MiCycle in Islington vandalised in London riots

As an example of the mindless violence going on in London, MiCycle, a bike shop run by the lovely couple Matthew and Penny, has been attacked.

This is a small business, that we’ve praised previously on London Cyclist. In-fact when interviewing Matthew and Penny they told me how they wanted to reach out to the youths in the local area and bring them in to the shop.

This video on YouTube shows the attack. Thanks to zzgavin on twitter for sharing.

If you have any other reports of bike shops being attacked then please do share them in the comments or contact me on Twitter

Update: “Bike Shack in Leyton got completely cleaned out last night. Little Independent, lovely staff, always really friendly.” via @imkah

Update: Evans Cycles in Camden seems to have been looted too

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40 Responses to MiCycle in Islington vandalised in London riots

  1. Alex 08/08/2011 at 11:31 pm #

    It’s such a shame. I feel so sorry for Matt. He’s worked so hard providing a great service to local people. Sadly it’s not the first time the shop has been attacked by local youths.

  2. Anthony 08/08/2011 at 11:44 pm #

    Mindless violence? If you can’t understand the politics that has lead to this rioting and looting it’s because your politics has no answers.

    It’s the logical conclusion of a society focused laser like on the acquisition of consumer goods while at the same time excluding a larger and larger number of people from the party and brutalising them in the process.

    The only difference between these people and looting bankers is that the bankers got a first rate education in order to loot a whole lot more and buy the politicians.

    • Juan 10/08/2011 at 9:32 am #

      …or it could be that they are just more savage and un-evolved.
      YES I SAID IT!

    • Amoeba 12/08/2011 at 7:39 am #


      Are greedy bankers or politicians the equivalent of lawless youths bent on violence, murder, arson, destruction and theft? I think not.

      As for the politicians, as I understand it, it involved greed but the original problem resulted from the lack of political will to formalise adequate remuneration, broadly equivalent to other European politicians. There seems to have been an unofficial acceptance for compensating via expenses. I’m not sure that the resulting backlash against politicians was fully justified. But that could be my lack of genuine interest in the subject.

      Are you an apologist for mindless violent disorder, property destruction, looting and murder?
      Because it seems like it.

  3. mark 09/08/2011 at 1:48 am #

    & Anthony,
    What planet are you from, since when did burning of property without regard for who might be inside, violence against people and theft become the standard tactics for those campaigning for rights and equality?

    This nothing more than wanton violence and criminality. If these thugs think life is so hard here they should try living in Syria where people are dying for the rights that these thugs take for granted, or Somalia where people are starving to death. Or even try being a law odiding citizen trying to raise a family in difficult economic times.

    Dr King, Mandella, Wilberforce, Ghandi, Elizabeth Fry to name but a few faced and overcame REAL prejudice, problems, and inequalities through peaceful means. These vandalls have education to 21, housing, social security system, national health. Thay are doing this because they enjoy it and to steal.

    I feel so sorry for the guys at micycle who are trying to bring cycling to the community and help young people.

    On that point lets remember that the VAST MAJORITY of young people are law abiding who live normal lives and dont get involved in these events.

  4. Skippy 09/08/2011 at 7:46 am #

    Mark is right about this being the work of a minority ! These ” animals ” deserve to be hunted down and sent to work in the ” Falkland Islands ” on rebuilding walls or any other outdoor work that sees them suffer the extremes of climate .

    Ship them out on a boat with a load of cyclone fencing and prefab huts and see how they enjoy being deprived of their cushy life with their mates . Locking them up in the UK prison system will only become a holiday for them and when they return they will be treated like heroes by those with whom they currently associate !

    Cycle shops ALL try to advertise their products to best advantage just to get us in the door . Rarely do you see the cheaper bike in the prime position these days and i for one can no longer afford to think of buying these ” High End Products ” . Seems like where ever you go in this world there are ” People ” who want something for nothing and grab whatever they can .

    Regretably these cycle shops will have to spend their monies on “High End Security Systems ” rather than product when they reopen !

    Hopefully the Government will CRACK DOWN HARD and bring the rioting to a stop even if they have to bring in the Army to assist the Police .

    Long term there has to be a deterent to this ” Mindless LOOTING and Violence ” or we will all have to sleep behind Locked Doors and barricade ourselves inside our homes !

  5. Anthony 09/08/2011 at 8:28 am #

    I feel sorry for MiCycle too and I never said anything about these riots being political tactics. These kids don’t give a shit about politics and they certainly don’t give a shit about your politics.

