This week is Bike Week, writes Andy Chivers, and I find myself reflecting on the ironic contrast with previous Bike Weeks since we can’t organise rides, but many more people are out there riding a bike and would probably have enjoyed an organised ride.

The roads are quiet, the weather has been perfect and cycling has been encouraged by the Government as a good form of exercise. Even better, women and young families have been out together, not just middle-aged men.

One example of this enthusiasm for cycling has been the overwhelming success of the Bikes for Keyworkers project, for which I am one of the 15 volunteer mechanics. We have been receiving donated bikes, bringing them up to decent working order and after a professional check offering them to one of the key workers who has requested a bike.

The project continues to grow; already we have passed on nearly 100 bikes to a huge variety of keyworkers. Seeing someone get back on a bike after years not riding is a wonderful thing. One person walked three miles to collect her bike and then rode home. We have had so many nice comments from the keyworkers which encourages us to keep going. The people who donated bikes have been so generous, often delighted to be able to see their neglected bike pressed into useful service. We have had people sell racing bikes and give the money to the project, people have also given pumps, lights, locks and spare parts such as panniers and racks.

Talking in our street when outside on a Thursday evening applauding health and care workers, two neighbours offered their help so we share the work and have got to know each other better as a result. Two people going past saw me working on the bikes outside our house and asked if I could fix their bike for them which I was very happy to do.

As the project settles down into a rhythm and we get more experienced, we hope to see an improvement in the speed we can turn bikes around since people are keen to get riding and the donors are keen for us to take their bikes. As well as the kindness of people making a gift of bikes which were often much loved, we have also been overwhelmed by people’s generosity in giving money – £4000 from individuals alone. This funds locks and lights for each bike, replacement tyres and brakes and the final check by a trained bike shop mechanic. There are 200 people on the list for a bike, and another 200 on a waiting list if we get more bikes, so it shows no sign of losing momentum. See the Cyclox website if you want to get involved – by giving a bike, or money, or helping as a mechanic.