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Bike Station History

The seeds of The Bike Station were sown in the late nineties, when a group of parents with children at Sciennes Primary School in Edinburgh came together to form an informal bike swap, for their kids who had outgrown bikes.

What started as an informal bike swap snowballed, and within a couple of years the parent who had taken the lead on the project found their garage, shed and greenhouse filled with donated bikes, and demand for secondhand bikes higher than ever anticipated.

The parents saw potential for a more formal bike recycling operation, and after successfully applying for grant funding, this led to the opening of the Castle Cliff Bicycle Workshop on Johnstone Terrace in 2002:  

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Castle Cliff Workshop in 2002

This site was later demolished, which necessitated a move to the basement of Edinburgh's Waverley Railway Station in 2003, and a renaming to The Bike Station:

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The first Bike Station at Waverley Station, 2003

From our small beginnings, the Edinburgh Bike Station has since relocated to a much larger site on Edinburgh's Causewayside to meet the city's demand for recycled bikes.  

A Bike Station in Perth followed in 2010, and the fomer Glasgow Bike Shed joined the Bike Station family in 2012, renaming itself as the Glasgow Bike Station.  

The Glasgow Bike Shed began it's life in small premises in the Barras Market, as a volunteer run bike recycling project/shop:

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The original Glasgow Bike Shed

Since then, the Glasgow Bike Station has also relocated to much larger premises in Kelvingrove.  This has followed on from the successful expansion of their activites and services, including a successful Climate Challenge Fund supported three year Better Way to Work project.

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The Glasgow Bike Station

The Edinburgh Bike Station used to only sell bikes on a Saturday, resulting in some pretty crazy queues around the building, with some people queueing from 6am to get a bike:

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Photo c/o Cameron Rose

Thankfully in Edinburgh and Glasgow we're now open five days a week - Tuesday to Saturday - for bike sales, and Monday to Saturday in Perth, meaning you'll hopefully never encounter a queue more than two people deep! 

From what started as an informal bike swap, as an organisation as a whole we've grown to become Scotland's largest bicycle recycling organisation, and are now taking in over 10,000 old and discarded bikes a year.  Our aim is to re-use as many bicycles as we can, giving them a new lease of life - in 2014 the Edinburgh Bike Station reached the milestone of recycling it's 40,000th bike, and in the same year the Perth Bike Station recycled it's 15,000th bike.  Glasgow Bike Station also received a very nice surprise donation that same year.  With your help we can recycle even more bikes - see our page on how you can donate to us.