November 21, 2014
The best thing about having the shop (beyond the obvious privilege of working with classic bikes all day long) is the people we get to meet along the way.
Almost four years ago we met the lovely Peanut Vendors (Becky Nolan, and Barnaby Read), and began renting the space in the back of their wonderful furniture shop to take Pedal Pedlar from an online only presence to an actual shop.
Not long after moving in, an older gentleman wandered into the workshop and started rummaging through a pile of old Cinelli handlebars. "How much for these" he asked. "What about these" etc etc. He left empty handed and seemed like another local just having a nosey around. A few weeks later he came in again with similar result. Fast forward four years and that same older gentleman is still visiting the shop, still leaving empty handed, but we now know what an extraordinary gentleman he is.
This man is a hero. He has an infectious passion for all things cycling, especially the classic type, which is why he has become without a doubt the person who has visited our shops more than anyone else. A long time member of the Lea Valley Cycling Club, he's now 76, fit as a fiddle and (rather enviably) he is the owner of two beautiful vintage Bianchi bicycles; a Celeste green racer and an amazing 90s Bianchi mountain bike. A regular at the local cycle jumbles, and also a regular at many of the oldest London shops. We've been in Condor Cycles on Gray's Inn Road before, shopping for a few bits and heard his unmistakable voice, to find him happily chatting with the Condor staff, so we can only assume that he spends his days touring the bike shops of London (if you ever have the pleasure of meeting him, ask him to tell you the story about Mick Jagger in Condor back in the 60s). What a wonderful way to live, and what a wonderful man that 'older gentleman' turned out to be. We love you Lawrence.
Which brings us on to another loveable gentleman. This one not quite as experienced as Lawrence, although the facial hair would suggest otherwise...
The portrait of Lawrence was shot by this man. Barny is one half of The Peanut Vendor, and thanks to Barny's other half (in both love and business), the lovely Becky Nolan, who gave him the birthday gift of a Canon AE1 a couple of years ago, he's quickly blossomed into a very fine young photographer.
You can check his work out over on his tumblr, here. Our favourite is obviously the one of Lawrence, but there are many more beautiful photographs to oogle at.
We love you too Barny (just not as much as Lawrence cos you're not as good with bikes).
Here are our pick of the pics...
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