The seeds of The Bike Station were sown in the late nineties, when some parents with children at Sciennes Primary School in Edinburgh set up an informal bike swap for kids who had outgrown their bikes.
Things snowballed, and within a couple of years the parent who had taken the lead found their garage, shed and greenhouse filled with donated bikes. Far more people wanted second hand bikes than anyone had expected!
The parents decided that Edinburgh needed a more formal bike recycling operation. They successfully applied for grant funding and in April 2001 the Castle Cliff Bicycle Workshop on Johnstone Terrace opened:
Later the same year they received a visit from the Scottish Environment Minister Ross Finnie, to officially announce that Castlecliff had received a grant which allow them to employ a part time development worker for three years.
The Bike Station is born
A year later this project was moved to the basement of Edinburgh’s Waverley Railway Station, which is where the name The Bike Station comes from. The Bike Station was officially opened for business on the 14th of October 2002:
Moving on up to Causewayside
From these small beginnings, the Edinburgh Bike Station has since relocated to a much larger site in Edinburgh at 250 Causewayside to meet the city’s demand for recycled bikes. At first The Bike Station used to only sell bikes on a Saturday. This used to result in some pretty wild queues around the building with some people queueing from 6am to get their hands on one of our bikes!
These days we’re open five days a week for bike sales, and you should never encounter a queue more than two people deep.
A Bike Station in Perth followed in 2010. Glasgow Bike Station joined the Bike Station family in 2012, though they rebranded as Bike for Good in 2017.
From small beginnings as an informal school bike swap, we’ve grown to become Scotland’s largest bicycle recycling organisation. We take in over 10,000 old and discarded bikes a year. In 2014 the Edinburgh Bike Station recycled its 40,000th bike, and in the same year the Perth Bike Station recycled its 15,000th bike.
Rising from the ashes
Sadly it hasn’t all been plain sailing. In 2016 the Edinburgh Bike Station’s Causewayside shop suffered a disastrous fire. Among the many casualties was the “landmark” 50,000th bike recycled in Edinburgh.
The fire broke just days before The Bike Station was due to celebrate its 14th anniversary – but despite this the staff had the shop and workshop up and running again in our warehouse space at 244 Causewayside within days.
Bigger and better
After months of hard work – and a fantastic response to our online fundraiser – we reopened our original Causewayside shop for business in May 2017. The new shop is bigger and better than ever before. Please call in to look at our bikes and accessories, or just to find out a bit more about what we do.