Will Dean's Ideas Factory: Wiggo-worthy new bike? Ditch your old one here


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The Independent Online

One not really reported aspect of the post Tour de France/Olympics boom in bike purchases, estimated by one retailer to be as much as 18 per cent, is what happens to the bikes left behind.

A completely unscientific study of the cycle cage where this writer parks his knackered old Specialized, suggests that some bike owners (specifically the owner of a Raleigh hybrid whose chain is now bright orange with rust) might not worry too much about the final resting place of their trusty two-wheeled steads.

But, rather than send your bike to the scrapyard or flogging it for a nominal fee (I reckon I could get a few Greggs pasties for mine if I sold it on eBay), there are ways of clearing up that space in your garage and helping someone else out too.

One of the best is the Re-Cycle scheme. Its thesis is that hundreds and thousands of perfectly workable bikes are going to waste in Britain each year as cyclists upgrade. Meanwhile, in some places in the world, where long journeys by foot are the norm for collecting water and provision, those two wheels could save hours of time and energy for someone unbothered by its lack of carbon forks.

Since its founding in 1998, Re-Cycle has shipped over 30,000 repaired old bikes, including thousands from the Royal Mail to countries including Namibia, Ghana and Liberia.

If you've been inspired to buy, and now have an old bike you don't need, you can drop it off at Re-Cycle's pick-up points in Ipswich, the Isle of Wight; Cambridge. Newcastle, London and Chelmsford.

More: re-cycle.org

A way to search for words within videos – just not Hollywood ones

Ever wanted to find a clip of someone speaking on YouTube but unable to find it via a keyword search? That's the sell behind Mobento.com which, despite sounding like a discontinued line of Fiats, is a website claiming to do just that.

As a resource it could prove invaluable for those looking for specific bits of knowledge. Ie, students cobbling together an essay at 2am fuelled by energy drinks and cheese on toast. While the functionality is cool and – after four or five tests (I wrote down some phrases contained within some of the videos and searched for them) it seems to work too.

If you're looking for a quote from a film, it's not for you, though. Most of the content is taken from top universities, indeed if you look now you can find anything from the University of Illinois' Bill Hammack talking nuclear proliferation to Mark Zuckerberg discussing how to hire the right people (in a speech given to students at Stanford University).

Of course there are selections from the now-ubiquitous TED series of lectures as well as Nasa explaining how to get to Mars.

As well as making life easier for students, Mobento will also make it a lot easier for lecturers to search out any plagiarised phrases. Don't say you weren't warned.