BICYCLES AND COFFEE SHOPS! Two things that bicyclists love no matter if you’re a professional racer or an urban commuter. If only there was a way to combine the two so that we wouldn’t have to worry about bike theft, and still enjoy a cup of coffee or two. Well today my incredible bicycle enthusiasts, we’re going to be telling you how to easily bring your bike into coffee shops, without getting into trouble with the shop owner/manager.
There’s many reasons why a lot of us have chosen the good ole faithful bicycle as our main way of commuting around the urban environment.
Buying a bicycle is much easier than buying a car. There’s no insurance, plates, or insane parking expenses on a daily basis. All you do is purchase your bicycle, and ride away into the sunset until you spot a coffee shop to stop at along the way.
So what are the best ways to bring your bike into coffee shops?
Depending on how well you know the coffee shop owner and the type of shop, will determine whether your bicycle will be allowed inside.
I’ve found that the better you know the owner and staff, the easier it is to bring your bicycle inside without any hassles.
When I was commuting to work every day, there was this one coffee shop I’d stop at every day. Over the course of weeks and months, I got to know the owner very well. Eventually we became good friends, and all his staff came to know me as a steady customer.
Once I established this great relationship with the owner and staff, did I attempt to bring my bicycle inside. Still, there’s a few things to consider when doing so.
Ask before bringing your bicycle inside
When you first decide to bring you bicycle inside it might seem like a great idea to just attempt it without asking. After-all you know the owner and staff very well and doubt they will mind.
This is not the best strategy because you don’t have any idea how the owner and staff feel about having a big, bulky bicycle in their shop.
Especially if the coffee shop is small or very busy.
- Will the bicycle be blocking the entrance, counter, or seats preventing customers from sitting down?
- Has it been raining and your tires will drag lots of mud and debris into the coffee shop?
- Does your bicycle have a kickstand so that you don’t have to lean it up against stuff? (Nobody wants to accidentally bump into a bicycle causing it to fall on them or breaking something in the shop)
If you arrive every day at the same time just to pick up a cup of coffee and leave immediately, they are more likely to allow you to briefly bring it in.
It also depends upon how you ask. For example, by saying, “Would it be okay for me to bring my bicycle in for a few seconds so it doesn’t get stolen?”, has worked numerous times for me. Even shops I visited for the first time.
Keep your bicycle out of the way
Once you’re told it’s okay to bring your bicycle inside, always be respectful of the shop and courteous towards other customers.
- Don’t put your bike in the middle of the aisle, blocking customers.
- Keep your bike away from tables so that other customers can sit down without having to walk around your bike, or finding another table.
- Don’t lean your bike against counters, walls, etc.
If possible put your bike into an empty corner, out of the way. Or alongside a wall where there’s no tables, or doors. The best option would be to put your bicycle into a storage area or closest if it fits.
Be careful on your way in and out
Be very cautious while you bring your bike into coffee shops and out.
- Make sure you don’t scratch up walls or other areas.
- Don’t knock anything over and break it.
- Be careful not to bump into customers or get chain oil on their clothes.
- Don’t break any glass on doors.
REMEMBER: The more respectful you are and less havoc your bike causes, the more likely they will allow you to bring it inside next time.
Keep an eye on your bike
If the coffee shop doesn’t allow you to bring your bike inside, or you decide to lock it up instead, here’s a few important things to keep in mind:
- Sit in a location where you can watch your bike through a window.
- Don’t sit with your back to the window to where you can’t watch it.
- Lock your bike to a secure location to where you can easily see it without having to keep standing, etc.
- Sit in a spot where you can quickly and easily get to your bike if you see something suspicious going on.
- Don’t lock your bike in secluded areas.
Properly lock your bike up
There’s nothing worse than coming out and seeing your beloved bike gone. In order to make sure this doesn’t happen it’s important that you take the proper precautions:
- Don’t use a cheap lock.
- Make sure that whatever you lock your bike up to is secure. (Don’t lock your bike to street signs or small trees)
- Lock your bike in an area that’s well lit, near cameras is best.
- Get a strong U-lock for the frame and cable lock for the wheels.
- Remove any accessories. (lights, computer, etc)
- U-lock should secure frame and back wheel
- Cable lock should secure front wheel. (Or you could use a second U-lock if you prefer)
- Double check everything.
Get yourself a folding bike
Of course you could eliminate the issue of worrying if the coffee shop will allow you to bring your bike into the shop by getting yourself a folding bike.
Folding bicycles ride just like regular bikes with one huge advantage.
They fold up allowing you to:
- Can be brought onto public transportation.
- Stored easily indoors (Home, office, etc)
- Easily fits under your desk at work.
- Great for bringing into coffee shops without asking. (I’ve never had a problem bringing mine inside coffee shops)
RELATED: The Best Folding Bike For Commuters
WHERE TO BUY A FOLDING BIKE:
The final word on bringing your bike into coffee shops
BICYCLES AND COFFEE! Those are the two things that all cyclists love. That’s why it’s always great when we can combine the two. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy because sometimes it can be a challenge trying to bring our bikes into coffee shops.
But with the right strategies, bringing your bike inside can be easy. And when it’s impossible to bring your bike into coffee shops, there’s always great solutions to the problem, such as properly locking it up, or even folding bikes.