Welcome to De Ver Cycles Ltd

Words by De Ver Cycles

on 13/01/2019 08:34:48

Hello and welcome to our blog page.

I thought I would start with a brief history of the shop, and what we are about.

The business was started in 1977 by Peter Verleysdonk. The name De Ver, is a shortening of his name. Peter was an Australian Pro Cyclist, who came to Europe in 1974 to break into the then very lucrative Six Day Circuit. He based himself in London, but come December he travelled to Ghent, Belgium, to try his luck. I had turned 19 and had already won 2 British Championships. So I joined Peter on his adventure. We arrived in Ghent early morning on Christmas Day. That afternoon we saw the big races held in the Sportpalais. Found a room to stay and so it begun. I went on to turn Pro and race in the Six Day races, unfortunately Peter was not successful. So he came back to London and learned to build steel frames, and then in 1977 he opened De Ver Cycles. Fast-forward to 1987, I had had a bad crash in a Six Day race in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1984, and retired from Professional Cycling. I used to visit Peter in his shop, but I think he was missing Australia, and was trying to get me to buy his business, Eventually he lowered his price, and the deal was done. So on 12th July 1987, I became the owner of De Ver Cycles.

The Cycle Trade has never been easy, but then riding a bike for a living was even harder. I knew from the beginning that to build an established business would take many years. When I took over De Ver Cycles, the shop was next door to where we are now, in 630 Streatham High Road. Monty Young from Condor Cycles, was kind enough to write a reference for me to give to the landlord of the property. When Peter started in 1977 he signed a 20 year lease, I took over that lease with 10 years left to run in 1987. As the lease was coming to an end the freehold on the 2 buildings next door came up for sale, it took only a few minutes for me to decide. November 1996 I became the owner of 632 and 634 Streatham High Road, along with a run down stables and coach house around the back in Colmer Road.

I got married in 1992 and by 1996 I had a young family to look after, so the first thing I did was to convert the first and second floors into flats and rent them out to cover the mortgage, moving the business into the ground floor over Easter 1997. The extra space I had soon made a big difference,  I finally gave back the original building in 2002, and it’s now a computer repair shop. In 2005, 636 Streatham High Road came up for sale, I was approaching 50 at the time, and I had already made a decision not to take on more loans or mortgages after 50 years old. So at 49 years old I took on 636 Streatham High Road.

It’s not been easy, everyone knows these days that internet sales are eating away at High Street shops. To survive and prosper, businesses  have to adapt to these changes, so we combine the best of both Worlds. First class customer service, and comprehensive workshop facilities, and a large display area, along with a state of the art bike fitting room, coupled with the fantastic deals on bikes that you can find on our website.

Maurice Burton

Maurice

Mia Burton

Mia (2)

Ian Harman

Ian

Steve Simpson

Steve (2)

Pauline Stokoe

Pauline (2)

Owner

Customer Service

Mechanic

Mechanic

Bookkeeper

   

Not only that, but my son Germain, and many other young riders have won British Championships wearing our yellow De Ver jerseys. Many of the top riders in local cycling clubs patronise our shop, because they know that there bicycles will be serviced to a high standard. Eathan Hayter, a current World and European Champion is one of them along with his younger brother Leo. This is the reason why we can use the slogan The Choice of Champions.

We also have as members of our club, cyclists of all levels. It is very important to me that everyone is made welcome regardless of gender or race, and we have groups of riders setting off from the shop every Saturday morning. Since 2006 I have also run a training camp in Lanzarote, and I am proud to say that one of our club members, Mike Gibbons, who has been in the sport for over 60 years, said to me after his first time at my camp, that it was the BEST WEEK OF HIS LIFE.

I will be posting blogs from time to time on here, and I’m sure you will see many more from my Wife Mia, who just loves taking pictures and telling gossip.

So there you are. This is what you get when you visit De Ver Cycles Ltd 

Kind regards

Maurice Burton