On September 5th, SJ Cycling organized the Bicyclean Day, which focused on cleaning and servicing bicycles for the community and by the community. The event was open to everyone from our community and approximately 80 bikes were fully cleaned and serviced largely by our Under 16s, their dads and volunteers.
Starting the day at 8am, the SJ Cycling team arrived at the workshop in preparation for the day, to setup the production lines, and general facilities to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
The volunteer army (mainly U16s and dads) started arriving at around 830am, fully kitted and super excited to help out for the day. Chief Mechanic Mo and Scrum Master Raza started the day with a commanding brief articulating how the production line will work and assigning duties for a smooth operation.
In parallel, our ladies’ team were busy preparing the front desk, registration and merchandise storefront, kids’ room and nourishments to ensure our kiddos were occupied and the volunteers had enough fuel to churn out the bicycles at record pace.
The bikes started arriving shortly after 9 and before we know it, we were in possession of almost 70 bikes within an hour. A huge challenge was upon us but that did not scare the U16s. The volunteers adapted to the process without prior experience in no time. From Stage 1 (registration and tagging), to Stage 2 (cleaning), to Stage 3 (washing and drying), Stage 4 (servicing) to Stage 5 (assessment and collection), the U16s and their dads worked like clockwork. In between, we were blessed with some Karak Chai thanks to Mohammed Asaria. The environment was totally electric.
By 12pm, all bikes had been through Stage 1 to Stage 3, and the tummy’s started rumbling. It was time for Mrs. Rashid’s special burgers accompanied by Hannah’s delicious cookies and drinks. Even this treat did not stop U16’s enthusiasm – they couldn’t wait to get back to sorting the bikes out. What dedication!
Not forgetting the epic tube replacement 5-min challenge set to Jamil Mapero by Murtaza Kanani. It had half the workshop stop to watch. We’re still waiting for the 50£ donation Jamil (ahem!). There was still lots to learn for the volunteers in Stage 4; from indexing (over 40 bikes! thanks to Mo!) to alignments, to puncture repairs to lubing to… the list can go on and on and on.
Oh, and special words of wisdom from our very own
Before we know it, Stage 5 was well under-way and eventually all bike owners were given their glowing AAWA-ready bikes ready for the Sportive.
Alhamdulillah, we have moved from trying to get bikes prepped on the morning of the ride to getting them all ready a week in advance. This has been a great achievement and more importantly the generation of the future got a great demonstration in practical bike maintenance skills, organization, teamwork, work ethic and above all sacrifice. It will hold them in good stead.
Today, we as a cycling community, coming together have raised circa £2,000 in Bicyclean and water bottle sales as part of our AAWA fundraising campaign, Alhamdulillah.
We would like to thank all the dads for who spent their Saturday knee deep in bike grease and oil; thanks to the whole community for your support in helping make AAWA successful. But a very special thanks to all the U16 boys who showed up on their Saturday, and spent the whole days washing bikes, scrubbing chains, and dealing with adults. Also, sincere thanks to Hanif Samnakay and Muzaffer Rashid for supporting us. May the Almighty reward you all infinitely for your time, dedication and sacrifice.
Lastly, We still need your support to reach out fundraising target, please donate to the Ali Asghar Water Appeal Campaign and spread the word to your friends and family.