A Bike for Life7
Seven Reasons BEAMZ can help you and the planet.
It’s a bold statement but you should consider a BEAMZ Bike as Your Bike for Life.
There are 7 reasons why we think this is true...
The Long Life of a BEAMZ Bike
It’s made of wood, a long-lasting product. How many wooden chairs and tables have you thrown away? As with all bikes, the components will perish, but the wooden frame will survive.
It’s been tested. The frame design and fittings have been through a rigorous system of approval. It matches UK standards and has passed their tests. The natural world is much stronger than you realise, especially in the right hands.
Your BEAMZ bike will be registered to you, it will have identifying marks carved into the frame. You can even give the bike a special name. Although we expect you to have this bike for as long as you can ride, you will be able to pass it on to a fellow enthusiast. The bike will then be registered under their name and all the benefits will pass over.
Should there be any issues the bike is easily repairable and over time there will be a network of BEAMZ workshops able to keep you on the cycle path.
Enhance Your Life-Style
You will notice the difference as soon as you get on a BEAMZ bike - and maybe you’d expect us to say that - but a wooden bike really does make cycling a pleasure. There is a difference in the way it handles, and how it absorbs the bumps of a journey.
This is something you will have to discover for yourself but when you do take it for your first ride you’ll be surprised as to how quickly someone will begin a conversation with you about the bike, its good looks, and the fact it is made of wood.
It’s an artisan product, grown by nature, and crafted by people who are keen to save the planet. It will become part of your life. A companion.
The bike also has many environmental benefits. If you thought regular bikes were green think again. A BEAMZ bike has captured carbon within the wood and the amount of energy used to make it is 95% less than aluminium or carbon fibre bikes.
By riding a BEAMZ you’re demonstrating your positive impact on climate change.
Your Life - Span
Cyclist know that climbing off your bike after a good ride leaves us feeling fit and relaxed. Most people are aware of the benefits of gentle exercise and the greater benefits of vigorous or ‘interval’ exercise. But when we looked at the evidence even we were surprised.
Easy reading evidence is presented by Bike Radar who have identified 27 benefits of cycling.
For an accurate statistical result, you need data from lots of people. This survey from the British Medical Journal sampled over a quarter of a million people, male and female and varied ethnicities.
It reveals, albeit in a rather heavy statistical notation, that if you commute by bicycle you are only 59% as likely to die, compared to people who don’t.
Non-cyclists have asked in the past “isn’t cycling dangerous?”
Well this survey proves conclusively that not cycling is 40% more dangerous!
The health benefits of cycle commuting and the reduced risk of dying through ill health, outweigh the risk of accidents by that much.
It is perhaps not surprising that cycling reduced Cardio-vascular disease ( the chance of getting CVD is 54% and dying of CVD is 48% or less than half as likely compared to non-cyclists), but surprisingly it also significantly reduces the risk of cancer ( getting cancer is only 55% as likely and dying of cancer is 60% as likely compared to non-cyclists).
Data from the Office of National Statistics ( ONS ) reveals that the leading cause of death for people under 50 is suicide and overdoses.
At BEAMZ we find this heartbreaking.
To think of the unhappiness which precedes the suicide and the desolation of those they leave behind, it represents a motivating factor in the wellbeing aspect of our enterprise. Experience from our association with Monty’s Bike Hub has demonstrated the power of cycling in supporting mental wellbeing.
A further insight from the ONS is that as treatments of heart disease and other medical conditions allow us to live longer, Alzheimer’s and Dementia are becoming more common. Well none of us want to out-live our noodle, and Cycling Weekly have revealed that cycling can help to support the health of the brain.
Even though the first symptoms of Dementia may have arrived, The Alzheimer’s Society have revealed that cycling can help here too.
So the message is clear. For a long, healthy and happy life .. Get on your Bike!
Improving The Conditions For Wild-Life
It’s not just about the BEAMZ structure. It’s about the place where the wood is grown.
In a nutshell, the coppice movement is an ancient tradition that has shaped the British countryside and the wildlife contained in it.
