Shop Days #5: The Bike Men


One of an occasional series where we get to see what it’s like being behind the counter for a day…
Wilsons Cycles is a real landmark in South East London, and enjoys the honour of being Peckham’s oldest established business. Steve and his son Lee took the shop over from old Mr. Wilson around 15 years ago, and have built up a sterling reputation for their friendly and efficient service. Sometimes their gaff seems more like a social club than a repair shop.
Your day starts: 10, ish. Actually we’re a bit vague about opening times, but we’re getting better.
What do your eat? Steve: quite often nothing. I’m always too busy. Lee: anything and everything. Growing lad and all that.
Best bits of the job? Meeting people and the satisfaction it gives when they collect the repair and come back to compliment you on the work done.
Worst bits of the job? When customers are given a quote for a job then add another dozen things and still think its the same price.
If you knew 20 years ago what you know now, would you still go into the trade? Steve: Yeah. Probably. I think it’s in my blood.
Your day ends? Well we are trying to stay open longer. Til 7ish. That way people can come and see us on their way home from work.
Back room secret? A microwave. A sink. A kettle. Nothing very exciting I’m afraid.
Tell us a trick of the trade: A lot of people buy new inner tubes and forget to check the state of the actual tyre.

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