Still struggling to find a Christmas present for the cyclist in your life? Look no further than Bicyclebox, which opened its doors this week on Philip Lane.
Specialising in bike repairs and servicing, the deceptively large shop also sells a range of bike accessories and second-hand bikes – which may or may not fit into your stocking.
Tottenham locals may know owner Mick Drewitt already: he’s been operating from home as ‘Bicycle Michael’ for a year or so, keeping Tottenham’s bikes safe and speedy.
Mick tells me he grew up around pushbikes and had always had a keen interest in their workings, mending them as a hobby. Then he moved on to motorbikes, taking jobs as a mechanic and even getting into racing for a while.
But a close encounter with the bottom of a lorry made him re-evaluate the motorbikes and he now sticks to the pedal-powered variety.
The new shop is the next step in his journey.
The first impression is: you can’t miss the amazing signage outside which Mick made himself.
Inside, the walls of the shop are adorned with a decent selection of second hand bikes, some of which are ready to go and others are being done up for sale.
If you peek past the workshop at the end of the room, you can glimpse a garden space, which Mick hopes to make use of, somewhere down the line.
Mick first thought of opening a bike shop in Tottenham several years ago, when the Cycle Superhighway was proposed. Seeing the potential for more people to cycle locally, he realised there were far too few local places to get your bike repaired.
There was also, he says, a gap in the market for something more personal. “I wanted to bring high quality bike repairs and services to my local area.”
Working at the time as a logistics manager for a ground transport company, Mick decided to retrain as a bike mechanic and change his life.
For now, he wants to focus on the repairs and let the business grow organically; if there is demand for bike sales then he’ll be there to meet it.
There are some 12” BMX bikes coming in ready for Christmas and he is open-minded about what 2017 might bring.
So next time you’re riding by on Philip Lane, pop into Bicyclebox and say hello to Bicycle Michael’s new shop. Mick will be pleased to help.
Words: Genevieve Sparrow
Images: Genevieve Sparrow and Christophe Bernier