Liverpool-based Peloton’s aim is to make bikes social, accessible and inclusive. It uses a range of cycles to give people inclusive experiences and transferable skills. “We see it as an opportunity to work with people whatever they bring,” says founder Danny Robinson, “from abilities and disabilities to dreams and ambitions – we start from there.” Danny describes it as “person-centred practice,” using his background as a trained therapist to create a range of projects to improve accessibility.
Cycling Without Age sees older riders tour the city’s parks on a trike, while former projects have equipped young people in the criminal justice system with skills, training and confidence; Molly Coddle supports mums to ride safely with their children, promoting bikes as a sustainable and safe form of family transport. Peloton’s BMX track in Everton Park focuses on young people between the ages of seven and 11, working through practical skills and pastoral care, from making friends and improving confidence to BMX skills, mechanics, and track building.
At Cycling Without Age, trike volunteers are recruited at the university, where Peloton runs a shop. “Yes, it allows older people to get out and about on a trike,” says Danny. “But it’s also introducing younger people to what it is to offer care and support in a really intimate way. They both feel good. It has huge impact.”
Peloton’s Agile delivery service has pioneered last-mile deliveries across the city, offering a sustainable and cost effective alternative to expensive last-mile delivery drops. Working with other STOs including Greens for Good, Kitty’s Launderette, News from Nowhere and Windmill Co-op, Danny says demand has risen from around ten hours a week, pre-pandemic, to 50 a week now.
“We don’t rely on grant funding,” says Danny, “so it’s vital that we have commercial services that bring money in. We think that people should choose us – businesses should choose to buy a bike from us – because of the things we do.” Alongside Agile, Peloton also runs a bike shop to provide traded income that helps support its accessibility projects; it ran a mobile service throughout lockdown keeping key workers and their bikes on the road.
Peloton is now working with Kindred to develop Agile, categorising skills and jobs into four areas: riding, maintenance, design and tech. “Kindred’s worked with us on a bid to the Innovation Fund for a training manager, which will enable us to recruit and train four apprentices, learning each element in turn,” says Danny.
“For me, social enterprise is more than work: ideas percolate from everyday life and we toy with these ideas all the time – that’s where the value of collaboration is at its optimum.”
Peloton has also supported members of the Kindred community with a fortnightly bike auction. By donating a bike for Kindred to auction, it’s supported STOs that have experienced hardship during lockdown, including, so far, Therapeutic Garden, a new Positive Futures children’s home and refugee and asylum seeker support hub Cafe Laziz.
“We’re at our best when we’re collaborating,” he says. “Our shop at the Guild of Students developed from sharing our knowledge of wellbeing and theirs of the student experience and coming together over a three-year period to get the offer right for everyone. It helps if you have similar values or products, but collaboration can be found all over the place. It can be for a little or a long time; forever or a week. It’s in the contact and purpose that we learn exponentially.”