by David McPherson
Coffee and cycling share a long love affair. Java is part of the sport’s culture. Across Canada, there are cafés that build on this crankarms-and-caffeine connection. But they do more than hang a few bikes on their walls (although many do just that). Some are part museum – showcasing vintage machines and other memorabilia. Others sell cycling gear and offer repairs while you enjoy a cortado. Some have been around for decades, others are just a few years old. All of these places are hubs that foster the passion of the riders in their communities. So, grab a coffee – espresso, cappuccino, latte, drip, americano, whatever you like – and take a tour of the best cycling cafés in the country.
The Bike Shop Café and Catering Co.
Location Kelowna, B.C.
Owners Darren Ansley (interviewed) and Kimberly Ansley
What’s your favourite coffee drink?
The Monkey’s Gone Bananas. It’s a blended drink with two shots of espresso, fresh bananas, organic protein powder, chocolate, whole milk and coconut. I like it because it’s very refreshing on a hot Okanagan summer day and it provides the energy I need for pedalling my bike after work.
Tell me about the café.
The Bike Shop Cafe and Catering Co. has been operating in Kelowna’s downtown for 21 years. That’s when Kimberly and I took over the space, which was once a bike shop. The Bike Shop Café is located in a 100-year-old refurbished warehouse space. The decor features vintage bicycles, donated by the shop’s loyal clientele. Every bicycle in the space is rideable and each one has an interesting story.
What’s the local cycling scene like?
The local scene is vibrant and growing. We have a very active and engaged group of cyclists who realize what we have here in B.C. and they are not afraid to get after it.
Do you have a favourite ride?
One of my favourite local rides is the Vapour Trail in the Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park area. It is a fast, fun, technical descent that starts at the Kettle Valley Rail Trail and ends at the park staging area.
Who’s a notable cyclist who has stopped at the café?
The most notable is local pro mountain biker Steve Romaniuk and the Drop In crew.