Brixton Cycles: why one London bike shop needs to be saved

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2015-07-07_14

This is a guest piece by Umbrella's cycling editor, Don G Cornelius
 
My LBS (Local Bike Shop) is under threat, but with your goodwill and more importantly your generously donated cash, you can help save them.
 
Brixton Cycles, London’s oldest worker-owned bike cooperative has been the place I’ve come to for help with my bikes since I was a wee ‘un – its friendly faces, calm help and desire to make sure I get the right bits to get me back on the road has enshrined them in local lore.
 
Everyone who rides a bike, or wants to ride a bike needs a great LBS near them, and Brixton Cycles epitomises that, even though it can’t compete with online stores on price. The knowledge of its staff, their helpful attitude to every customer, from the kid needing spanners to tweak their BMX or skateboard to the new commuter who's buying their first bike, is a sign that they're dedicated to helping fellow riders.
 
Now with gentrification racing through London, like a peloton preparing for the last kilometre, the shop needs to find a new home, as its current premises are to be demolished to make way for luxury flats in early 2016. The cooperative estimates the total cost of securing, renovating and moving into a new space as between £120K & £150k. 
 
A crowdfunder has been launched on Crowdfunder.co.uk, and with less than a week to go, it's reached the initial target of £40k, and is now aiming for £80k. Brixton Cycles' longest serving member, Lincoln Roman, who has been with the shop for 26yrs said, “The generosity shown so far has been overwhelming! We’re humbled by the awesomeness of everybody who’s supported us – from the smallest donation to the largest. We’ve had loads of pledges from non-cyclists, who want to support the cause and what we stand for. That’s amazing! But this is just the beginning. We still need help to secure our future premises and to continue our presence in the community. We don’t want to just survive, but to thrive!”
 
So now’s the time to help one of the best bike shops in London, if not the UK. And your donations will not only keep Brixton Cycles going but will also repay you in the form of a series of rewards, which include your name on the wall of the new shop, caps, T-shirts, exclusive screen prints, a personal history tour of Brixton – ending in a pub, an induction at Herne Hill Velodrome, free servicing and wheel building courses, and loads more in between. That's a lot of love there.
 
So here’s to helping local communities and local bike shops, and the generations who have learned to ride/fix and improve their bikes in them, one gentrification-threatened space at a time. 
 
The crowdfunding campaign is live on crowdfunder.co.uk until November 25.
 







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