La Bicicleta – Bike Café and Workplace
The combination of bikes and coffee isn't a new one; but still the trend to open so-called bike cafés is unstoppable. Many different concepts exist for this combination, but usually it's simply a place to stop by (with or without bike), order a drink and relax.
The combination of bikes and coffee isn’t a new one, but still the trend to open a so-called bike cafe is unstoppable. These cafés are based on different concepts, but usually it’s simply a place to stop by (with or without bike), order a drink and relax. While you’re at it, you can casually inflate your tyres or quickly fix small issues if your bike is “sick”. Some cafés might also provide repair services or have a shop next door. One of the most famous places is certainly is the “Look mum, no hands” in London. It was one of the cutting edge cafés on the European bike scene. Some months ago, I happened to drop in to a very nice bike café, “La Bicicleta – Cycling Café and Workplace” in the very centre of Madrid.
Bike Café with a special atmosphere
In the neighbourhood of Malasaña, the district famous for its bars, cafés and alternative places, La Bicicleta’s young and stylish ambience invites you to take a seat and feel like one more spoke in Madrid’s cycling community. I talked to the owners, Quique and Tamy, and they told me that the idea for a bike café was born 5 years ago when they heard about a similar project in Latvia. After giving it some thought and going on trips to get to know places like this, the idea got firmed up and the café finally opened its doors 3 years ago. Malasaña was just the perfect spot, not only because of the target audience in the area but also because of the “romantic feelings” the founders have for this special district.
And they were not wrong in their expectations: Their concept works and is a real success. I asked them what the secret was. The location, they say, is one important ingredient. The interior design and the concept in general are also key. The philosophy behind the café was to create a place where you can drink (really!) good, fair-trade coffee, where the bicycle is always in the spotlight and where you can relax, work, repair your bike and have a snack at the same time. Other activities such as exhibitions, presentations of bicycle journeys, Goldsprint competitions or book presentations complete the picture.
La Bicicleta was the first bike café to open in Spain, but it wasn’t the first in Europe. You can find concepts like this in many cities, each one with its own style and atmosphere. Each is worth visiting. I did some research for you and although I (unfortunately) couldn’t visit them all, I can certainly recommend you give it a try. One hint: Search for it in the Bike Citizens app and let yourself be guided to these places. And, as usual – Ride safe!
List of some bike cafés in Europe:
Berlin: Standert (A very famous one in Berlin Mitte, they have a bike shop and a café and also home made ice cream!)
Bonn: BundesRad Bonn (urban bike shop where you can enjoy a cappuccino while getting all the information you need)
Starnberg: Finest Bikes (bike shop in an old bar, coffee & co for free)
Amsterdam: Star Bikes Rental
Den Haag: Lola Bikes & Coffee
London: Look mum, no hands
Madrid: La Bicicleta
Lisbon: Vélocité Café
Porto: Urban Cycle Café
Stockholm: Le Mond
One hint: Search for it in the Bike Citizens App and let yourself be guided to these places! And, as usual – Ride safe!
Photos: (c) Steff. Gutovska