Adam Rider: the cycle-obsessed bike shop owner from Hackney

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

Perlie Rides bike shop owner Adam Rider is mad about bikes. You only have to chat to him for five minutes to realise the extent of his enthusiasm for cycles, riding in and around London, and supporting his local community. Here’s a rundown on what inspires him, what he does when he’s not working, and a the lowdown on a few secrets he’s been keeping.

A Day in the Life of Adam Rider

Where do you call home?

I grew up in the London borough of Hackney and am once again living there, just by Victoria Park.

What inspired you to set up your shop?

I’d worked in the cycle trade since my first job in my teens. I graduated with a degree in graphic design, so thought I should put my degree to use which left me with one foot in each camp. I got the confidence to take the plunge after visiting a friend in Brazil and seeing that, at the age of 25, they had successfully launched a bistro bar/club in Sao Paulo.


What do you like most about your job?

It’s fun – I love working on bikes and the satisfaction of making them clean and efficient. There’s nothing better than making something work the best it can. We do a lot of problem solving, which I love.

Tell us about your customers?

I love our customers’ enthusiasm for their bikes, it’s really contagious. I spend every day, right in the middle of Hackney, so I get to talk to customers and locals who just drop in to have a chat about local events, gossip and other non-bike related stuff. Sometimes I receive gifts like music or cake, coffee etc. My friends and family pop in for a chat too which is all good! Most importantly I have a great team.

Is collaboration important in your work?

Sharing techniques and ideas from different firms and colleagues is very useful in our trade, I guess as in any other. In the past few years cycling has been very much in vogue. We’ve helped a number of media firms with bike hire and done custom builds for shoots and other events. Between us here at Perlie Rides we’ve appeared (briefly) in a few music videos including Goldfrapp and Lethal Bizzle to name two.


So far, I’ve worked with four of the local schools. We’ve sold and fixed bikes for them and have done a few fundraising and art projects together. I also get involved with local market days and trade associations. We all know each other more or less – it’s nice that everyone is so supportive of each other’s businesses and interests.

Best Kept Secrets

Do you Khoollect anything?

Bikes obviously spring to mind. Also bike lock keys. My most impressive collection is probably the bike tools in my toolkit. I think subconsciously I’m working towards a full set if possible! I’m particularly fond of older tools. It’s really satisfying to be able to work on vintage components with the correct original tool. My kit has pieces stretching back decades, many from my grandparent’s collections. My mum’s dad (maternal grandfather) spent many muddy weekends on motocross bikes in Wiltshire, and my dad’s dad (paternal grandfather) fiddling with microwave experiments whilst working at Marconi.

What’s your favorite item in your Khoollection?

BIGGIE. My cat.

What inspires you about London and the area you live in?

I love the vibrancy of the local population in Hackney and its ever-changing faces. There are always new exciting and innovative ventures popping up which provide a constant stream of inspiration. The diversity of culture and opinion here is something I tend to take for granted, until I spend time away and remember how fortunate we are to be part of this city.

Urban favourites

What are your top places to visit in Homerton?

If you’re going to have a bike accident make sure it’s in South Hackney – Homerton Hospital is brilliant. I’ve spent way too much time there over the years! All joking aside, Victoria Park is lovely all year round. Seek out the skate park on a sunny Sunday for a visual spectacle. It’s as congested and trendy as Broadway Market with the excitement of backflips and big air tricks.

Where to find the best cup of coffee in London?

Well Street Kitchen in Homerton, Hackney.

Well Street Kitchen

Most beautiful outdoor space?

I love my garden, but I also love elevated places – so maybe either Primrose Hill or perhaps Greenwich by the observatory.

Where to spend a Sunday morning?

Pavillion Café with a mocha and eggs florentine.

Favorite local pub?

The Gun if I’m on Well Street. The Crooked Billet in Clapton, and The Kenton in Hackney for the quiz night on a winter evening.

Perlie Rides 137 Well Street, Hackney, London E9 7LJ

Find them on Facebook and Instagram

If you want more useful information on navigating London’s cycling scene, read Adam’s tips here. Khoollect also has the lowdown covered when it comes to surviving the streets of London on two wheels.

Photos by Khoollect photographer Lara Messer

Are you a bicycle rider? Tell us what your riding in the comments below or tag @khoollect in your Instagram pics.

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