Bike Academy is one of the projects run by Velocity to promote cycling as part of a healthy happy lifestyle.

Over the course of 6 weeks people strip back and re-build a bike, developing labour skills, life skills and social skills through practical activity. The course introduces the idea of cycling as an alternative mode of transport, recreation and the many positive benefits of cycling.

We work in conjunction with four secondary schools in Inverness who identify a group of four pupils for each course which runs one morning a week for 6 weeks. Dates are allocated to each school by Velocity Bike Academy Staff.

We also deliver Bike Acadmey as part of the Employability Pipeline to adults referred to the programme through the Job Centre.

At the start of the course each person is given their own bike to work on. They then completely strip, service and re-build their bikes over the 6 weeks. We cover puncture repair, changing cables, brake and gear set up as well as bottom bracket, headset and wheel hub bearings. We have developed a series of course notes to accompany the practical sessions. These include written exercises and explanatory notes, and include diagrams to assist learning. The participants will take their own course booklet away with them at the end of the course along with their newly refurbished bicycle.

The focus of Bike Academy is to increase participants' mechanical awareness and practical skills in cycle maintenance. People work individually on their own bike as well as together in pairs or as a group. Along the way we cover planning, group work, communication skills and literacy and numeracy skills.

We aim to get all participants up to SQA Level 3 standard in cycle maintenance which is awarded through the individual school.

Funding for this project is through Smarter Choices Smarter Places and is partially funded by the pupil's schools.

We are always in need of bikes to restore for the project, if you have any unwanted bike you'd like to donate please contact: bikeacademy@velocitylove.co.uk