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Cafes ride high on back of the chain gang


Hannah Francis, Dannika Bonser

Cyclists drink morning coffees at Two Before Ten in the city.

Cyclists drink morning coffees at Two Before Ten in the city. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Morning rush hour in Canberra has become a caffeine hit for those city coffee houses with a bent for bikes and an understanding of symbiosis.

Cafes are fostering strong ties with the capital's ever-growing cycling community, including supplying coffee to bike shops, hosting or participating in bike events and even manufacturing and selling bikes themselves.

Mocan & Green Grout co-owner David Alcorn with an example of the Goodspeed bicycles they produce and sell.

Mocan & Green Grout co-owner David Alcorn with an example of the Goodspeed bicycles they produce and sell. Photo: Graham Tidy

Fyshwick is the newest host of the bike and bean partnership, with a cafe and a cycle shop business opening next to each other and with a large, shared doorway linking the spaces.

The Cyclery co-owner Jayson Clarke said the business venture with Celestino owners Paul and Vince Celestino was spawned by the intertwined nature of the two cultures.

''We love cycling and we also love good coffee, and on the other side [Vince and Paul] are into cycling, so it just works,'' he said.

In the last five years a number of cafes and roasters as dedicated to the two-wheeled freedom machine as they are to creating the perfect brew have popped up around the city.

Economist and Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh, said cyclists were great for business because they often filled cafes in lull periods, such as early or late morning.

''The ideal customer is one that uses a shop's capital stock - things like tables and chairs - when it's fairly empty,'' he said.

The social capital of coffee and cycling cultures, Mr Leigh explained, also enriched the community.

''One of the things the culture illustrates is the best sports aren't just fun, they're social.

''The strength of community among cyclists is one of the reasons why they do it.''

Lonsdale Street Roasters, Mocan & Green Grout and Two Before Ten all designed their own jerseys which they wear to various cycling events throughout the year.

But Canberra Cycle Chic blog editor Trish Smith said it wasn't all about competition cycling.

There was a huge number of cyclists ''just looking to get from A to B'' who took advantage of Canberra's good weather, flat terrain and road space, and enjoy a coffee stop-over just as much as cycle groups, she said. While some wanted the caffeine kick, for many cycling groups ''it's simply more about the destination''.


  • Please do not compare these groups of cyclists to "Joe Average" who just wants to get from A-B.
    Many, but not all of these groups of unprofessional Cadel Evans wannabees are a nuisance on the road, riding in their pretend peletons as though they are competing in The Tour de France, while consistently riding 3-5 abreast in their pretend race and then abusing motorists who tell them to move over.
    It is high time these people are seriously bought to account by the authorities for their reckless behaviour.
    Roads were built for cars and car owners pay for the privelege of using them with their rego and third party.
    What do these people pay - NOTHING, yet they scream bloody murder when you suggest that they should be part of the user pays system and also have some form of third party insurance to cover for any damage or injury they cause.
    Ask the guy in Sydney who lost his house when he was sued after he hit a pedestrian on his bike if third party insurance is a good idea, hell, even Cycling Australia think some form of rego and insurance is a good idea for cyclists.
    Also, I have no problem with people who want to keep fit, but why do the lunatic elements insist on clogging the roads when successive ACT governments have spent millioms and millions on cycle paths around the city

    Date and time
    November 21, 2012, 7:43AM
    • As one of the Cadel waanbees pictured I agree a registration system would be welcolmed by myself and my cycling friends. We, the lycra wearing set (particualarly the racing category) are very responsible and considerate road users. We hope the goal of such a registration system would be to eradicate the misbehaviour of some of the Canberra cycling community.

      I would also suggest everyone get out of their cars, jump on a bike and get some excercise, On that point, how about cheaper and better public transport in this city, all those single occupant cars on our roads is plainly stupid.

      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 10:44AM
    • So if cyclists paid rego you'd have no problems with them being on the road?? Thought not. Get a life.

      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 11:06AM
    • I agree mate! Couldn't say it better myself. These cyclists just get in the way and slow you down.
      Everyday I try and beat everyone else and try and win KOM on my Strava segments, but strike me pink, the number of times I got slowed down by some commuter bike getting in my way.
      Get all those bikes off the road (apart from mine).

      Strava Wannabe Champion
      Fatbastard in Lycra Land
      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 1:10PM
    • You do realise that most of these cyclists also own cars and pay the ridiculous amount for rego too? Get off the couch mate

      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 1:34PM
    • Roads are NOT paid for by car registration fees, they are funded by taxation, by all taxpayers, not just drivers. I can also warrantee that your car has more impact on the longevity of the road than my bicycle. Maybe we could pay rego for the weight of our vehicles. My bicycle should cost about 2.2% of the cost of your car – more than happy to pay the rego but I doubt you will be happy.
      I wish people understood both the law and taxation before making stupid comments.

      On a bicycle
      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 2:17PM
    • Good point about the pretend pelotons, which are a serious pain in the lanterne rouge. The rest is a bit frothy, though.

      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 4:34PM
    • Without reading the rest of the comments, I completely agree with this one. It's so dangerous! I mean, the majority of drivers are cautious but why are the cyclists putting their lives in the hands of the few reckless drivers! We can't stop them - they will always be there. So please, find your own paths and get off the road for your own safety. When they block the turnoffs on Commonwealth ave, slowing all cars down during peak hour, it is a worry that someone won't see and will hit them. Plus they dont follow road rules themselves, most go through red lights. I'm pretty sure they have to follow road rules.

      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 4:43PM
    • Always the same ignorant and stupid comment about cyclists not paying for roads because they don't pay rego. Nearly all "cyclists" (excluding kids) have left the car home and are out on the bike to enjoy the day. Like most "cyclists" on some days I am a "motorist". Get over it. I should get compensated for leaving the car in the garage. I am paying more than my fair share for car rego and insurance because I drive much less.

      Date and time
      November 21, 2012, 11:04PM
  • Very happy to share roads, paths and cafes but cyclists be responsible, don't take over, have some respect for those around you and move the furniture back....

    Date and time
    November 21, 2012, 8:43AM

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