    My point is the dismissal of this as “mindless violence” is a failure of your own politics. If it’s just “mindless violence” then you all can get on with dehumanising them and calling in the army. Once they’re back in their place you all can get on with gentrifying Hackney with your fixies and your fucking beards.

    Listen to Skippy. “Long term there has to be a deterrent”. Your politics has no answers. You have no idea what lives these people lead. You just want to keep them under the thumb while you get on with the party. His biggest fear isn’t that he lives in a society that produces this situation but that he might have to spend money on high end security systems.

    • Amoeba 12/08/2011 at 7:46 am #

      There is little doubt that law-breakers understand a robust response. There have to be consequences for all unlawful behaviour.
      Whether it’s News International, corrupt Police, lawless motorists, rioters / looters and so-on.

      Methinks your rioting & looter friends need to be taught a lesson. It’s all about rights and responsibilities.

  6. Peanut Gallery 09/08/2011 at 8:49 am #

    Anthony makes some valid points. I do declare 9 Aug to be “Hug A Chav” day!


  7. Anthony 09/08/2011 at 8:51 am #

    Another good one if you’re vaguely interested in understanding the politics:

  8. youngdonkey 09/08/2011 at 9:16 am #

    completely gutted by this, i have been helped by the good people at micycles in the past with my bike issues.

    i will definitily be offering a helping hand should they need it with clear up just tweet me


    Andreas, i think you need to do a piece about all bike shops in London to be extra vigilant, these yobs aren’t as stupid as they look, they understand the value of bikes and also the need to use them to move about town quickly and escape the police. or better still get london cyclists to occupy bike stores overnight, have a sleep-in party type thing, and when these fools bang on the window, spray them in the face with degreaser and compressed air.

  9. Mike 09/08/2011 at 9:39 am #


    You seem to have a lot of rage going on there.

    I’m not sure how slagging people with “fixies and fucking beards” contributes to the debate, and you seem to be chasing after some sort of class-warfare position, given your criticism of “Gentrification,” whatever that actually means.

    I agree with you that this isn’t mindless violence, most of it appears to be quite mindful. There are a bunch of people using the opportunity of a clearly overstretched police force to take economic advantage by stealing stuff.

    Rich, moderately affluent, poor, white, black, brown, yellow or pink, does that really matter? What really matters is the balance between people who want to contribute to and improve their local community, and those who chose to destroy it.

  10. Anthony 09/08/2011 at 9:58 am #

    Mike, people with “fixies and fucking beards” who see this as “mindless violence” and rioters as “animals” are as much a symptom of this society as are the rioters, looters and bankers. They’re self-obsessed people who would happily see the army come in and perhaps shoot a few disaffected black kids dead. You call that rage? I think you need to switch to your TV for rage. Go discuss this with some kids in Tottenham Hale who’ve been brutalised by police and have absolutely no stake in this society. That’s where you’ll find rage.

    If you’re going to comment on my “criticism” of gentrification, perhaps you should look it up if you don’t know what it means? For the record, it wasn’t a criticism of gentrification. It was a criticism of people who would rather pretend that this all came out of nowhere and will be solved by bringing in the army and getting new locks.

    • Amoeba 12/08/2011 at 8:48 am #


      Ever heard of projection?

    • Amoeba 12/08/2011 at 8:54 am #

      Perhaps a few looters shot would have protected the innocent and saved a lot of property too.

      Bring-on the baton rounds, tear-gas and water-cannon.

      There is no excuse for such lawless and criminal actions.

  11. Mike 09/08/2011 at 10:17 am #

    I can’t really respond to what you’ve written, mainly because it’s not really clear what you’re saying. It just looks like a pile of assumptions.

  12. John 09/08/2011 at 11:24 am #

    Yeah, make a bold political statement with your new stolen LCD TV, stolen Nikes, stolen G-Star jeans… This isn’t disaffected youth, it’s a mindless hiphop-driven culture of indulged youth of 20 years of the nanny state.

  13. Thomas 09/08/2011 at 12:19 pm #

    @ Anthony

    Since when is gentrification of an area a bad thing? Islington is a prime example of what can be done. It provides more jobs for these ‘poor locals’ and promotes integration. Slightly anarchist comments my friend, maybe you’d fit in better in Greece.

    There is no excuse for the type of behaviour displayed last night apart from stupidity. You don’t need a first rate education to figure out that committing such acts of theft and vandalism isn’t going to improve your situation.

