Cycloffee

Cycloffee is a challenge that will benefit both cyclists, and coffee shops. As is commonly known, cycling and coffee is a match made in heaven!
The idea is to visit as many of the coffee shops as possible, and get your Caffeine Card stamped. Rules are simple: a visit to a coffee shop only counts if you cycled there, and obviously you can only get a single stamp per café.

For the national Cycloffee challenge, as well as for the London-based there will be a total of only 36 coffee shops per Caffeine Card. Each coffee shop will have a unique stamp, which you should carefully apply in the correct square of your Caffeine Card. Each stamp will form part of a puzzle, and you’re encouraged to proudly display your Caffeine Card once you completed it.

What’s  in  it  for  me  as  a  cyclist?
What’s in it for you? Well, great coffee, of course, plus an incentive to go cycling in places you may not have cycled before. Due to the deliberately distributed nature of the UK-wide Cycloffee challenge, this may take you many years to complete, or just a few weeks. It all depends on you and your appetite for seeing the UK. As an added bonus, you’ll get 5% discount from participating coffee shops.

There will (eventually) be a number of these challenges. The main challenge will always be the national one, but there will be more localised challenges, in some cases with all the coffee shops being in the same city.

What’s  in  it  for  me  as  a  coffee  shop?
The benefits should be very obvious to you, from the outset. For starters, you’ll get more business, as your coffee shop will become a destination, even for out-of-area cyclists. Cycling, coffee and cake go hand in hand (so much so, I even have a T-shirt showing this). Cycling is booming, and with the urgently-needed steps to reduce driving, will grow significantly in the near future.

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In a competitive world, where COVID severely harmed so many businesses, you should grab every advantage you can get. Being a cyclist-friendly café is a big advantage. Remember, drivers may pop in just because they’re nearby, but cyclists are usually the only customers who will deliberately travel miles out of their way just to visit a good café.

Consider having a track pump for customers to use, and perhaps stock a few inner tubes, in popular sizes, as well as some energy gels, and perhaps some CO2 cartridges. Have decent cycle parking available (not those dreadful wheel-benders!) and ensure the parking is in a safe, visible area, not hidden away at the back, with extra kudos if the cycle parking is covered by visible CCTV.

Please note: Coffee shops who sign up agree to give a discount of at least 5%, ideally 10% on any coffee (or tea) ordered by cyclists who are participating in the game, and have their Caffeine Cards to hand. That discount is only required for the first order, and only if your coffee shop’s square on the Caffeine Card is still to be stamped. Also, coffee shops will need to purchase the unique stamp for their establishment. I will have these 3D-printed, and they will be available at cost, but you will need to cover that cost. Also, only independent coffee shops may participate and Cycloffee will deliberately exclude large chains.

What’s  in  it  for  me  as  the  person  starting  this?
“So Will, what’s in it for you? Do you make money from this? There must be a catch!”
Well, no – there’s no catch, and I stand to make no money from it at all. Well, to be fair, I’d like to think participating coffee shops will at very least offer me a free coffee when I eventually get around to visiting their establishment, but they’re free to choose not to do so.

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What do I get out of this then? Simple: the satisfaction of having started something good and positive.  After all, not all payment can be measured in monetary terms.

What’s  happening  next?
Glad you asked, as I need YOUR help! Specifically, I need the names (and ideally contact details) for independent coffee shops from around the UK. To be included (other than the shop agreeing, of course) I’d expect a number of things:
1) It must be an independent shop. No really – no retail-chains, owned by conglomerates.
2) The coffee must be good! No brown-coloured, supermarket dishwater!
3) The coffee shop must be cyclist-friendly, and that includes offering decent, safe cycle parking.
4) Though not essential at all, bonus kudos for coffee shops in scenic, or unusual settings.
5) Perceived cyclist safety along routes to the coffee shop will be very important – please don’t nominate shops along lethal roads, unless there’s a safe and (hopefully) pleasant route.

Once you have supplied me with a long list of coffee shops that meet the criteria, I will filter through the list, then contact them to see which want to sign up. Once we have our 36 national coffee shops and our 36 Greater London(ish) coffee shops, I can finalise the artwork that will be used to 3D-print the unique stamps for each coffee shop. Each stamp will be a piece of a larger picture, but will also show the shop’s name or logo.

At that stage, I will make the Caffeine Cards available as a PDF download. All you need to do then is download and print yours, then cycle to each coffee shop on the list, over whatever timescale you please, using whatever route you prefer.

