The idea for Peddle My Wheels came from a business I ran that involved selling children's second hand items. It soon became clear there was a high quantity of outgrown, no longer used, children's bikes that people did not know what to do with. I started collecting these bikes and refurbishing and selling them, providing a decent stock of low cost bikes for children and preventing these old bikes going to waste.
In 2014 we started our pop-up bike markets, giving the public the opportunity to buy and sell used bikes. We try to alternate our markets between the affluent and less affluent areas of London in order to generate bicycle stock that can be sold cheaply to those that need it more. The success of the markets has led to us working with Transport for London and local authorities throughout the capital to provide pop-up bike markets in schools and at public events. By 2017 we were working in 15 London boroughs.
Our latest project, 'Hire to Buyer', was launched in 2017. The aim is to make cycling less daunting to newcomers by allowing people to hire a new bike before owning it, thus reducing the financial burden and allowing them to see if cycling will work for them. We also help with cycle training and give the person access to a helpline to discuss anything cycling related. The pilot was launched with Kensington and Chelsea council in the summer of 2017 and we hope to introduce it in other Boroughs over the next year. The scheme will be fully sustainable with any returned bikes being incorporated into our second-hand bike markets.
As part of our commitment to placing the environment first we introduced electric vehicles to our fleet in 2017 and, dependent on electric capabilities for larger vans, aim to be fully electric by 2018-19. Where possible we travel using pedal power.
Peddle My Wheels is often considered a charity, social enterprise or community interest company but is actually a private limited company. This is an important distinction as part of our project is to show that business can be self-sustaining and profitable whilst prioritising an environmentally and ethically responsible code of practice. It is a theme I am particularly interested in and if you have any comments or would like to discuss anything about this or the company's work please email firstname.lastname@example.org