  14. youngdonkey 09/08/2011 at 12:29 pm #


    Leave beards out of it.

  15. James 09/08/2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Blimey Anthony, would you like to be even more condescending?

    ‘Your politics’. Christ.

  16. Gavin Bell 09/08/2011 at 2:09 pm #

    I spoke to Andrew in Bike Shack in Leyton, http://zzgav.in/rdaW34, they are ok, no tools stolen and the bikes are insured, still a mess to clear up and cash flow hassles too. If you are in the the Leyton area I’m sure they’d appreciate you business, http://www.bikeshack.net/

  17. ibikelondon 09/08/2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Good piece, Andreas, I’ve linked back to it in my blog here;


    Last night I saw first hand how bikes are being used in these riots – it’s not a comfortable part of our cushy cycling world but I thought worth recording all the same. Also added some advice for people worried about cycling home through trouble spots tonight.

    Look out for one another fellow cyclists!

  18. Peanut Gallery 09/08/2011 at 2:45 pm #

    @ibikelondon – Just read that post, thank you! We must let London know that these rioters are hooligans on bikes, not cyclists…

  19. DK 09/08/2011 at 3:20 pm #

    So middle-class Cambridge student Charlie Gilmour received a 16-month jail sentence for throwing a bin and swinging off the Cenotaph at a protest that he, although an idiot, at least knew the reason for – what do we think the ignorant hundreds arrested for ruining the livelihood of honest individuals, scaremongering, thieving and destroying the architecture of Victorian London will get? Knowing how positive discrimination works, often advocated by the press, you can easily imagine given race and class differentials they will get precious little. We can also thank the media for dragging this out in to an every evening game of one-upmanship and the reason why greater force is not being used to tackle these criminals.

  20. Anthony 09/08/2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Thomas, I didn’t criticise gentrification and nor did excuse looting etc. Try again.

  21. Doctor Enormous 09/08/2011 at 4:42 pm #

    I bought a bike from that shop a little while ago. It’s a lovely shop.

    To those bleeding heart liberals that blame society for this, answer me one question. Why don’t the looters and rioters turn their aggression on those responsible for the mess that they are in rather than attacking the innocent?

    Nobody with any degree of intelligence can say that the people who have lost their businesses and homes are in any way to blame for the way the government is destroying the fabric of this country.

    If you don’t like the government, attack the government. Not the people who may or may not (not being the case here I’m sure) have been hoodwinked into putting this retched government in power

  22. Becky 09/08/2011 at 6:03 pm #

    This makes me so angry, these people really have no idea and are really thick.
    Micycle is a great example of community and the complete opposite to what these idiots are doing just breaking it all up when people have worked so hard to build it in their area. Micycle more than any other bike shop I have been to is a shinning example, they helped me fix my brakes which would have taken me about 2 hours and charged me nothing!
    I don’t know why these people don’t just do a mass loot on parliment if thats who they are angry at, not picking on innocent people.

  23. John 09/08/2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Should insurance companies try to wriggle out of any payment to these shop keepers and people who have lost their homes in the rioting under the disclaimer of public rioting and civil disorder are not covered in the insurance that they have then what will these communities turn into then? Absolute total areas of derelict buildings and empty shops as
    no one will want to have any dealings again in these areas I would imagine.
    Then who was the winner?

  24. Anthony 09/08/2011 at 6:49 pm #

    “To those bleeding heart liberals that blame society for this, answer me one question. Why don’t the looters and rioters turn their aggression on those responsible for the mess that they are in rather than attacking the innocent?”

    Somehow I doubt you’re actually interested in an answer but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. This isn’t some organised movement with an political objective. They feel liberated being able to go anywhere and do whatever they like for once. This is an underclass lashing out.

    • Greek Geeza 12/08/2011 at 12:10 pm #

      I really have to interject here. The whole concept that this is an “underclass” is ridiculous. By labelling them as such you’re in part excusing their behaviour.

      The sole reason that these people have looted (lets call it what it is!) is that they believed that they could get away with taking something for nothing. There was no “anger” or “rage” at the majority rule. These were a group out for a party and some freebies with no care for the consequenses.

      Look at the examples in the middle east (Egypt, Syria, etc) where there really IS an underclass that has something to riot about. Was there looting, destruction and violence? These people protested peacefully!

