Cafe Velo is a super cute cafe and bicycle repair shop in Bellingham, Washington. Between an amazing outdoor patio, projection screen for showing bike races, and an amazing selection of coffee/beer/food, Cafe Velo is the perfect hangout! We are so stoked about having them as a dealer, and always make a point to visit whenever we’re in Bellingham. We caught up with the owners, Andrew & Kim, to learn a bit more about what makes Cafe Velo tick…
Howdy! Wanna tell folks a bit about yourself?
Kim grew up in Scotland, and moved to Seattle in 2006. Andrew grew up in Eastern WA and moved to Seattle in 2005. In 2015 we realized that the city we fell in love with was almost gone and we moved to Bellingham in March of 2016 with the goal of opening a combination Cafe/Bike Shop. We found the space in July and opened our doors in December of that year.
What is Cafe Velo & what role does it fill in the community?
We a combination cafe and bicycle repair shop. We sell espresso, beer and sandwiches, have an amazing patio, and can offer full service on non-suspension bicycles. We show all of the World Tour road racing, and many of the smaller races on our projector screen, and in the winter we show World Cup cyclocross alongside all of the smaller European Cyclocross series. We are proud to provide a place for both local and visiting cyclists to meet each other and talk about bikes, local riding options, and racing. We also sponsor several local organizations aimed at expanding the reach of cycling into underrepresented demographics. Several times per year we host talks and slideshows by people who go out and do cool things on their vacations (not always cycling!)
Why did you decide to open up Cafe Velo? Tell us a little about the story that led you to this point.
Both of us were anxious to free ourselves of the corporate yoke that living in Seattle required us to wear, and to live somewhere where it is easier to get around by bike, and where recreation opportunities were closer to home. We have visited many other Bike Cafes around the world, and were inspired by what we found.
What makes Bellingham a great place to live and ride bikes?
Moderate population, a strong ethos toward supporting locally owned businesses, a large section of the demographic that loves and prioritizes outdoor recreation, a city government that is willing to invest in bicycle infrastructure, easy access to all kinds of local hiking and cycling trails (you can get to a huge number of trails without a car!)
Do you have a favorite Swift product? What do you love about it?
Kim and I both run Sugarloaf bags on our gravel touring bikes. I run mine with a Wald 137, and Kim straps hers directly to a porteur rack. It is the perfect size bag for anything from a two hour ride with variable weather, to a long weekend bike trip. It also makes a perfect daily commuting bag if you don’t carry a computer.
What are you super stoked on right now? (anything!)
We absolutely love summer! We have a killer patio and the vibe here is really fun and positive in good weather.
What’s the coolest thing going on in the TDF this year?
Team Sky reminds me of the Galactic Empire from Star Wars, so its been fun to watch the other teams really throw everything they have into the fight, although I fear it will be to no avail. We are happy to watch the battle for stage wins among the non-GC teams.
Anything else we should know?
If you ride your bike to Cafe Velo on Thursdays, you get a dollar off your beer!