Every morning I grab a coffee, hop on my trusty bike and head downtown for work. Basically, coffee and bikes fuel me. Luckily for me, and a majority of my caffeine addicted cycling comrades, there are places around the world that can satisfy both of our vices.
Bicycling cafes offer a common thread to their niche markets: having a place to relax with a cup of joe while their bike gets fixed or simply offering an open space for those with the same wiring to hang out. With more and more people going two-wheeled, bike cafes might start popping up in places other than big cities–in the meantime, wonder into one of these shops!
Look Mum No Hands! – London, England
Beer on tap, Tour de France watch parties, maintenance classes, knitting 101–you name it and Look Mum No Hands! probably has an event for it. Opened nearly five years ago, the shop has become a hub for cyclists, non-cyclists, artists and any or all in between. With three locations in London, be sure to stop into the cafe/workshop on Old Street – lycra to your left and a three-piece suit to your right.
Heritage Bicycles Chicago – Chicago, Illinois, USA
Known for his bike building abilities at Bowery Lane Bicycles in NYC, Mike Salvatore opened Heritage Bicycles with his wife, Melissa, and newborn, Bennett in 2012. Heritage is a community-oriented mashup of two cultures: bicyclists and coffee shop lovers. All heritage bikes are designed and assembled in Chicago. Salvatore also focuses on making sure everything is customized to fit each person’s style. If you’re in Chicago make sure to wander into this home away from.
Little Mule Co. – Melbourne, Australia
Builders of bespoke single speed and fixies, Little Mule Co. out of Melbourne, Australia is also home to Little Mule Co. Cafe. Coffee and baguettes from nearby Victoria Markets are fresh daily for those needing a pick-me-up while their bike gets repaired. Owner Hugh Mcintyre prides himself on going on a little further on bike service and putting a little personality in all of the bikes the shop puts out. Grab your bike and head on over to the Bike City.
Chilikoot Cafe & Cyclery – Stillwater, Minnesota, USA
Located in Stillwater, Minnesota, Chilikoot is a full-service cafe and bike shop, nestled a few blocks away from the challenging climb of Chilikoot Hill. Opened in 2011, Lee Stylos weaved three ingredients together to make Chilikoot: unique, inviting space; welcoming, informed staff; and a menu that leaves you with “food memories.” Stylos put those ideas in tandem with his loves for bikes, as he is the race director for the Stillwater Nature Valley Grand Prix bike race. Go climb Chilikoot and then reward yourself with locally-sourced food, you’ll definitely have earned it.
Starling & Hero Bicycle Cafe – Woodstock, Western Cape, South Africa
Opened in 2012, Starling & Hero is a customized bike shop disguised as a coffee shop located in Cape Town. Co-owned by brothers Emile and Arno, Starling & Hero was born from both boys’ bicycle fanaticism. Launched in a budding bicycle city, Starling & Hero hopes to continue to make the bicycle culture rise. Make sure to stop by for an upcake–a play on the Cape Town rage of upcycling.
Tandem Bike Cafe – Vancouver, Canada
Clint and Brett of Vancouver, Canada will fix-up your bike and caffeinate your veins all in a matter of seconds–what more could you ever need? Tandem serves up sandwiches, salads and small treats alongside coffee delights and crazy-good bike service. If you’re inthe area stop by and experience true Canadian kindness.
Omaha Bicycle Co. – Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Located in Benson, Omaha Bicycle Co. brought their bicycle and coffee shop concept to life on Halloween in 2012. Owned by Sarah Johnson of Omaha, Omaha Bicycle Co. had fans before the coffee beans were grinded – OBC raised $15,000 to open the shop doors through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Furniture and a taxidermied squirrel were donated and today OBC is home to many group rides and buzzing Instagram that makes me want to get our and ride everyday – #pedalhappy everyone.
The next time your bike, and you, need a fix – stop in to check out one of these places. If you’re like me, you’re wheelie going to love them.
About the Author
Laura Smith is a writer, biker and avid wanderer. She’s always looking for a new adventure, documenting her stories along the way; her writing can be found on her Tumblr and Diary Traveler.