Restoration project gives vintage bikes a new lease of life

Picture I-Bike sees old bicycles lovingly restored, while bringing a sense of community to the area

A busy new bike restoration and training project in London Bridge is bringing life to a tucked-away unit under Druid Street’s arches.

Thor Burkard set up I-Bike two months ago, with a passion for bikes and communities.

After renting the space at 18 Druid St, Thor gained a raft of tools and bikes donated from the local community.

Now the ex-fitness instructor has big plans: “I want to transform the front of unit to make it more visible, I am trying to get some plant pots and hanging baskets to make it a nice green space and eventually I want to get funding for a mural.”

Along with his team of international volunteers (Spanish, French, Italian etc) he holds bike sales on Saturdays and Sundays with a range of vintage bikes.

The workshop is open seven days a week for repairs and sales and it's cheaper than many bike shops: a service starts at £30 and the labour for punctures and new brakes is only £5. Being a perfectionist, Thor ensures that bikes go back to the owner spotless.

Rosie Tharp, LCC Community Cycling Officer put her bike in for a service: “I don’t think my bike has ever looked so shiny! At such a good price I wasn’t expecting so much attention to detail and was really surprised to find that the frame and rims were sparkling- my bike looked as good as new in spite of being over 20 years old!”

I-Bike is becoming a popular local business, with Southwark Council employees taking in bikes for servicing.

The project needs more volunteers so if you have a couple of hours or a bike to spare, some plants or hanging baskets contact Thor: 07551016380