Cycling and coffee go hand in hand – riders of skinny tyres, fixed wheels, knobbly rubber and basketed bikes are nearly always all partial to a good espresso (cappachino, Americano, or latte).
Cycle cafes bring together our love of bicycles and caffeinated drinks with a heady mix of new-tyre and alluring coffee bean aromas. Whether it’s a quick refuel on a 50 mile ride, or a relaxed lunch break with laptop in panniers, we all enjoy breathing in the cycle passion that is present in a bicycle themed cafe, and being surrounded by like-minded souls as our steeds sit safely outside.
If you haven’t already got a favourite cycle watering hole – here’s a look at some of our top velo cafes:
Rapha Cycle Cafe
Based at 85 Brewer Street, the Rapha Cycle Club promises fine coffee, and a menu which matches the pro racing cafe, plus of course a view of live action on widescreen TVs to keep you entertained.
A road cycling mecca, The Rapha Cycle Club organise rides weekly, on Saturday morning, Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, as well as playing host to events such as book signings.
Look Mum No Hands
I am genuinely being genuine when I tell you that LookMumNoHands! serve quite possibly my favourite coffee. It could perhaps be that I bought a coffee from their stand when I was working at London Revolution – I had a press pass and £1.50 in cash, I’d been there for hours and I was starving – LookMumNoHands! was the only stand that took cards, so my dinner was a cappachino, a bag of crisps and a granola slice (and an apple). It was a damn good cappuccino it made up for the lack of real sustenance.
Based at 49 Old Street, LMNH also holds a special place in my heart because they sponsor a great racing club, LookMumNoHands RT. With 10 women and 5 men, I see them around on the scene quite a bit and they are fast… Must be something in the coffee.
But back to the cafe – LookMumNoHands! has excellent food, a big screen for showing bike racing, a team of mechanics who will fix your bike, and they sell some really lovely pieces of kit and trinkets.
At 129 Pritchard’s Road, overlooking Regent’s Canal, this cafe meets workshop, meets second-hand-bike-shop, meets accessory merchants is a pretty spot of enjoy a beverage and a snack.
Lock-7 was formed in 2007, after its two founders visited Copenhagen and discovered a desire to sell beautiful and ‘more interesting’ bicycles. They opened in 2008, and they’ve built up a friendly community of like minded riders. They sell bikes you wouldn’t find on the high street (easily), and they’ve got a wonderful ‘make do and mend’ ethic.
Lock-7 describe their goals as: “Getting people on bicycles, keeping people on bicycles, having fun with it and making a difference” –we can’t think of many better reasons to visit than that.
You’ll find all of London’s cycle cafe’s in our free London Cyclist iPhone app. Get a copy here.
Just outside town…
Maison Du Velo
Of course, if you’re putting your Saturday/Sunday best on to ride outside of town – where to go?
Maison Du Velo opened in Reigate last year. Not far from new-cycling-holy-place, Box Hill, it’s become incredibly popular, likely due to the management’s endless enthusiasm and desire to reach out the cycling community. If you’re taking yourself out of town, MdV is well worth a visit.
As well as selling parts, clothing, accessories and bikes, MdV organise regular weekly rides, Watt bike sessions, Yoga for cyclist sessions, hill climb sessions, and some friends of the cafe even meet for triathlon swimming training.
Of course, if you’re just popping by – the food is the most important thing – and you won’t be disappointed, with light sandwiches and panini’s, salads, and plenty of cake to accompany fantastic coffee.
Planning a London to Brighton run? Or perhaps just getting the train down to the seaside and fancy a coffee and lunch in familiar surroundings? Look no further – Velo Cafe is here for you.
Based at The Level Velo cafe aim to be a meeting place for cyclists that provides great food, great coffee, plus beer and wine of you want to really wind down. They host rides on Wednesday and Sunday, and also have a workshop with a full “bike service menu”.
Want more? Andreas has been to a few places I haven’t – here are his top London Cycle Cafes…
Those are a few examples of amazing places to grab a cuppa surrounded by all things bikey – but where do you like to get your coffee fix?
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.