The Bicycle Academy is launching a four day fillet brazing course in Somerset, which will teach skills to participating students and result in working bikes for the needy in Africa.
It wasn’t long ago that we were writing about Zambikes, a social enterprise helping Zambians learn how to create bikes. Now we’ve come across another startup with a focus on bicycles that’s also hoping to do some good in the developing world. The Bicycle Academy aims to teach bike building skills in the UK, with each apprentice’s first creation sent to Africa. Founded by mechanical design engineer Andrew Denham with the help of frame builder Brian Curtis, the startup runs from a workshop in Somerset, England, where those enrolling on the course will have access to the equipment and material they need to build a bike frame. They will be taught fillet brazing — a type of welding that links metal tubes with bronze — over four days of training sessions, for five hours a day. Students will work to specifications to build a TBA Africa bike frame, which has been designed especially for use in Africa. Once completed, the frame will be used to form a working bike which will be shipped off for use by those in need. The Bicycle Academy has teamed up with the charity Re-Cycle to facilitate distribution, with plans for the bikes’ components to be produced by World Bicycle Relief. After graduating, students can make use of the workshop for their own projects. Beginning in June, the course costs GBP 1,000 for single learners, or GBP 600 each for pairs. The Bicycle Academy aims to offer UK bike lovers the skills to get more involved with their passion while benefitting those less fortunate. An idea to emulate in your part of the world? Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann