Cycle Together

What Makes a Great Cycling Cafe?

Coffee Stop

Secretly, we all ride so we can go to the cafe for a cheeky slice of cake and mouth watering coffee, which means a lot of routes are planned around these pit stops. So let’s help you decide what makes a cafe spectacular. 

Needs

  • Location: this is a big consideration, ideally the cafe needs to be at least half way around your route and in an accessible, safe and friendly area. 
  • Bike friendly: there is nothing worse than turning up to a cafe and receiving disapproving looks from the employees and punters, it’s just not fun. 
  • Great coffee: they need to take pride in their coffee making skills. As cyclists, we know our coffee and we know what we like. We don’t want a coffee from a vending machine, we want a freshly made coffee with beans deliciously roasted and milk steamed to the correct temperature. 
  • Cycling friendly facilities: somewhere that has space for bikes, or parking that you can see and be near the bikes. 
  • Cake: a range of scrumptious homemade cakes to choose from. 
  • Affordable: a reasonable price tag – nobody wants to pay extortionate prices for a slab of cake. 
  • Varied milk options: if you’re on a group ride, chances are at least one rider will need an alternative milk option. 
  • Independent vendors: as cyclists we love to support small businesses. 
  • Indoor and outdoor seating: who doesn’t love to bask in the sun while sipping on rocket fuel. 
  • Variety: a slightly larger menu, including some savory food i.e. sandwiches, just in case you get that doomed bonk. 

We want a cafe to be boujee enough to appreciate the custom we bring as cyclists, but friendly enough to appreciate all types of customers and somewhere that will want you to return. Integration in the local community and also support from locals is also key.

Coffee and pastry

How to find the above 

  • Go Try! It is partly going to be trial and error. What a shame! The pros of that is lots of exploring and lots of cake testing, could be worse! 
  • Recommendations: It’s also useful to go by verbal recommendations. Maybe people you know through cycling have ventured to the new cafe you’re looking at and can let you know what it’s like. Alternatively, you can join some friends and club rides to follow them on your coffee and cake hunt… sometimes, they might be amazing, and sometimes they might be less than desirable – you won’t know until you try. 
  • Social Stalking: Another good way to find cafes is looking at people’s Strava or social media channels. Often they’ll put a write up of where they’ve stopped and how they enjoyed their pitstop – whether the coffee was provided by coffee connoisseurs and if the cake was spongey, while overwhelming your tastebuds with love and warmth. 
  • Google it: You can always do a Google search of your own. Although it can be hard to look at reviews online and know whether cafes are cycling friendly, and to everyone’s surprise, there are some cafes that don’t appreciate cyclists’ custom. 

Get yaself to a new cafe and enjoy some beans! 

If you need a few ideas to start with, let us tempt your taste buds…

  • Station South in Levuenshulme – a cycle cafe, built around the idea of being a destination cafe, somewhere people plan their route around because it provides so much joy. They have a workshop (you never know what you’ll need), a cafe and restaurant – great food and turn into a licensed bar after dark. 
  • Look Mum No Hands in London – A cafe, bar and workshop for all your needs throughout your ride. They also hold events such as; live cycling on TV, open mic nights and film nights – something for everyone in the community. 
  • Four Boroughs on Coldharbour Lane – in a wonderful location, they provide coffee, pastries and light bites to eat – not only for the traveling cyclist, but full of locals on their days out. 
  • The Garden Shed in Wellesbourne – established by local cyclists, who felt the area needed a friendly pitstop for everyone including cyclists. A fabulously central location, with an enclosed garden for safety and plenty of room for your bikes. 
  • Cadence in Litlington – a perfect cafe situated in Cuckmere Valley, where you’ll not only find cyclists but hikers as well. They offer refueling, bike rentals, tours and are filled with an event for everyone. 
  • The Dynamo in Putney – With a full menu of light bites and hardy lunches, this pitstop will fuel you no matter the distance you have left. They have seating inside and out, and are happy to accommodate cyclists and their most prized possessions (bikes). 
  • Spoke Cycles in Welwyn – a family run business providing cake, toasties and caffeine, among other refreshments. They also have a cracking workshop, with on hand mechanics to help with any mid-ride issues you come across. And the best part? There are on sight farm animals for you to ‘coo’ at while sipping on your beverage of choice. 

Coffee

All aboard the cafe chaingang, test out some pit stops (cake) and let us know your favorites!



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