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Are you with me? Shall we make Cycloffee happen? I hope so, as I’m reliant on your local knowledge of the UK. Just bear in mind that I will have to try and ensure the final list of 26 UK-wide coffee shops are geographically dispersed. After all, it’d make no sense if they’re all clustered together – this is meant to be a challenge that helps you see more of the UK!

The small print
I reserve copyright on the Cycloffee and Caffeine Card names.

48 thoughts on “Cycloffee”

  1. Interesting project Will. I think Islington CC have an arrangement with the coffee shop in Regents Park (on the Broad Walk/Chester Road).

    Personally I wouldn’t go for it because (a) 5% is not much of a difference and (b) I don’t do loyalty cards.

    But if you want a good one, here is MUSETTE, https://www.musettecafe.co.uk/ run by local club cyclist Simon and it’s genuinely a cyclist cafe (although lots of walkers visit). Cycling clothing sold, some inner tubes, track pump. He also has had (and hopes to continue after Covid) talks in the evening by cycling celebs like Grame Obree, Michael Broadwith, helps out with cycling events, the local cycling clubs etc. Special days during Grand Tours. Not just “cycling themed” with a crankset on the wall! A thoroughly good cafe for cyclists (and the cake is good!)

    Reply
    • Parsley hay Cafe where the High Peak and Tissington trial meet,
      Outside only, but great coffee, but from a personal level, Vegetarian sausage cobs available, last time I went was under a fiver for both..
      Bike shop and hire next door, with a mechanic and small amount of Spares

      Reply
    • Highly recommend Southill tea rooms, Southill, Beds, SG189HB. Well known to cyclists in mid-beds. What’s better than tea out of a china tea pot and excellent cake in a Miss Marple-esque tea room. Check availability in the summer as very popular.

      Reply
  2. Three recommendations from me

    The Gilbertine Kitchen, Poulton, Gloucestershire

    Excellent coffee. Nice food options. Safe and secure for bike storage.

    The Wild Carrot, Chavenage, Tetbury

    Excellent coffee. Bike friendly. Bike hire. Good safe bike parking. Lovely cotswold lcocation.

    The Whistle Stop, Tetbury

    Great coffee, good food, safe bike parking.

    Reply
  3. Terrorvision lead singer Tony Wright runs a great cycling friendly coffee shop Bloomfield Square on Gay Lane in Otley West Yorkshire.
    He has a selection of locks inside for locking your bike to the front of the shop and will chat all day about bikes or anything else.
    Great cakes n coffee.

    Reply
  4. I have a few:

    Heartwork Coffee Bar in Holmbury St Mary. The stop is designed with cyclists in mind, and is an offshoot of a riding stable. The coffee is great as is the food.

    Cinnamon Cafe in Windsor. It’s in the old train station next to the castle. Go on the weekend and it’s heaving with cyclists. Ample cycle storage for all. Food and drink is excellent.

    Velolife in Warren Row. This cafe surely needs no introduction after it made news after a council injunction. Well worth a 140km round trip for me.

    The Blue Egg in Great Bardfield. Not been for years but when I lived in East London a club run there was 160km round trip. Worth it.

    The Shed in Sawbridgeworth was a coffee stop on my old club run. Never minded being invaded by wet cold cyclists.

    Giro in Esher is pretty famous, and does great cake. They have blankets outside in the winter for cyclists with the inevitable overflow.

    Reply
  5. Kickback coffee on Bakestonedale Road (partway up “The Brickworks” hill climb) is in a beautiful little building, super friendly, and perfectly located for lots of Peak District road and gravel rides. There’s also a public drinking water tap just opposite for bottle refills – what more could you want?

    Reply
  6. Warmley Waiting Room – cafe in an old railway station on the Bristol to Bath Railway Path. Always a good cup of coffee, lovely cake and convenient for all sorts of cycle routes, safe cycle parking and an accessible cycles/mobility charity based on the same site.

    Reply
  7. Coffeebox, mobile coffee. Victoria Park Ashford by the fountain Mon-Sat 8 – 16:00, 10-16:00 sun
    Location: 51.1443828, 0.8651519
    Can get busy with Park Runners on Saturday mornings. Good coffee and food also BT WiFi.

    Reply
  8. Croziers in Birkdale Vilage, Birkdale, Southport, Lancs. Best coffee I’ve found so far in the UK.

    Ryde Cafe, Liverpool, Merseyside
    Great coffee and cycle shop

    Reply
  9. Big fan of Musette just out Aldbury/Tring in Herts. Always friendly service and a good staff team.

    Also like Spokes just outside Codicote.

