Cycling Cafes of Victoria with Broad St Cycles

There’s something indelible about the link between coffee and cycling. While Lance Armstrong and a bevy of world-renowned medalists are stripped of their wins for using performance-enhancing drugs, the humble and ubiquitous caffeine slips under the wire as it has since the bike races of the 19th century. “Cycling makes you tired, coffee makes you not tired,” says Parker Bloom at Broad Street Cycles. “There’s a rich tradition of it; I think there’s a concept of a break or a respite from the effort and focus of cycling, and coffee is sort of the right duration. It’s not a drawn out process, you can recharge and caffeinate and keep on going.”

Parker Bloom at the counter

Parker Bloom at the counter. Our wise consultant for finding the best cyclist-friendly coffee spots.

I’ve ridden my bike everywhere since I was a kid, but it’s only recently that I bought a real road bike and started dipping my clipless pedals into the more competitive scene here in Victoria. The encouragement I’ve gotten from Parker and the rest of the crew at Broad Street Cycles has been a big reason why I keep getting back on the saddle, and I think many of the people I see on Monday night group rides would say the same. BSC’s commitment to being a community hub makes them the perfect place to ask questions like “what are the best spots to stop at for coffee on a bike ride?” The friendly and endlessly patient Parker was kind enough to humour me while he held down the fort at BSC, offering up some local spots as well as a few further-flung destinations for longer rides.

Fol Epi, 101-398 Harbour Road.

“Fol Epi primarily for me is always a starting place for a ride. It’s a central location, it’s right on the Galloping Goose, great coffee, good baked goods, it’s a nice way to start a ride, it’s easy to meet people there.”

BSC espresso machine

Coffee for the Broad St Cycles esspreso machine picked up (probably mid-ride) from Caffe Fantastico at Dockside Green/Fol Epi.

Stick in the Mud Coffee, 6715 Eustace Road.

“I really dig Stick in the Mud Coffee out in Sooke, they’ve got a fantastic vibe, great staff, friendly, they roast beans in house. They’ve got, you know, excellent food that they make, and I think what’s especially cool about Stick in the Mud is they’re a nice counterpoint to the kind of rough and tumble Sooke sort of vibe or aesthetic. I also like that it’s so far out or town, it’s cool to have to get to.”

Habit Coffee, 808 Yates Street.

“Habit coffee is awesome, their space at the Atrium is great. There’s lots of bike parking and their coffee is all very good. Instead of drip coffee they do a French press that is hard to beat. Renny also really likes and endorses the chocolate chip cookies.” (BSC mechanic Renny McClure grunts in agreement.)

Parker & Renny inspect Focus catalog

Parker & Renny inspect Focus catalog

Red Barn Market, 5550 West Saanich Road.

“Red Barn has sort of gas station coffee but the sandwiches are amazing, they’ve got that rad cat and it’s a perfect spot for a ride up near the Observatory.”

Bows and Arrows, 483 Garbally Road.

“Bows and Arrows is great, they’ve got a totally unique aesthetic. I like that place. They’re great as evidenced by their coffee being prominent in many coffee shops in town, being used by Habit and others. Near the Goose too.”

Written By:

Vancouver-born photographer, writer and designer Sol Kauffman has had his hands dirty in restaurant kitchens for years, washing dishes and slinging pizzas. In 2008 he moved to Victoria to pursue a BFA in Creative Writing at UVic ...

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