New bike scheme launches in Barking and Dagenham

As we draw closer to the festive season, many people will be thinking about what to get as a present for their loved ones. A great practical gift idea is a bicycle, and helping families get prepared in time, Barking and Dagenham Council, in collaboration with Peddle My Wheels, is launching a new initiative – Try Before You Bike – designed to make cycling accessible, affordable, and enjoyable for everyone in the local community.

At a time when energy bills and food shops cost more, the scheme provides residents, workers, and students in the borough with an option to purchase a bike for as little as £30 a month. Here’s how it works:

  • Choose your bike: Select your ideal bicycle and accessories using our user-friendly online tool.
  • Delivery and skills session: Your chosen bike will be delivered to your doorstep, accompanied by a complimentary cycle skills session to ensure you start your cycling journey confidently.
  • Affordable monthly payments: Pay a monthly, interest-free fee until you own the bike outright.
  • Flexible returns: Feel free to return your bicycle anytime after one month with no hidden fees. We even offer free home collection for your convenience.

For beginners seeking more training, Barking and Dagenham Council offers free cycle skills sessions through its comprehensive cycle training program. People who sign up for the Try Before You Bike scheme will be provided with further details about this when they order their bike.

Additionally, Vandome hosts regular social cycling and training sessions across the borough for ongoing support.

Cllr Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Economic Development, said:

“Getting on your bike is a great way to get fit and have an affordable transport option – gifting one to your loved one for Christmas, whether you rent or buy, is now more affordable for our residents. The Try Before You Bike scheme provides a cost-effective option for people in Barking and Dagenham to purchase a bike – it’s important to provide these options for people to cycle in flexible and accessible ways.”

“The scheme is the latest in our long line of efforts to promote cycling across the borough. Earlier this year we unveiled the Becontree Cycle Hub and launched a consultation to improve the borough’s cycling infrastructure, demonstrating our commitment to support our residents to cycle more.”

Victoria Spashett, Transport Planning Officer at Be First, said:

“It’s been a year-long Christmas for cycling enthusiasts across Barking and Dagenham – the Try Before You Bike scheme builds upon the numerous successes we’ve already had in the borough as a result of our ongoing commitment to community active travel activities. The number of schools across the borough recently participating in Cycle to School Week and International Walk to School Month nearly doubled from last year, showing how initiatives like the Try Before You Bike scheme are having a positive impact on residents in the borough and increasing active travel. We’re looking forward to helping more residents access and feel confident on their bikes.”

Tanvi, a participant of the Try Before You Bike scheme, said: 

“I’ve found the Try Before You Bike scheme to be a way to get back into cycling in London and is a cost efficient and convenient alternative to having to buy a bike outright. I love that it includes not just the bike but all necessary accessories too, and that you have complete flexibility on how long you want your subscription to be. It’s also great that there’s a buyback scheme that your subscription fees can count against.”

To treat yourself or a loved one to a new bike this Christmas and learn more about the Try Before You Bike, please visit: