Feature articles

Cycling and the law
“Can my 11 year old cycle on the pavement?”; “do I have to dismount my bicycle when a sign says so,” and “can I be done for cycling furiously?” and many other UK-specific legal questions discussed.

Where to recycle your bicycle (or refurbish one at a community cycle scheme)
A growing number of bicycle recycling schemes across the country are harnessing the social and economic power of the bicycle, raising money for charitable work or collecting bicycles for dispatch to the Developing World. Laura Laker finds that most of these bicycle recycling schemes also empower disadvantaged people, whether through skills sharing and confidence building or simply by providing affordable transport. There are an increasing number of community cycling projects – some sell or donate bicycles here or abroad, others don’t. Here’s a list of 80 schemes around the UK.

Cycle crema: Britain’s 65 bicycle-themed coffee and cake stops
The “cafe stop” is a tradition in cycling. Cyclists love tea and coffee, and eat lots (they need carbs and caffeine to fuel the ride). The following cafes – often owned and run by cyclists – use cycling as part and parcel of their ambience. Some are out in the sticks, others are urban.

Cycling and coffee: why are they so good together?
Forget EPO, the number one cycling drug is what the US Food and Drug Administration lists as 3G6A5W338E. Everybody else calls it caffeine.

Pedalling propaganda: bike books for kids
Want to inject a bit of cycling culture into your wee ‘uns? Get them enthused about cycling from a very early age by accidentally-on-purpose stocking your home library with bike-friendly books.

Cycle to Work Scheme
Cycle to Work is a tax incentive aimed at encouraging employees to, er, cycle to work, thereby reducing air pollution and improving their health.

Buying a Bike
Nowadays, bicycles are easier to ride than ever before. Lightweight frames, indexed derailleur gears (which click-click into place) and strong, reliable brakes mean the bicycles of today look great, are easy-to-use and, if kept in good nick, will be highly efficient. Considering the amount of moving parts they are made up of, and the enjoyment to be gained from them, bicycles are remarkably good value for money.

Electric bikes: what’s all the buzz about?
For some people, electric bikes allow them to get to work without breaking a sweat; for others an electric bike is a means to keep up with a stronger partner. Pretty much everybody who rides one says they’re a lot of fun and it’s like having a tailwind with you at all times

Feature articles

Cycle crema: Britain’s 65 bicycle-themed coffee and cake stops

The “cafe stop” is a tradition in cycling. Cyclists love tea and coffee, and eat lots (they need carbs and caffeine to fuel the ride). The following cafes – often owned and run by cyclists – use cycling as part and parcel of their ambience. Some are out in the sticks, others are urban. Either way, get to them by inputting the cafe postcode into the BikeHub cycle satnav app. If your favourite cycle-themed cafe is missing from our list tweet details to @bikehub. Bike Hub is the cycle industry’s levy scheme, supporting the future of cycling.

LONDON

SOUTH

SOUTH WEST

MIDLANDS

NORTH WEST

NORTH EAST

YORKSHIRE

SCOTLAND

WALES

 

We’ve given opening times but, as some of these cafes are in rural locations, not all are open year round, and it’s best to phone ahead before relying for refuelling.

 

LONDON

 

CADENCE
2A Anerley Hill, London SE19 2AA
Somewhere between a high-end bike shop and a gym, Cadence offers bike fitting, fitness testing, coaching, spinning, yoga, pilates, physiotherapy, and sports massage. And it also hosts the twitter-friendly Tandem Ciclo Cafe. Whether you’re a member or not, you can drop in, hang out with other cyclists, stuff your face with cake and coffee and watch some racing on a big screen. There’s bike parking, a bike wash and bike maintenance courses.
enquiries@cadenceperformance.com Tel: 020 8676 8825.
Mon, Weds, Fri 09.00-21.00; Tues, Thurs 07.00-21.00; Sat-Sun 08.00-18.00; bank holidays 08.00-16.00.

THE DYNAMO
200 Putney Bridge Road, SW15 2NA
Turn up at The Dynamo in Lycra and get a 10 percent discount on your drink or meal. The Dynamo is a “cycle cafe where you can hang your bike, repair a puncture, eat pizza and drink beer.” It also has a basement cycle workshop with a “beer fridge and TV for after the ride.” According to the cafe’s website people “ride from all over the city to eat The Dynamo’s breakfast.” This includes Toasted Banana bread and Lemon Curd, Avocado & Poached Eggs with feta and Ancho Chilli, Blueberry Pancakes with streaky bacon and Roasted Apples. In the afternoon and evening The Dynamo becomes a pizza restaurant, with pizzas named after famous Grand Tour climbs such as the Giro d’Italia’s Stelvio and the Tour de France’s Tourmelet.
Tel: 020 3761 2952. Mon-Weds 7am-10pm. Thurs-Sat 7am-11pm. Sun 8am-10pm.

LOCK 7 CYCLE CAFE
129 Pritchards Road, London, E2 9AP
More Hackney residents cycle to work than drive and Lock 7 lies on one of the borough’s key cycle routes, beside Broadway Market. Since 2008 “London’s first cycle cafe”, inspired by Copenhagen aims to get and keep people cycling. There’s hot drinks inside the original shop and now bike repairs and servicing take place in a workshop around the corner in Broadway Mews.
info@lock-7.com Tel: 020 7739 3042.
Mon-Sat 08.00-18.00; Sun 10.00-18.00.

SOHO BIKES
26 Berwick St, London W1F 8RG
Opened in 2014 and co-owned by former UK mountain bike champion and manic commentator Rob Warner, Soho Bikes serves excellent coffee in slimline, multi-storey premises with a high-end bike shop at the back. It also has its own YouTube channel, with professionally produced video shows starring MTB heroes interviewed by the sweary, upbeat Mr. Warner.
Tel: 020 7439 9577. Mon–Fri 8am–7pm Sat 12noon–5pm.

LOOK MUM, NO HANDS!
49 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HX and 125-127 Mare St, London E8 3RH
Probably Britain’s most famous cycle cafe, LMNH is the cafe with a brand, with merchandise including ‘podium pants’ in the colours of the Tour de France jerseys and quirky events on- and off-site, from cycle-themed craft to cycle powered cinema. Serving salads, cake and coffee, there’s also a bike workshop, with maintenance courses on offer, too.
info@lookmumnohands.com
Tel: 020 7253 1025. Mon-Fri 07.30-22.00; Sat 08.30-22.00 Sun -09.00-22.00

RAPHA CAFÉ
85 Brewer St, London W1F 9ZN
This fancy roadie hang-out in Soho opened in 2012 and expanded in February 2014. Coffees hail from international roasters, there’s pastries, baguettes and salads. Splurge on Rapha kit from the adjoining shop – it stocks the entire range – or admire the display bikes. With race screenings and film nights, there are a variety of social, club and women’s rides through the week.
londoncycleclub@rapha.cc. Tel: 020 7494 9831.
Mon-Fri 08.00-21.00; Sat 08.30-19.00; Sundays and Bank Holidays 10.00-18.00.

CYCLE PS
Camberwell: 41 Camberwell Church Street, London SE5 8TR.
Kennington: 146-148 Newington Butts, London SE11 4RN.
Battersea: 179 Battersea High St, London SW11 3JS.

Cycle PS are a trio of South London cycle cafes, all on Cycle Superhighways, Camberwell on CS5, Kennington on CS7, Battersea on CS8. The former, the “dedicated custom build store”, has a pool and juke box area behind a bike workshop behind a bar and bike shop with toasties and pizza, coffee and beer, free wifi, film screenings, cycle maintenance and talks. The Kennington branch resembles a cafe in a bike shop, with all the usual bike shop paraphernalia. All cafes have workshops and are licensed. There’s also an online shop – NUS and NHS cardholders get a 10% discount.
fixmybike@cycle-ps.co.uk.
Camberwell: Tel: 020 3719 5736. Mon-Fri 08.30-23.00; Sat 10.00-23.00; Sun 10.00-17.00
Kennington: Tel: 020 7735 7443. Mon-Fri 07.30-19.00; Sat 10.00-17.00
Battersea: Tel: 020 7738 9991. Mon-Fri 08.00-19.00; Sat 10.00-17.00

FLAG BIKES
324 Battersea Park Rd SW11 3BX
“Great coffee surrounded by beautiful bikes,” promises the Flag Bikes website. Tel: 020 7738 9469

 
 

SOUTH

 

BICICLETTA
1-2 Market Walk, Saffron Walden, Essex CB10 1JZ
“Coffee con Velo,” says the shop front, “coffee with bicycles.” This bike shop and cafe opened in 2015 on the route that the Tour de France took through Saffron Walden. It’s the base for the Walden Velo cycling club.
info@biciclettavelo.com. Tel: 01799 522814
Open 7 days.

