Most early-morning riders need a shot of caffeine to keep the wheels spinning, so it’s only natural that there are increasingly more cycling cafés popping up, providing cyclists whatever fix they might need: beer, coffee or a tuneup. Repair, retail and rental shops have combined with coffee shops (and bars!) to provide everything hobbyists and pros alike need under one roof.
Cursed Bikes & Coffee
Jeff Gerhardt is an architect-turned-bike mechanic who has been designing and building custom bike frames for the past six years. He and his wife, Erin, enjoy a great cup of coffee; Cursed Bikes & Coffee in University City, Missouri, is a culmination of their two passions. The neighborhood coffee bar offers full maintenance and bike repair, retail and rentals for “hard-core and casual riders,” Gerhardt says. He thinks the concept works because “cyclists love fueling up on caffeine and carbs.” And in addition to a craft-coffee menu to help cyclists gear up for an early-morning ride, the muffins, coffee cakes, cookies and donuts Cursed sells are sourced from Dottie’s Flour Shop and make for great carb-loading. “We don’t care if your bike is expensive, new or anything fancy. We don’t care if you know nothing about bikes,” Gerhardt says. “We just want to help get more people out there, enjoying the great outdoors and the simple joy of riding a bike.”
7401 Pershing Ave., University City, Missouri, facebook.com/cursedbikes
Spokes Café and Cyclery
Spokes Café and Cyclery managing partner Dan Walsh thinks the popularity of cyclery-shop cafés and breweries has been emerging as a means to keep the lights on for bike-retail stores. “It’s hard to be an independent bike shop in this era of internet shopping and the like,” he explains. Walsh, a recreational cyclist, and one of his business partners, Ryan Adams, a competitive cyclist, opened Spokes in downtown Kansas City in May; they're also founding board members at BikeWalkKC, which brought the BikeShare program to town, among other biking and pedestrian advocacy initiatives. They decided to open Spokes as a place they wanted to hang out. The shop, with a full kitchen, espresso bar, more than 35 beers on tap and in the cooler, plus a full bar, makes it easy for visitors to fuel up while they get their bikes tuned up. With a sandwich menu featuring gourmet grilled cheese, meatloaf melts and Southwest chicken melts, it’s friendly to beginner cyclists and non-bikers alike.
1200 Washington St., Suite B, Kansas City, Missouri, spokeskc.com
Velo+ owner Vincent Rodriguez naturally found his current career: As a kid, he grew up cycling, and as an adult, he spent 18 years working for Starbucks. Velo+ combines the coffee and cycling lifestyle in a new way: Instead of cups of coffee, the shop sells bags of beans. Rodriguez roasts small-batch coffee in the same space he offers full-service repair and maintenance. On top of that, he just started making chocolate. “It’s a lifestyle,” he says of the growing trend toward cyclery cafés. “I do believe people want quality, want to be healthy and [be] outside.” His shop is built on the “journey, destination and social experience” of cycling, he says. It’s all in the details with custom bike frames; coffees like #Black, a dark-roast blend of Guatemalan coffee beans, and a breakfast blend for Shatto Milk Company combining Colombian and Brazilian beans; and unique, handmade chocolate bars. He also encourages others to embrace the lifestyle by offering classes in both roasting basics and cycling maintenance. After opening in 2013, he now has a bike shop in Iola, Kansas, and a repair shop and taproom in North Kansas City, Missouri.
multiple locations, velopluskc.com