On Nov. 15, at McMaster University’s Convocation Hall, cycling and coffee fans gathered for a discussion of those two items, which seem to go together like peanut butter and jam. The event was put on by the McMaster Rolling Seminar, headed by Michael Egan of the university’s history department. Canadian Cycling Magazine senior editor Dan Dakin moderated a panel that featured Krys Hines of the Domestique Café, Thomas Eleizegui of Musette Caffè and Andrew Randell of Jet Fuel. Afterwards, we caught up with Hines and Randell and got them to summarize some of their thoughts.
Hines traces the link between coffee and cycling to Europe, a continent that he claims pairs almost everything with java. In North America, interest in both coffee and cycling have grown throughout the past 20 years. Cycling fans, no doubt, saw their favourite riders having espresso before a race, and thus adopted the practice. Hines also says that before cyclists clad in tight clothes became a more common sight, they’d most likely find more acceptance (and receive fewer stares) in Italian espresso bars.
Randell notes that the café is a social hub for cyclists. It’s the natural meeting place pre-ride, a good place to stop mid-ride and a natural end point. Randell started drinking coffee because he rode with a few cyclists from the Jet Fuel cycling club and they’d all hang out at the coffee shop.