By rotating your harvest in a seven-year cycle to allow the floor of the wood to flourish and within it grow important and diverse wildlife. Many of the Pollinator and predator invertebrates supported, play an important role in agriculture.
This form of woodland management can be reintroduced anywhere in the UK and supply local workshops ample material to provide BEAMZ bikes for their community and beyond.
Connective woodland, strips of woodland which join woods to one-another, allow species to migrate between woodlands, improving the available genetic diversity and allowing temporary local downturns in the population of a species to be restocked.
These strips could follow roads, railways, or rivers.
Coppice working these woods provides wildlife, material supply and the tree-root systems to support the soil, while preventing the trees getting big enough to fall and pose a danger to vehicles or trains.
Wellbeing - A Good Life.
The BEAMZ project has wellbeing as one of it’s core beneficial impacts.
Poor wellbeing can feel like anything from a mild dissatisfaction with your state of happiness, to experiencing mental states which seriously impact your life.
One in four people in the UK receive medication for stress and anxiety from their GP, while others “self medicate” with alcohol, illegal drugs or dysfunctional behaviour including self-harm and offending behaviour.
BEAMZ creates activities, for workers and volunteers in a number of areas which have been demonstrated to significantly improve wellbeing including;
Working with your hands
Working with wood.
Working in woodland.
Working to create environmental and social good.
Helping vulnerable people.
We evaluate the wellbeing gains we facilitate and where appropriate tell some of the stories behind those gains.
Buy a BEAMZ wooden bike and create some wellbeing.
Locality and Economic Life
At BEAMZ we believe a local customer should be able to buy a high-performance product made from local material, crafted by a local artisan. In today's globalised world, this has become very unusual.
The advantages are that climate change and ethical issues involved can be controlled by us in accordance with our values, allowing you to make a purchase which aligns with yours.
Money spent with BEAMZ is paid to local artisans and remains in the local area, where it can be spent and spent again to support people and families often in rural locations where employment opportunities are limited.
Wherever possible suppliers are as local or as national as we can get.
Sadly the UK’s bike component manufacturers have been largely supplanted by international competition but quality remains and it is possible to have a 90% BEAMZ British.
BEAMZ is a not-for-profit organisation so none of your money goes to shareholders.
Financial surpluses are re-invested to expand BEAMZ to increase our impacts.
Our Planet’s Life.
The biggest threat to humanity is the disregard for our relationship with nature. The result is climate-change and that needs to be addressed quickly.
So how does BEAMZ help? A longer explanation can be found here but in summary...
The biggest segment of energy usage in the UK is embodied-energy, the energy used to make the goods and the materials from which those goods are made.
Your fridge or freezer may have an energy rating for the electricity it uses, but not for the amount of energy that was used to make it. This embodied-energy is driving climate change.
Embodied-energy consumption is not reflected in the government's figures, because most of the goods we buy are made overseas, many in territories which are among the worst in terms of high carbon energy*.
By contrast, trees create excellent structural material, of which 98% is made from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water from rain. The process is powered by the Sun through the process of photosynthesis.
Therefore wood is not simply a zero-carbon material, it is actually a carbon-negative material.
Making a wooden bike takes 95% less energy to make than a conventional bike and captures 5kg of carbon dioxide.
We’re not having a dig at traditional manufacturers, as more people riding bikes and less reliance on fossil fuels really helps, but it’s an example of why wood is oh so good.
Another environmental benefit of wood is seen through the Silva culture.
European countries are on average 40% forest.
The UK is only 11% forest, divided more or less evenly into evergreen (softwood) and deciduous (hardwood) forest.
Maintaining and increasing the areas of forest has a range of significant advantages.
Now it may seem perverse that using trees to make bikes is a way to support or increase their number, but there is a well-known axiom in forestry that “the wood that pays is the wood that stays”.
In recent years, flooding has become a problem in many parts of the UK and it is the mismanagement of our woods which carries some of the blame.
The BEAMZ process helps bring coppice management back to the countryside and balance to nature.
There is much more information about this here
* - Please note that China is making big efforts to develop solar power, but their plans to become carbon neutral by 2060 are slower than most.