Wheely good idea! Entrepreneur promotes pedal power in Croydon

A pop-up second-hand bike market was in Croydon to provide affordable bikes for the area on Thursday.

Peddle My Wheels is working with 15 London councils but it set up in Park Hill Recreation Ground in Croydon on June 13.

It was founded by East Dulwich entrepreneur Alper Muduroglu in 2012 and from 2014 he began partnering with councils across London to launch the bike market initiative.

Alper said: “Before I started Peddle My Wheels I had an internet business which went under after the credit crunch and everything I had went with it.

“It was based on sales and internet publishing, not a particularly enjoyable business to run. I was quite clear that I wanted to do something that was not just financially motivated.”

At the bike markets customers are invited to bring in unwanted bikes to be serviced by Peddle My Wheels who will then sell them on at reasonable prices.

Alper first trialled the idea with a sustainable travel charity in Dulwich.

In Dulwich, Peddle My Wheels received many bikes and the following week went to Loughborough Junction to sell them.

Alper said: “This provided the model of going to an affluent area – of which there is a lot in London – followed by a less affluent area, which there is also a lot of in London.

“It’s a way of providing affordable bikes for the community and the people who bring them in earn a little bit of money from it as well.”

Alper said he was interested in sustainability and recycling and he wanted to prove it is possible to run a profitable business with a good cause.

He said: “I knew the money didn’t make much difference to me. There had to be something else that made it rewarding.

“And in this case it’s just getting someone on a bike. Every part of our business is getting people cycling and recycling. It’s hugely rewarding.”

Market supervisor Lene Stokes and mechanic Michael Horgan are on the team along with two more mechanics and an operations manager.

Peddle My Wheels also runs a scheme called Try Before You Bike where customers can pay monthly for a bike with the aim of ultimately owning it outright.

If they change their minds the bike will go back to Peddle My Wheels to be sold as a nearly new bike.

Alper’s plan is to continue to work with the councils across London and to reach out to other boroughs too.

Councils outside London are also keen to be involved with Peddle My Wheels looking to provide training for bike markets to pop up in Essex in the near future.

Here is where Peddle My Wheels’ bike markets will be in London over the coming months.

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