ZAPPI’s BIKE CAFE
28-32 St. Michaels Street, Oxford.
Named after Italian pro cyclist Flavio Zappi, the eponymously-named bike cafe is now under new ownership and is moving to new premises (so, it’s not open at the moment – consider this as a placeholder). The cafe was the base for Zappi cycling club which grew into a development team, with three weekly rides including Saturday and Sunday club rides and a youth team.
info@zappisbikecafe.com.


ESPRESSO LIBRARY
210 East Rd, Cambridge CB1 1BG
Arty cafe with bikes hanging from ceiling, for artisan coffees and homemade food, much of it veggie and vegan. Major cycling races are shown on a big screen. The shop co-owner leads a ride from the shop on Saturday mornings and Espresso Library also has a Strava club.
Tel: 01223 367333 Mon-Thur 7am-6pm. Fri-Sat 7am-10pm. Sun 8am-6pm

THE HUB
22 High Street, Redbourn, Hertfordshire AL3 7LL
Friendly cyclist hangout with fancy coffee, organic ice cream and locally-sourced cakes. The Hub runs rides on the third Sunday of the month, of 25, 45 and 75km around the edge of the Chilterns, and weekly Wednesday turbo nights during winter (bring your own turbo trainer).
hubmeister@hubcoffeebikes.com. Tel: 01582 792389.
Tues-Sun 08.30-17.00

THE COG
Parsonage Place, Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 5AT
The Cog’s homemade fare including curries, specials, cakes, granola and ‘the best coffee around’. One staff member being a tour photographer means stunning photos on the walls. Meanwhile the toilet is a Tour homage, painted green and white with red spots. There’s a rail (and locks) for securing bikes, while community events include an annual time trial in October, and a spring sportive is in the offing, to be decided.
andy@andysimmonsdesign.co.uk. Tel: 01442 826146
Mon-Sat 08.45-17.00; Sun 10.00-14.00

EMILY’S TEA SHOP
Waterhall Farm, The Valley, Whitwell, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG4 8BN
Emily’s Tea Shop is cyclist friendly: “We now have free wifi … if you need to check your Strava info …” There’s also a “cycle jumble” where you can rifle through assorted bits and pieces for sale, including veteran cycles.
Tel: 01438 871928. Tues-Sun: 10:00-17:00

PILGRIM CYCLES
Box Hill and Westhumble Station, Westhumble, Surrey RH5 6BT
Close to Box Hill and Pilgrims Way, Pilgrim Cycles is in the booking hall of a former railway station, complete with hammer beam ceilings. The bike shop sells Dawes touring bikes, repairs, servicing, bike hire and maps. Cafe-wise there’s outdoor seating, and an open fire in winter, with sandwiches made from fresh and locally-baked bread, tea cakes, sandwiches and soups, and groups can book in advance.
hello@pilgrim-cycles.co.uk. Tel: 01306 886958
Tues-Fri 09.00-17.00; Sat 09.00-17.30; Sun 10.00-16.00. open evenings by request

BIKE BEANS CYCLE CAFE
5 Rectory Lane, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 2BA
As well as coffee and cake you can also order pedal assist at the Bike Beans Cafe in Ashtead as it’s an agency for an e-bike brand. If the weather’s warm head out to the wooden veranda. Bike Beans also offers cycle servicing.
Tel: 01372 272855. Tues 07.00–21.00, Weds-Fri 08:30-16.00; Sat 08.00-16.00; Sun 08.00-15.00.

