Everywhere you turn these days, bicycle and coffee lovers are uniting in so-called “bicycle cafés.” Imagine your local Starbucks plunked down in the middle of a bike repair shop! Bicycle cafés are places where you can ride in, get some air for your tires, or a tune-up, and then fuel up on some coffee and treats for the road.
Experts say bicycle cafés were created in response to the “unfriendly” vibe some cyclists feel when they walk into traditional coffee shops. After all, not every barista looks forward to serving coffee drinks to sweaty, smelly bikers wearing helmets and tight Lycra pants! As you might expect, the explosion of bicycle cafés is also being driven by today’s high gas prices – as well as by new trails and bike paths designed to get people out of their cars, and onto bikes. The cafés have names like Uphill Grind, Mojo Bicycle Café, and Cars-R-Coffins. Some serve food and host musicians or book signings, just like normal coffee shops. Others have the feel of a drive-thru – or “ride-thru” - for bikes.
For example: A shop in San Francisco called Velo Rouge Café is located right on the bike path that cuts through Golden Gate Park. Know this: Bicycle cafés don’t just appeal to cyclists. Consider Ride Studio Café, a high-end bike shop in Massachusetts that now gets half its business from non-cyclists. Owners say adding espresso machines and a snack area has been great for their bottom line – especially during the cold winter months, when nobody rides bicycles.