Electric Bike Loan Scheme

This is an old post for the most up to date information see here 

Cycling is one of those great win/win/wins you get some exercise, feel healthier and more in touch with your environment and it is by far the most energy efficient form of transport. Energy efficiency in transport is all about the power to weight ratio so it seems crazy that we design cars that weigh over a ton to move a person weighing 80 kilos.

OK there is a problem, Malvern is too hilly I hear you say and anyway I am too old to cycle. Not if you have an electric bike, when the sensor detects it is getting harder work for you the motor helps you pedal. The same with head winds. This means you are able climb hills easier and faster, none of that walking up hills, standing on pedals or puffing and panting

I live in Colwall Green and am 73 years old it takes me on average 15 mins to get to the middle of Malvern 4 miles away in a car and 20 minutes on an electric bike. I arrive feeling fresher but not sweaty. With paniers I can carry some shopping and of course park anywhere. There is something very satisfying about cycling, for me it is the combination of choosing my pace, sedate or thrilling, experiencing my surroundings and a warm glow of self-satisfaction knowing this is good for me and the planet.

It was this good for the planet Carbon Footprint saving associated with electric bikes compared with cars, particularly for the shorter journeys, that got us to start our Electric Bike Loan Scheme 6 years ago. Now you see many more in Malvern. We wanted local residents to experience the tremendous benefits of a good electric bike. With the motor assisting you as pedalling gets harder. Our idea was to give local residents the chance to have a real trial over a 2 week period, so they could try some of their regular trips to see if it works for them. We have 4 mid-range bikes for a free 2 week loan. I also have 2 folding bikes of my own that can be tried when visiting me, one is a converted Brompton an amazing machine if you need a small folder. I use this when ferrying the car club cars about.

There are two main systems of providing the power by either a motor in the wheel hub or a motor driving the crank/pedals. The later tends to be smoother and have better range and hill climbing ability with a smaller motor. There are also different power outputs of motors and batteries. We can help you figure out what is likely to be best for you depending on your use pattern, location, budget and fitness.

Our scheme has also been very helpful to people recovering from illnesses, operations and injuries. It has also helped people who have lost their licence to stay mobile and get to work. Many people have not cycled for years and are amazed at how well they can get back into it. Several parents have taken up electric bikes so they can ride with their children to school a great way of keeping them fit and helping children to see that car travel doesn’t have to be the default way to be mobile.

Using an electric bike in combination with our Car Club (Car Share 12 vehicles and 70 households in the Malvern area) can work very well. This way you have access to a car when you need it for those longer journeys or big shopping trips all at a fraction of the cost of running your own car (or second car).

Good bikes are expensive so sometimes people prefer to hire from us on a long term basis and we also sell our bikes after 3 years for less than half price. Malvern Cycles now stock and sell Electric Bikes and we can help you decide on the best electric bike for you. We strongly advise avoiding cheap ones on the internet as they often suffer from poor performance, reliability, early battery failure and no spares or service backup.  The exception might be if you are going to be a very occasional user but then we would suggest buying from a dealer who will give you service and near enough so you can return the bike easily.

For more information on electric bike loan go to here,  for the car club malvernhills-carclubs.org.uk or  contact Robin Coates 01684 540284 email robin@robincoates.com

This post is by Robin Coates and is based on an article by Robin in Malvern Hillistic.

Malvern Clothing Exchange

The Malvern Clothing Exchange currently open every Thursday morning , at the Octagon Centre, Brook Farm Drive, Malvern, WR14 3SQ. Upstairs in the gallery- between 10.30 and 12.30pm for exchanges of  Babies’ and young people’s clothing [ Ages 0-16 years]. The Octagon’s Coffee Club operates at the same time, open to all Malvern  residents.

Click here for a map of where the Octagon Centre is 

The Clothing Exchange welcomes parents/grandparents and children. Exchanges are usually three items per child but you can take more  and can come back again & again!  Many parents bring lovely clothes to donate.  Some are new donations from shops. There is no charge if you exchange items . If you have no clothes to exchange you may still take items  for your kids and leave a small donation to our running costs.

