Bicycle shops add coffee bars, classes, even yoga
Owners hope to build the next community space, and the concept popular in many US cities.
It appears that drinking and driving do indeed mix -- at least when the drink is coffee and the vehicle is a bicycle.
Two consumer trends -- the constant demand for high-end java and a growing number of people commuting on bikes -- have combined in recent years to produce a hybrid: the bike shop and coffee bar.
According to The Wall Street Journal -- and you know a trend has gone mainstream when such a paper starts covering it -- it's not just hipsters in bike-friendly cities who are supporting these new establishments.
The Journal quotes a survey conducted this year by the National Bicycle Dealers Association of 4,000 bike shops showing that 12% have coffee bars, 11% have spinning classes and nearly 5% serve beer. About 1% also had yoga, massages or full-service restaurants on the premises.
These bike cafes basically didn't exist five years ago. But a market researcher who tracks the bicycle industry told The Wall Street Journal that there are now about 100 across the country. The number of bike cafes is expected to grow by about 500% over the next five years.
Most of these shops aspire to be more than just a place where you get your flat tire fixed while sipping a double espresso. "We wanted a community space where people could gather for a coffee before work or for a glass of wine after work," Julie Kloss, a co-owner of Dutch Bike Co. in Seattle, told NBC News in 2011.
Along with becoming the new neighborhood gathering places, a number of bike cafes are working to support community bicycling, locally made bicycles and other products.
"The bikes-and-coffee thing is just such a natural. People are so passionate about both things," Michael Salvatore, the owner of Heritage Bicycles General Store in Chicago, told the industry website Bicycle Retailer last year. His store has a full-service coffee bar, pastry goods and the funky baristas you'd expect, along with its own line of "vintage-inspired, handcrafted" commuter bicycles sold on the premises. And along with being a bicycle repair service, it also sells bicycle-related gear and clothing.
Salvatore said he thought the mixture of bicycles, coffee and retail would "be a perfect way to get novice cyclists in the door and get a warm situation where they could feel comfortable."
The bike cafe concept also appears to be a perfect fit for many multitasking Americans preparing for their morning caffeination as they pedal off to work.
I like to mountain bike a lot. I like coffee.
but since I would never risk my life riding on the road (really? you got a death wish?)
and we don't have bike paths...and not enough sidewalks to get anywhere by bike....
I'll keep my coffee in my old thermos - on the way to the trails to ride. Heck, I'd rather breathe the clean air in the woods anyway :)
more power to those communities equipped for proper, safe, and separate areas for bike travel.
Good idea. While they are at it have bike shops offer free movies and board games and anything else that can keep them there. The more time they can spend in the bike shop schmoozing with other cyclists or doing whatever activities means the less time they are out in the center of the road tying things up.
Welcome to the region of inconsiderate cyclists with their yellow jerseys trying to pedal 40 plus in the roadway with a bike path not 20 feet off to the side of the road. I live in a region that has bike paths that run all over the county. Hundreds of miles of paved trails yet they insist on sitting two feet this side of the white line. Every summer you see in the local news a few accidents with vehicles and a few weeks ago we had a fatality.
The hundreds of miles of bike paths paid for by the taxpayers are there for a reason you inconsiderate Lance Armstrong wannabe frauds. Use them!
Oh look............. All the hipster cyclists who voted for black Jesus hang out en cher at bike shops righteously sipping their lattes or ales with their yellow wristbands and their Sh&tmano equipped bikes. How utterly now.
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