Founder of Stoke Newington’s Bolt Motorcycles on his love of bikes
- Credit: Archant
Andrew Almond discovered his love for motorbikes when working in Mozambique as a social development worker.
Rural conditions forced him to use bikes to get around and he quickly realised this was the most fun part of his day.
So Andrew, who has lived in Hackney for 20 years, opened up his first branch of Bolt Motorcycles in London Fields four years ago after he lost interest in his day job as a business manager.
“I just thought I had to do something independent, I saw a gap and a slight revival in the market with custom bikes,” he told the Gazette.
He moved the shop to Bouverie Road, Stoke Newington last year as popularity increased, demanding a bigger space.
It was difficult to find a space where he could display the bikes, sell clothing and provide a social hub for motorbike culture enthusiasts.
So he decided on N16 because of the strong countercultures present in the area.
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“It is full of punks from the late 80s and 90s, a prevalent counterculture surrounding biking,” he said.
The most important goal for his business is to continue to progress the scene.
He hopes that he can get the younger generation excited and involved in custom motorcycles through the educational aspect of his business.
“We do mechanic courses, teaching people how to look after their bikes. I think building the community and culture is the really important part,” he said.
Later this year Andrew is embarking on a trip through Europe with beer makers Budvar. The final destination? The brewery in Budweis, Czech Reupblic.
Ahead of the trip he has restored a 1980s Czech motorcycle into something echoing the shape and design of the classic Czech rides of the 1940s.
The trip will see him stop of at a number of iconic motorcycle spots. “I’m really excited for what’s going to happen, we are probably going to blow the engine and have to rebuild it on the side of the road but that’s part of the adventure,” he said.
Andrew believes there is one key reason he was able to get his firm on the road. “My passion enabled me to create a brand people were excited about and believed in,” he said. Believing in what you do is more important than anything.”