Saving the earth and saving you money for other things!

For more information see theoctagoncentre.org.uk

Malvern Cube Market


Malvern’s market is back, every Saturday.

This once popular Malvern market will be here every Saturday from 10:00am – 2:00pm, bringing you all your favourite produce including fruit & veg, locally produced meat and sausages, fresh bread and a variety of other artisanal stalls selling locally crafted goods.

Don’t worry about the weather, it’s all under cover! Ample free parking and on-site café.

Keep your community unique and shop local!

If you are interested in running a stall please contact the Cube on the details below.

Malvern Cube, Albert Road North Malvern, WR14 2YF
email: malverncube@me.com
Phone: 01684 575363
Facebook: /TheMalvernCube
Twitter: @MalvernCubeMKT @malverncube
web: www.malverncube.com

Sustainable Malvern and Where Do We Go From Here?


Transition Malvern Hills are putting on a course of 6 workshops led by Richard Preistley on Sustainable Malvern and Where Do We Go From Here?

The course is open to all with an aim of investigating how we, within the Malvern Hills district, approach making changes within our community  that can create a more sustainable and resilient society.

The course will be six sessions:

Thursdays 14th, 21st, 28th April, and 12th, 19th, 26 May, 7.30pm – 9.30pm at Manor Park Sports Club, Vaughan Hall, Albert Road North, Malvern WR14 2TL

The cost of these workshops will be £45 for the six workshops.

The poster for the workshops can be downloaded here

Aluna the Movie. There is no life without thought


We are showing the movie Aluna on 16th March at 7:30 pm at Vaughan Hall, Manor Park Sports Club,  Albert Road North, Malvern WR14 2TL. There will not be an entrance charge but donations to Transition Malvern Hills will be welcome. 

ALUNA is made by and with the KOGI, a genuine lost civilization hidden on an isolated triangular pyramid mountain in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, nearly five miles high, on the Colombian-Caribbean coast. The Kogi say that without thought, nothing could exist.

The core message of ALUNA is that the Kogi understand – as we do not – that there are critical interconnections within the natural world.  It is a subtle and hidden network, and interfering in one part has a major impact on other specific parts.  The words of the message are “protect the rivers” but the question is how?  The answer is to draw on indigenous understanding of environmental impacts, and the obvious follow-on is to engage indigenous expertise in environmental impact assessments.  This involves significant adjustment not only on the part of Western development projects, but also indigenous communities themselves to provide that assistance and guidance on request.  Systems need to be established for this, and it may well be the next task of the Trust to assist with this.

For more information on the Movie see www.alunathemovie.com.

Our poster for Aluna can be downloaded here.

Fix the Food System

Event Flyer - Student

Lucy who manages the Fold Farm is putting on this evening in the cafe from 6-9, focused on local food and the challenges for farming in the UK.

There will be music, games, activities and a quiz.

Lucy says “I’ll tell my story of why I gave up my fulfilling successful ‘career’ in the NHS to grow food… The issues we’ll explore are fundamentally relevant to all of us – we all eat. I hope to see all of you, and your families and friends, and anyone else you think might value it. I hope not just to speak to people who already think it’s important – others too. I hope it’ll be fun! See you there at 6pm.”

Act For Climate Justice

Climate Justice poster

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Paris Climate Change Agreement signalled a major milestone in the global challenge to  tackle climate change. What are the steps we each must take to unlock the  potential for a more sustainable future? What is required so that the earth and all  who live on it may flourish and live in peace?

Donations after expenses to Christian Aid.

Organised by Malvern Churches  Justice and Peace Group.

The pdf for the poster can be download here

See http://www.lansdownemethodist.org.uk/newsletter/whats-happening-events-coming-up/act-for-climate-justice.php for more information.