Officially opening a bike rack

How you can get some free bicycle parking for your church or workplace

Today I got to officially open some new bike racks at Kings Road URC church in Southend. It was a lovely thing to be asked to do. I’ve been to the church before to do a cartoon talk, so I know that they are a lovely bunch of people, and a congregation who take environmental issues seriously.

Melanie Smith, the minister, said some appropriate words from the Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland (apparently the URC equivalent didn’t contain a blessing of the bicycle stands). Then I cut the green ribbon with the green scissors (photos below – some will be sent to the local paper to spread the word) before we retired to the church for coffee and mince pies.

Installing cycle parking is a brilliant thing for a church to do. Cycling is fun, healthy and sustainable, and bike racks like these make it easier for people to use a bicycle to travel to church activities.

These lovely heart-shaped bike racks (other shapes available) were supplied free by Park That Bike, an organisation funded by local councils to do this and other cycling-related activities. Currently you can benefit from this scheme if you live in County Durham, Dunstable, Gateshead, Houghton Regis, Lincoln, Luton, Newcastle, Oxford, South Essex (Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford), Southend, Thurrock or York. Your employer / organisation / church can apply here, and I’m told it is very straightforward.

If you don’t live in one of these places other schemes may be available – do let me know if you are aware of any. If not, why not lobby for something similar where you are?

[Update: Free cycle parking also available in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, Bournemouth, Derby, Herefordshire, South Gloucestershire and Swindon, all via Lifecycle UK. Thanks Ross.]

As an aside – I do enjoy these kinds of events. I’m available to open cycling cafes, church extensions, and small supermarkets. All openings considered – no job too small.

Some more pictures…

The ribbon is cut.

A group of cyclists and wellwishers.

Bikes on the bike racks.

I do like the heart-shaped bike racks.

Bother – forgot to return the special green scissors.


  1. Oh I say, that’s very impressive. Congratulations to all involved. I just lean my bike on the porch wall (though it’s only 200 yards from the house, so I’m just as likely to walk).

    1. Thanks Zoe! I did very little besides turning up 10 minutes beforehand and waving scissors around, but yes, good work by the church and the bike-rack people.

  2. This is a great idea. My church used to have bike racks, I am not sure if they are still there. I can manage a static bike, but have very poor balance and poor walking mobility, mostly use a scooter, but am considering a adult tricycle, so definite worth asking.

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