      The problem here is that we’ve raised a generation that has no regard for authority, no work ethic, no regard for the consequenses of their actions, or the consequenses for others. I think we’re way to soft on our approach to these people. I think they could learn a hell of a lot from the first generation immigrants who arrive in this country with nothing, and then work towards building a future, as many of the shopkeepers that have had their lives ruined are!

      A right to work means just that, work. Everyone seems to expect a right to a wage for no effort!

  25. Anthony 09/08/2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Here’s your answer Doctor Enormous. A sad indictment of our divided society:

  26. PaulM 09/08/2011 at 9:07 pm #

    The debate between Anthony and his detractors sheds rather more heat than light on the subject.

    Suffice it to say that it is a lot more complicated than “thugs” or “mindless violence”. Those things too, but we haven’t seen rioting or looting on this scale since the early 80s when I personally was uncomfortably close to Brixton. Those occasions were eerily similar – some incident leading to a death at the hands of the police which, while perhaps not sinister, was poorly explained at the time, acting as the spark which is the third leg of a fire – the fuel and the oxygen already being there. Back then we also had exceptional deprivation and lack of opportunity rubbing shoulders with grotesque over-compensation of an elite of dubious economic value, and/or conspicuous flautning of material wealth.

    There is no excuse, but plenty of explanations.

  27. Fiona 10/08/2011 at 11:04 am #

    So sorry to hear this lovely shop got vandalised. I’ve always had such helpful service from the staff here.

  28. Anthony 10/08/2011 at 8:23 pm #

    When living in such an unequal society somehow it feels more appropriate—fairer if you will—to have the poor rioting and looting.

  29. Mr Birch 11/08/2011 at 12:45 pm #

    I think we should be able to offer possible explanations and backgrounds without for one moment excuse some douche who steals a plasma screen from a bookies or burns down a clothes store etc. My opinions and feelings this week have bounced all over the place, a spot of fear, disgust, shame and now I’m on the verge of joining the local youth centre as maybe a mentor volunteer.

    It’s sadly beyond my comprehension how anyone can break with the moral code of the society they live in – I get angry with smokers who throw their butts on the floor, you can imagine how I’ve been reacting to this week’s event.

    But it’s struck me how it’s all been so predictable (remember I am not excusing), our society for the last 30 odd years has all been about the need to consume and collect and horde as much personal wealth/debt as possible. I can afford most of the things I want – apart from of course a house that is – and when I can’t I’m fairly well educated and ’rounded’ enough not to worry about it too much; If I can’t afford it, then it wasn’t to be, or I could maybe save up for it. I guess there are those out there that aren’t as lucky as me to have come from a decent background, and brought up within a moral framework that has allowed me to better myself. I am not going to hug a hoodie any day soon but these events happens in a vacuum.

    I am also very aware that a lot of small businesses are now suffering the consequences of this cycle and my heart really does go out to them, it’s not as if they are some evil capitalist overlord whose overthrow will be a victory for the proletariat is it now?

    On another note – if anyone and I mean ANYONE even thinks about taking my Brooks saddle I will simply have to delete the preceding paragraphs and go all Charles Bronson.

  30. Petar 11/08/2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Is this the Daily Mail of bike blogs?I live on a south London estate in an inner city area effected by rioting. Many of the children in my neighbourhood have never been across the river, or even out of the local area for fear of intimidation by gangs in other areas, or constantly being stopped by the police. This can feel like being imprisoned, & prisoners will riot from time to time, even trashing their own cells. The Local council has recently cut it’s staff by 30%, disproportionally effecting poorer communities where I live. Schools are terrible & underfunded, youth clubs closed. All this set against a society that puts much value on consumption. The deliberate policy of maintaining an undereducated underclass, one pursued by all governments since the eighties does have consequences.
    Calling people mindless without any real knowledge of their situation is ignorant.

    • Amoeba 12/08/2011 at 12:22 pm #

      ‘Calling people mindless without any real knowledge of their situation is ignorant.’

      As has been widely reported, participants in the riots variously destroyed property, attacked innocent people, attacked fire-crews attempting to extinguish fires set by them, engaged in murder, and looted shops.

      Sounds pretty mindless to me.

      You sound like another apologist for thuggery.

  31. SM North London 17/08/2011 at 4:15 pm #

    not sure how this has become a political discussion.

    I just wanted to add how sad it is to see MiCycle attacked. I went in there recently with a problem with my bike…ahem.. a puncture….. and Matthew was so helpful. I was so impressed they offered courtesy bikes if I was in a rush. Hopefully the store is restocked and opened soon.

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