 2020, Discerning Cyclist wants to help donate an extra 100 bikes to Re-Cycle. What’s more, for every bike donated, we’ll also donate £5 and also send you a special cycling illustration by Ste Johnson as a way of thanks. If you’d like to donate, here’s what you need to do:
  • Find a place to donate here
  • Once you’ve selected your location, simply complete the form
  • Then drop off the bike and take a picture!
For every picture we receive of you and your donated bike, we’ll also donate £5 and send you a beautiful illustration! Your unwanted bike could change a life.


Bike #001 – Sylvia, Hertfordshire

Bike #002 – Karen (my Mum! The wine wasn’t donated), Cheshire

Bike #003 – Ash, Leicestershire

Bike #004 – Ash (again!), Leicestershire

Bike #005 – Julie, Warwickshire

Bike #006 – Steven, Hampshire

Bike #007 – Dean, Surrey (Picture to follow)

Bike #008 – Mandy, Hampshire

Bike #009 – Craig (Picture to follow) [thermometer]

Pete Reynolds

Pete is the co-founder and editor of Discerning Cyclist. He commutes by bike daily from his home to his co-working space. Originally from Wirral, UK, Pete now lives in Spain. When visiting a new city, Pete loves nothing more than to explore it on two wheels. See Pete's Muck Rack profile

2 Responses

  1. Sarah Wheeldon says:

    I run a social cycling Group in Manchester with > 800 members (Urmston Social Cycling on FB). There was some interest from members in being able to donate their bikes through this scheme but to my absolute amazement it appears that non of the Manchester based Halfords stores have brought into this and there are rather sadly no drop off points anywhere even remotely near Manchester. Very disappointing. I’ll try and contact Halfords about this too! Did they simply refuse to support the initiative?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Yeah crazy, I just spotted the real lack of drop-off points around Manchester.

      I’ve also just dropped them an email to see if they can open up a place in Manchester somewhere.

      Thanks for your support!

      Happy cycling,

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