Monday, 17 September 2012

Crowdfunding Bristol's Community Bike Cafe

Whether it be as a means of transport or to keep physically fit, cycling is enjoying something of a renaissance in the UK. This revived interest in pedal power has particularly taken hold in Bristol making it the first cycling city, which has inspired an idea for a community cafe for cyclists. The project, Roll For The Soul, aims to provide a cafe and social hub for cyclists, not only serving quality refreshments but acting as a one stop resource centre to promote and support cycling in the city. The project has turned to crowdfunding to help raise some of the necessary funds, through the UK based platform Crowdfunder.

Roll For The Soul (RFTS) is the idea of Rob Wall, a former lecturer in transport psychology (for which  he also has a PhD) and project manager for Sustrans, the UK's leading charity for promoting alternative day to day travel which includes cycling, which due to the rise in fuel costs as well as concerns for the environment is becoming increasingly popular. As well as financial and environmental concerns, the recent surge in cycling has in part been driven by a need to become physically fit inspired by success of British cyclists in pro-racing events such as the Tour de France and the London 2012 Olympics. 

As well as a cafe or resting stop for weary cyclists, serving quality Fair Trade refreshments, RFTS main aim is to support and promote cycling in Bristol, by providing a plethora of resources which include, repairs service, workshop tutorials and skill sharing as well as limited sale of refurbished bicycles and accessories. The hub will also welcome non cyclists in an effort to promote cycling as fun, healthy, and inexpensive, answering questions and offering support where need. It will essentially be a place cyclists can call their own, and completely non-profit orientated with any surplus revenue going towards promoting cycling in the city working with various organisations.

The project needs £90,000 to cover working capital as well as year one operational costs, of which only £12,000 will be sought through crowdfunding to help pay for kitchen equipment, seating, and cash registers. The project features on the platform Crowdfunder, based in Exeter. Those who donate will receive an array of rewards which include an assortment of RFTS merchandise such as postcards, pin buttons, T-shirts and exclusive prints, as well as an invitation to the opening party with food and drink provided.For those who donate £300 or more, a life time membership offering 10% discount along with a promise to be treated like royalty. The campaign has just under 40 days to raise the necessary funds and to date has received £5,500 in donations. 

For more information and to make a donation click here to visit the project's Crowdfunder page.

Image Credit; tejvanphotos

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