G!RO
2 High Street, Esher, Surrey KT10 9RT.
Bike-shop cafe stocked with cakes and nutrient-rich smoothies.
Tel: 01372 701 701. Mon-Sat 07.00-18-00, Sun 07.00-17.00.

DANDY HORSE
27, Magdalen Street, Norwich, Norfolk
A young hip couple and their Staffie run this vintage bike shop and cafe in Norwich, refurbishing and selling rare and old, high-end steel framed racers. Cycling in Norwich is on the up, helped by recent tranches of government funding. As well as vintage parts, bespoke bike services Dandy Horse also sells coffee drippers and aeropresses.
info@dandy-horse.co.uk. Tel: 01603 920057.
Mon-Fri 09.00- 17.30 Sat 10.00-18.00; Sun 11.00-17.00

MAGLIA ROSA
Metcalfe Arms, Lawshall Road, Hawstead, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP29 5NR
This former pub, two and a half miles outside Bury St Edmunds, was transformed by father and son team, and West Suffolk Wheelers members, Barry and Matt Denny. The cafe is licensed, with outdoor seating, serving barista coffees, sandwiches, wraps and paninis, salads, scones and cooked breakfasts (think beans on toast and toasted sausage or bacon sarnies). There’s “lightning” five minute talks, maintenance sessions, and quiz nights. Bikes-wise it’s Merida, Scott, De Rosa, Cinelli, Lake and Spiuk, among others. There’s bike hire and even a mile long cyclocross trail.
nev@magliarosso.co.uk. Tel: 01284 386884.
Mon-Sun 09.00-17.30

VELO HOUSE
5 St Johns Rd, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9TN
Opened in 2014 Velo House “was created by cyclists for cyclists and those who don’t realise they are going to become cyclists yet.” It has been nominated for the Society of British and International Design Awards. The cafe was formerly a bank, and also houses a bike shop and a workshop. There’s space for 45 people in the cafe with another 20 outside when the weather’s warm. Cyclists benefit from a bike parking area with locks provided. The tables are topped with maps featuring local rides.
shop@thevelohouse.com. Tel: 01892 554 500

VELOLIFE
The Old House, Rd, Warren Row, Berkshire RG10 8QS
Velolife is a cycle cafe with a bike repair service. It’s on National Cycle Network’s Route 4.
Tel: 01628 290780
Daily 10am–4pm.

JAVA & JAZZ
The Square, Lewes Road, Forest Row, East Sussex RH18 5ES
Java & Jazz is a pizzeria and cafe in the middle of Ashdown Forest. It’s a favourite with celebs. “Not just one of my favourite places to eat in Forest Row, not just in Sussex – but also in the whole world,” said Ben Elton. Forest Row is the home town of former pro rider Sean Yates, one of the best ever domestique riders in the Tour de France.
Tel: 01342 826699
Monday–Thursday 8.30am–10pm. Friday 8.30am–10.30pm. Saturday 8.30am–10.30pm. Sunday 9.30am – 4pm.

 

SOUTH WEST

 

ROUTE 2 CAFE BAR
1 Monmouth Hill, Topsham, Devon, EX3 0JQ
Snuggled on the Exe Estuary Trail along NCN2, Route 2 describes itself as a licensed eco-cafe, with “famous” breakfasts and locally-sourced food in its eco-cafe with, among other eco measures, low energy lighting and rainwater harvesting. The shop hires out and sells bikes and accessories, the workshop offers repairs and maintenance and the cafe anything from fry ups to Dutch apple pie, and espresso coffee. Apartment accommodation and occasional live music are also available.
info@route2topsham.co.uk. Tel: 01392 875085.
Open daily 08.00-18.00 (later when events are on, phone to check).

BIKE SHED CAFE
The Square Barnstaple, Devon EX32 8LS.
“Feel free to pop down, bring your bike and join us for a bagel and some of Devon’s finest coffee,” says the website for this bike shop’s cafe.
Tel: 01271 328 628. Mon-Fri 8.00-20.00, Sat 8:00-17.00, Sun 8:00-16:00.

