Mark was so wowed by our (relatively) new, awesome local bike shop that he wrote the following post about Café Velo. Café Velo is a unique shop that combines a café atmosphere with delicious coffee, coffee drinks and a light menu that includes snacks, sandwiches and smoothie options with a full service bike shop. As Mark elaborates below, the atmosphere and people are truly remarkable. And while I do not know if I really have a “new found interest” in mountain biking as my husband says (or maybe wishes), I have recently started biking the trails that I was running as an ongoing part of my recovery for my tibia/shin issues. I am not going to lie, biking has started to grow on me and I plan to keep it up even when I am back to running full time!
A place where everyone knows your name
by: Mark Modisette
I have been an avid mountain biker for over 30 years (wow – 30 years!) and I have been in a few bike shops too. I even had a part time job at a bike shop called Wheel Works down by the Olympic Training Center in the early 90’s. I would consider myself a connoisseur of bike shops and good customer service. My biking needs recently increased mainly due to my wife and son’s newfound interest in mountain biking. I was in the market for a bike makeover, a tune up and new tires for the bike my son had been riding. I was also seeking a shop to do work on my bike –but not just any shop would do.
I mentioned before that I worked in a bike shop. I am pretty meticulous about my work place, everything has a place and it must be clean. As I have looked at several bike shops, one thing that must be presentable is the bike repair area to win my business. Café Velo has a bike area that is truly worthy of my patronage. All the tools are carefully put away and bikes being worked on are all neatly and carefully stored. The rest of the store is exquisite – offering medium-high and high-end bikes – I’m getting excited just thinking about their selection. On the other side of the store there is the “café” part. The atmosphere there is incredible – I could hang out there all day – heck, coffee, sweets and bike stuff – forget about it!
And the best part of Café Velo… the people who work there. I have been in and out of the shop on several occasions for different reasons, each time I’ve been in the store someone has greeted me. I have not been overwhelmed nor have I been left looking for someone to assist me. When I dropped off my bike for a tune – the guys in the shop and I just talked for a long time about bikes, trails, injuries and bike stuff. There are no super egos to deal with or “wheelheads” with strong opinions.
My bike is cleaner than when I bought it and operating at my high level of standards.
Café Velo also has group “no drop” mountain bike and road rides. They even have a weekly group run starting from the shop. Another great offering are the bike clinics. I have not been to one but I heard from others that they cater to all levels and help riders with a variety of cycling skills.
Great people working there, great atmosphere and great coffee – I can’t wait to go back!