Pedal Back to London’s blue collar bicycle café

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Owners of the Pedal Back Cafe at their establishment

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Tucked away in Broadway Market, my fave blue-collar cafe.

“You should start with a good basic frame. Most good names have decent components, but you can always get better as you go. But start with the frame.”

Photographer’s notes: There are more and more cycling cafés appearing every year in London. Some are bona fide contributors. Others seem a little pedestrian, little more than a carbuncle attached to a bike shop. There are far too few blue collar bicycle ‘cafés’. If you are looking, head to Tooting for the Pedal Back café. Cycling cafes seem stylish, catering to that two-wheel clientele that often appears on fixies and carbon fibre. They are almost reincarnations of wine bars from the eightie. Pedal Back café is the first blue collar cycling cafe I have discovered. It is a hole in the wall operation in the Broadway Market, on Upper Tooting Road in southern London. The bikes get fixed in the corner, and carrot cake, fried eggs and cappuccino are served at the tables. They are a sliver of space amidst vendors of fabrics and t-shirts and more, low on the pretentiousness, high on the ‘meat-and-potatoes’ of food and cycling. It would take a limited stretch of the imagination to see the place as the proverbial London café. Meals are quick and simple, value is high. They were a godsend for me on one of the London trips. I had two consecutive punctures, was walking my bike an interminable distance to a rail station, when a pedestrian told me where I could get repairs done. Five minutes later, the bike was on the tool stand, wheel pulled from the frame and repairs being done. It cost next to nothing and I was back on the road once the coffee was finished. How perfect is that? That works for me.
They have a Facebook page, if you want to discover more…

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