A celebration of London’s cycling culture through the eyes of some of the community’s most important members.
The London Bike Kitchen is based on an American concept that teaches it’s customers to fix their own bikes. Jenni Gwiazdowski is a Californian cycle-entrepreneur who moved to London during a pivotal time in Hackney’s most recent cycling revolution, and immediately spotted an opportunity to provide a valuable resource for the community. More than just another bike shop, the London Bike Kitchen is a school for every cyclist.
Bikefix in London’s West End is possibly London’s most well respected cycle workshop. Famed for being the cyclists last resort, bikefix pride themselves on having the skills to do the jobs the big shops can’t. An unlikely mix of homegrown talent, frame builders from Brompton and strong links with the best bicycle designers in the world, Stuart Dennison’s has assembled a world leading team of bicycle engineers.
Andrew’s mantra at the Bicycle Academy is, ‘It’s not always that world champions are taught by world champions’, and he’s certainly proving it to be true. The last decade or so has seen the art of bespoke frame building almost completely removed from the commercial market altogether, making way for cheaper, bland, but nevertheless very high quality, machine built frames. For many cyclists riding a bike is about the experience, and if the popularity of this course is anything to go by, that experience starts before the bike has even been built.
London Bike Kitchen
Warm, inspirational and overflowing with self motivation, Jenni set up the London Bike Kitchen out of a need to learn cycle maintenance that matched her desire to teach it. Providing the technical expertise is equally eccentric Pete, an accomplish frame designer that prefers to build frames that more resemble works of art than practical modes of transport.
Not content with selling ever more triangular shaped bicycles, Stuart is a pioneer of the recumbent cycling movement. Why ride laid back bicycles? Well apparently, says Stuart, it’s not because of the practical advantages (of which there are many), it’s because ‘riding a laid back bicycle is just a lot of fun’. Working closely with olympic gold medal bicycle designer Mike Burrows, bikefix also sell the hugely popular ‘8-freight’ cargo bike.
The Bicycle Academy
Although originally Andrew’s idea, the success of The Bicycle Academy is reliant on a special partnership. Brian Curtis founded Curtis bikes in 1972, but has bicycle design is in his blood and has been frame building since long before then. Andrew combines the technical skills of the ‘Grand Master’, along with his own unique, newcomers perspective, and a passion and flair for teaching. Follow this story of revolution in bespoke, hand built bicycles.