The tight embrace between Lycra-clad cyclists and their coffee is a little intense – and nowhere more than this new inner city café/bike store
If cycling is the new golf, then the post-ride double espresso is the modern equivalent of a stiff G&T at the 19th hole. The folks down at Atelier de Vélo have cashed in on the romance between bike and bean, and have opened up a neat and tidy space that runs from Clarence Street into a rear courtyard they share with the whiskey-and-pretzels crowd of the Baxter Inn
. It’s an espresso bar inside a workshop inside a bike shop, with a grungy mural hanging on the wall.
While you drink your macchiato (an inky Darkhorse blend by local roasters Mecca), you can browse the store for some new toys. The shelves are stocked with natural, renewable and biodegradable bike-care products from the Pure range, water bottles in a swag of colours, sleek new saddles, and even saddlebags - for carrying your snack allowance in, of course. You can take a break from browsing for a slice of sourdough with ricotta, honey and almonds, or a bowl of bircher muesli with stewed rhubarb. Perfect endurance-building fuel for future touring.
If your faithful steel steed needs a good sprucing, you can wheel her into the workshop for a once-over. Or, if you’re in the market for something new with a little more sex appeal, Atelier de Vélo stocks Bianchi, Pivot, Circular, BH Ultralite and also Wilier Triestina bikes of Italy (where the whole coffee/cycling thing is said to have bloomed in the first place). There is even talk of a ‘shop ride’ in the future from the store to Centennial Park, which is great news for those who live nearby.
Whether it’s a spine-tingling caffeine hit you’re looking for, or your spokes need a tweak, you’re bound to get the best of both worlds at Atelier de Vélo.