Bike cafés where riders can refuel, catch screenings of the Tour de France and get their bike fixed are rolling out worldwide. These are my favourite places in the world.
In Beijing, capital of the world in air pollution, Serk stands out with its goal to change all that by riding more bicycles. Beyond outfitting you with caffeine, booze and a smooth ride, Serk organizes a number of activities including rides in the mountains on the city outskirts, vintage wear rides, the MeWe bicycle festival and I’m In!, group rides organized on the best air quality days.
Rapha Cycle Club London
Rapha, the retro-styled UK cycle-clothing brand, has added boutique shopping to the mix. The first Rapha Cycle Club, in San Francisco, put classy threads on sale alongside Four Barrel coffee, Dynamo Donuts and farmers' market sandwiches. Now also in London, Osaka, New York and Sydney, it will be opening in Tokyo, Amsterdam and Los Angeles this year.
The Little Mule
Over the years, bike shops have gradually become bigger, carrying more stock and moving towards major international bike brands. The Little Mule is a tiny Melbourne shop doing exactly the opposite. They almost exclusively sell their own niche brand of single speed bikes, which are also branded The Little Mule.
Meesterknecht opened last month in Amsterdam, the capital of cycling. With over 500.000 cyclists in town, this café meets the demand of the cool city cyclist that wants the latest design wear, gadgets, bikes and a place to watch the Tour live. Oh, and their grilled cheese sandwich is quite nice too.