30 May 2022

Nicky Redford

What’s your name?
Nicky Redford. I am one half of the team that set up the cycle café Pedal Back Cycling.

Which is your shop?
24 Lillie Road. Opposite The Lillie Langtry pub.

How long have you been on Lillie Road?
We've been here three and a half years now. The first tenants to move in along here, aside from The Prince, was us and The Hoarder.

Where did you come from?
We started in Tooting in Broadway market with a tiny little unit with a cafe and bar at one end and a workshop at the other. We built an absolutely brilliant little community but unfortunately the landlords were pretty awful and put the rent up every 12 months so eventually that was that. But in the meantime, we'd been approached to come here. It was really exciting to have our own shop with the space to have a lot more things going on.

Did you come to this through food or through bikes?
Both. Me and my partner set this up and she was really into the food side of things and I was really into the bike side of things. That's how it started. We're not by any means claiming to be the first. There's plenty of other cycle cafés out there but there's not that many in London that actually have a full café and a workshop and bike sales. A lot of them are really just bike themed.

Where do your customers come from?
A couple of mile radius, really. We've had people that have got a puncture and they're up near Knightsbridge and they’ve pushed their bike all the way down to us.

How has the area changed?
Pandemic-permitting, there's been a lot more activity, a lot more engagement and a lot more interest – not just in this little strip of shops, but in the area in general. Last year, when Earls Court Development Company brought in Underbelly [to curate the London Wonderground festival], it was so nice to see the space being used; people coming into the area; new faces that have never been to this part of town. It was also good news that the crew were there during the set up and take down because that was overspill for us – we got trade from that.

What’s your favourite thing about doing what you do?
When people drop in and show us the passion projects that they've spent years on. The nice thing is that people want to come in and talk about what they're doing. So we do see some really lovely bikes that people have just put their heart and soul into.

What would you say to people who pass by?
For anybody that's in the area: Come and explore. They might not have been this way for a long time. Things have changed. There's a lot more to it to enjoy. Food, drink, us. Yeah. Come and see.

How can people contact you?
Our Instagram is @pedalbackcycling, our website is pedalbackcycling.com and the shop telephone is 0207 0185 280.