    Having just moved out of Herts haven’t found a good coffee stop in Northants yet! Any help would be appreciated!

    Reply
  10. The best coffee in London is Oscars in Ladywell. I go to bed at night looking forward to going there every morning

    Reply
  11. https://www.pedal-cycles.co.uk/pages/cafe/
    Very popular cycle shop on the south coast with a recently opened cafe offering locally roasted coffee, cakes, light meals including gluten-free & vegan.
    It is situated on a busy road but with major development underway linking Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch & Ferndown with cycle lanes. Access can also be gained from the rear on quiet roads linking the Castlemain trail which is hugely popular in the area.

    Reply
  12. La Parisienne Cafe on Queen’s Crescent, Camden. Like having a great coffee in your nan’s front room – Queen’s Crescent is doing a trial road closure so during the day it’s a lovely cycle.

    Reply
  13. The Coffee Apothecary Udny and the Coffee Apothecary Ellon (Aberdeenshire) are both fabulous. Owned by Johnny and Ally Aspden.

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  14. Liquid Jade, a gem hidden at the back of Whitefriargate in Hull old town, owned by Helen Schofield.

    Reply
  15. The Coffee Apothecary Udny and The Coffee Apothecary Ellon, both fabulous in Aberdeenshire. Owned by Ally and Johnny Aspden

    Reply
  16. Lindfield Coffee Works in West Sussex. Great coffee (roasted on site), delicious cake and used to sponsor a cycling team with (n+1) in Brighton

    Only challenge is space to park bikes.

    Reply
  17. Bump the discount to 10%.

    Charlie and Ginger in Leatherhead, Surrey.
    Petersham Nurseries Cafe, Richmond.
    Cloisters Cafe, Petersfield.

    Reply
  18. Charlie & Ginger in Leatherhead. Great coffee and 6 bike hangers outside. Blankets outside too. Lovely vibe with friendly staff. Sweet and savoury food.

    Reply
  19. Tamhouse farm shop, Newdigate, Dorking RH5 5BX. Bike rack, shelter from the weather. Has a hut to server from, so no need to go inside.
    Kingdom https://www.thiskingdom.co.uk/ GROVE ROAD, NR TONBRIDGE, ENGLAND, TN11 8DU, UNITED KINGDOM Not specificly bike biased. Nice ride, great viewes and coffee.
    Denniker Farm, Ruston Bridge Road (off the A272) Fletching East Sussex TN22 3SH. Again not specificly bike biased. Nice ride, great viewes and coffee.
    VeloBarn, Westerham, small cafe attached to bike shop. Inside and outside seating. Great coffe and cake. Loads of bike parking. https://www.thevelobarn.co.uk/

    Reply
  20. A few in my travels:
    Actually a van on the Bristol-Bath cycle path
    https://www.micafe.club/

    Bike shop & cafe
    Bury Rd, Kentford, Newmarket CB8 7PZ,
    https://www.phoenixcycleworks.co.uk/coffee-shop

    The Stove, Bourn
    Manor Farm, 14 Alms Hill, Bourn, Cambridge, CB23 2SH
    https://thestovebourn.co.uk/

    OB Cafe,
    Old Buckenham Country Park, Meadow Croft, Doe Ln, Old Buckenham, Attleborough, NR17 1PP
    https://www.oldbuckenhamcountrypark.com/ob-cafe

    Old Hall Farm cafe – best sausage roll I’ve ever had
    Old Hall Farm, Norwich Rd, Bungay, NR35 2LP
    http://www.oldhallfarm.co.uk/cafe-shop-butchers-and-delicatessen/cafe/

    Sweets Tearoom, Somerset BS28 4UE
    http://www.sweetstearooms.co.uk/

    Mother Hen Cafe, Broad Street, Wrington, BS40 5
    https://m.facebook.com/Mother-Hen-Coffee-and-gifts-1593359654018046

    Reply
  21. Milk, Balham SW12 9RG
    Juliet’s, Tooting SW17 9NG
    Store Street Espresso in Store Street, Fitzrovia WC1E 7DB and on Tavistock Place, Bloomsbury WC1H 9RG
    Roasting Party, Chelsea SW1X 0BP
    Tintico, Finchley Central N3 2RY
    Prufrock, Leather Lane EC1N 7TE
    Kaffeine, Fitzrovia W1W 7QJ
    %Arabica, Covent Garden WC2E 8SD

    Reply
  22. Hi… the Cobweb Cafe, at Abbott’s Bromley, Staffordshire… hugely popular with roadies. And the Springslade lodge cafe on the Cannock chase, for the mtb.

    Reply

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