“I have not always been into bikes but I’ve always liked cycling. Three years ago I decided after a weekend mountain biking in Wales to build my first bike, as cheap as possible using bike spares given by my friend, I have not stopped since!

My career as a volunteer in bike workshops started at Broken Spoke, a leading bike cooperative based in Oxford where I volunteered for almost two years. There I learnt to improve my bike mechanic skills but more importantly, I learnt that I could share them for social causes, mainly helping people from every background become self-sufficient in repairing their bikes. I have applied sustainability to bikes, recycling and reusing materials and pieces from other bikes and trying to throw away the minimum possible.

When I moved back to London I was looking desperately to find something similar. However, quite surprisingly and disappointingly, I could not find a similar association in London until I discovered the Hackney Bike Workshop. I met Lawrence in one of their sessions who like me, was volunteering there. I really admired straight away how easily and fast Lawrence was helping clients to fix bikes and at the same time was relaxed enough to chit chat with the other mechanics and clients. I discovered that he was a professional Cytech-trained mechanic that had worked in numerous workshops and I also learnt that he was working on a project to create a workshop in a shipping container based on a gift economy system.

I joined Lawrence and the Pro Bike Service project, initially helping move stuff and building the container, later taking part in pop-up workshops at different high profile events like the Hackney Half Marathon and East London Waterways Festival, helping locals by checking and fixing their bikes where needed. I have also volunteered in training workshops held at the Pro Bike Service workshop where we have supported our community in how check, fix and improve their bikes and own skills.

It is has been an amazing and an inspirational experience to take part in such a project. Through the humble bicycle, we can overcome barriers between communities (particularly distinct in London) and I have also loved taking part in the gift economy, a real experiment in a different way to interpret shared wealth and economy, based on sustainability values where the knowledge and skills are gifted and everyone decides to maintain the system through a donation or other means. A breath of fresh air. Being able to practise my skills with the support of a very experienced mechanic and engineer has also helped me improve my own abilities and further increased my passion for cycling and ability to help others” – Jarno Crippa, Jan 2018

…and feedback from our current grant administrator for TFL’s Cycling Grants London programme:

“Just want to say that was a really enjoyable and informative day. I’m sorry I took so much time up!! But I learned a lot. I’d be very keen to train up as a volunteer, the workshop is really good” – Martin Petry


Training Workshops (Group)

5/5: “Definitely recommend! Everyone ought to have an understanding of how their bike work.  Very easy to understand” – Jessica Segree

5/5: “An informative friendly introduction” – Simeon Earnshaw

4/5: “Great detailed explanations and demonstration. And nice biscuits*” – Daliah Sherrington

5/5: “Very dedicated and knowledgeable trainer” – Alberto Duman

2/5: “Some of it was a little too advanced/technical for me, but generally very good” – Lucy Alderman

*p.s: we don’t always have biscuits, but when we do, we like to share!

Training Workshops (One to One)

5/5: “It’s great to be able to do a 1 on 1 and learn so personally about the different elements in the bike.  Very professionally done, making sure everything is understood and why things work as they do.  Definitely a place to come back to” – David Corvacho

5/5: “Friendly and knowledgeable, clean instructions, I felt I could clarify and ask questions” – Angela Green

5/5: “It’s great to learn how to build bikes and repair” – Tasos Torounidis

Bike Health Checks (aka Dr Bike)

5/5: “Excellent, very clear [explanations], Amazing” – John Slater

5/5: “Very thorough” – Natalie Von Koettlitz

5/5: “Very clear and nice explanations” – Gaborieau Geoffroy

5/5: “A thorough caring service” – Tom Sawyer

Corporate Teambuilding/CSR

[feedback from participants never having worked on bikes and/or non-cyclists]

“I really enjoyed the day learning a new skill and working with people that I wouldn’t otherwise.  I definitely would work on bikes in the future” – Claire Barron

“Keen to start cycling again” – D.J.B Pelham

“This was great fun and practical.  I want to carry this over” – Jamie Meecham

5/5: “Really engaging and practical.  [I learnt] loads – didn’t know anything at all prior to the workshop.  Such a great initiative that will benefit the local community” – Sonya Veerasamy

5/5: “Very useful, we all got really involved.  We had a working bike at the end of the day” – Simon Baxter

5/5: “Comfortable, approachable instructor, very high quality” – Peter Hamnett


the testimonials below are from the pilot workshop built and created on the same meanwhile site….we also have reviews on our Facebook page [currently all reviews are 5 stars!]

Intermediate Maintenance Workshop

“5/5: Very small group, tailored to my ability and what I wanted to learn” – Graham Taylor Burge

“5/5: Knowledgeable workshop leader, good demonstrations, small number of students” – Huw Nicholls

“5/5: Fully satisfied in every way” – Vinodini Patel

“5/5: Great content” – Alastair Anderson

Basic Maintenance Workshop

“5/5: I would recommend it to others because it is fun and you can learn something new…you don’t need to improve it in any way” – L.DaConceicao [age 10]

“5/5: Incredibly in depth and knowledgeable, personalised to your bike” – Anne Selina Poole

“5/5: Highly recommend workshop and project” – David Arnaud

“5/5: Lawrence has amazing knowledge and will inspire many people to cycle” – Alastair Anderson

“5/5: I would definitely [recommend], people spend a lot of money in things you can fix yourself” – E.Sabogal

“5/5: Very practical and hands on, information covered is useful in everyday cycling” – Jessica Breedt

“5/5: I would definitely recommend [the workshop], very helpful and very knowledgeable” – Daniel Lourenco

Demystifying the Bicycle Workshop

“5/5: Lawrence is very knowledgeable; clear, concise, friendly” – Damian Leigh

“5/5: Very Good, thanks for the attention and Q&A” – SarahWarman


“5/5: I went to see Lawrence with my road bike as I wanted the bike running as smooth as possible prior to riding the London L’Etape Sportive. It was evident from the get go that Lawrence is a very experienced man and knows what he is talking about. My bike was serviced with fantastic attention to detail and I was provided with a personal touch which took my specific requirements into account. The bike has been running flawlessly since feels brand new” – P.Smith – East Village resident


the final group of testimonials are from friends and friends of friends – back when Pro Bike Service was something I ran out of my kitchen, with a fold up dining table, foldable workstand, and a ‘dining room’ that in reality, was actually a mini bike workshop with a few kitchen utensils tucked away most of the time!


“My bikes were always returned looking and more importantly, feeling, like a newer, faster, smoother ride! Lawrence gave accurate and effective advice/information that transformed my riding, and helped me optimise my training and ultimately enjoy my sport (Triathlon) to the full. I cannot recommend Lawrence highly enough!!” – Sue Dyke – GB Silver Medallist 2014 [pre- Mobile Garden City]

“Excellent work, very fair prices, delivered on time” – Warren, founder and Award Winning bedmaker: Warren Evans [pre- Mobile Garden City]