Hundreds of people queued up today in a bid to grab a bike completely free of charge at a community cycling workshop in Radford. Around 70 bikes were given away.

The charitable organisation, Nottingham Bikeworks, employs two qualified mechanics and a number of volunteers who refurbish old bicycles which are then sold or given away for free to children across the city.

Managing director Ian Keetley, 40, said their aim is to encourage more people to ride bikes, and one of the ways to do this is break down the barriers surrounding cycling - particularly high prices.

Deborah Millar, a health care worker from Top Valley, was visiting with her grandson, Alexander, as it was his seventh birthday. "I think it's an awesome service," she said. "It's Alexander's birthday and we cannot afford to give him a birthday party. We got here at 10.25am more than an hour ago and it was so worth waiting for.

"It's unbelievable. It's amazing." Derrick Williams, of Mapperley, had come with his five-year-old daughter, Sophia. "It's a great scheme because it means you can shift sizes up," he said. "She has been learning to ride at Harvey Hadden and she has really got into it, but they grow out of the bikes too quick. It's really good because you can bring a bike down and get the size up."

Gary Brailsford, 42, and his wife, Jo, also 42, brought their two children, James, seven, and Isla, 10, from Hucknall and said they bring their bikes back to the workshop once they grow out of them. Mr Brailsford added: "I like the idea of donating an old bike and coming for another. It's a really good scheme. When they grow out of them again, we can donate them back."

The Bonus Big Bike Revival was organised by the charity Cycling UK, which looks to help people overcome obstacles surrounding cycling.

It follows a similar event back on July 13 this year, when all bikes were taken within just a few hours.

In the latest bike giveaway, which began at around 9am, all bikes were gone by around 12.30pm on the day.

Ian Keetley, who has been the managing director for a year, said he had not expected so many parents and children to turn up. He said: "It's a little bit overwhelming.

"We had 60 bikes done up and ready to go. As people come in with donations, we give them away and ask the new owner to bring them back so we can make sure they are safe. It's just so they get their name on them. "In the end we will have given away around 70 bikes.

It's also helping raise awareness to what we do. We work with job seekers, asylum seekers and children in care. We are not just a bike shop, that part is a means to an end. "One of the other things we are doing today is free bike checks as well. We're just calling for more bikes now. Anyone who has got a bike can bring it. "And we always need volunteers. You don't need to know how to fix a bike, you don't have to be a mechanic."

Cycling UK offered Nottingham Bikeworks a booster grant to host the second giveaway of the year.

Children's bicycles usually cost just £35 at the workshop, compared to average retailers charging around £100.

Nottingham Bikeworks was open until 4pm, and despite all bikes going within just a few hours, people could still attend to get small fixes done, such as punctures, free of charge.

Posted in today's Nottinghamshire Live news.

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