MUD DOCK CYCLEWORKS & CAFE
40 The Grove, Bristol BS1 4RB.
Mud Dock – opened in 1996 – is the grand-daddy of all the high-end cycling-themed bike-shop-cum-cafes in Britain. It was also an early creator of a cycling team, which was co-sponsored by a Spanish beer brand.
Tel: 0117 934 9734
mail@mud-dock.co.uk. Sunday & Monday 10am to 5pm. Tuesday to Friday 10am to 10pm. Saturday 9am to 10pm.

ROLL FOR THE SOUL
2 Quay St, Bristol, BS1 2JL
Founder Rob Wall wanted to create a focal point in Britain’s first cycling city where all types of cyclist – and those who don’t cycle – could mingle. The crowd- and council grant-funded result is a community interest company where punters’ money goes towards RFTS’s social aims – promoting cycling in Bristol. There’s bike hire, servicing and repairs, maintenance tuition and an event space upstairs for anything from meetings to live music, while downstairs the cafe sells Mediterranean food, using local suppliers where possible.
Tel: 07596 917946.
Mon-Tues 08.00-18.00; Weds-Fri 08.00-21.00; Sat 10.00-21.00; Sun Closed

VELOTON
22 Market Place, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8DD
“Social hub” and fancy coffee bar in the Cotswolds, where owner Martin Bult brought his coffee fanaticism over from a spell in Australia. With local and organic cakes and La Marzocca coffee, there’s Bianchi and Cinelli road bikes, mountain bikes and towns, too. There’s free group rides on Sunday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which start and end at the shop and the shop has a cycle club, too.
sales@veloton.co.uk. Tel: 01666 504343.
Summer open daily 08.30-17.00; Winter closed Mondays

CYCLECCINO
The Old Post Office, 7 Reforne, Portland, Dorset, DT5 2AL
The “other” Portland has miles of traffic free cycle routes (and a Cat 5 climb), and Cycleccino’s founder Adam wants to make it a peninsula recognised internationally for cycling. Portland’s only bike shop sells tempting Dorset flapjacks and cycle themed coffee, from yellow jersey to king of the mountain. There’s also servicing and repairs while you wait.
sales@cycleccino.com. Tel: 07979348120.
Mon-Tues/Thurs-Fri 08.30-17.30; Weds 08.30-16.00; Sat 08.00-17.00 Sun 09.00-16.00

TUBS CAFE
87 Weyhill Rd, Andover, Hampshire SP10 3NR
Tubs Cafe is set within the Abbotts Ann Cycles shop. “Fresh ground coffee, homemade cakes and all things cycling,” says the website.
Tel: 01264 353322 Mon-Thurs. 08.30-17.30, Fri 08.30-20.00, Sat 09.00-17.00, Sun 10.00-1600.

BISSOE BIKE HIRE CAFE
Bike Chain Bissoe Bike Hire, Old Conns Works, Bissoe, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 8QZ
Right on the Mineral Tramway Trail, Cornwall’s mining heritage-rich 11-mile coast to coast trail from Portreath to Devoran, this cycle-themed cafe with its own veranda serves, among other things, Cornish cream teas, local Cornish ice creams, and Lavazza coffee. There’s signed Tour de France and Olympic cycling jerseys and photos, and a youth cycling team (age 6 up), which meets every Sunday.
hire@bikechainbissoe.co.uk. Tel: 01872 870341.
Winter opening times: Weds-Mon 09.00-17.00; Summer opening: Mon-Sat 9am-5.30pm; Sun 8.30am-5.30pm

PEDALLERS CAFE
Langbridge, Newchurch, Sandown, Isle of Wight PO36 0NP
As the Pedalers Cafe is smack bang on the Red Squirrel Trail it bills itself as “The Café on the Cycle Track”.
Tues-Fri 11.00-16.00, Sat 9.00–17.00, Sun 10.00–17.00.

 

MIDLANDS

 

DYNAMIC RIDES
2364 Stratford Road, Hockley Heath, Solihull B94 6QT
The Flying Squirrel Cafe, within the Dynamic Rides bike shop, serves the usual cakes, coffee, teas, energy snacks and drinks and a large screen TV with live cycling. Bikes and parts-wise there’s Boardman elite, Capo, Colnago, Castelli, Scott and Starley. There’s Retul bike fittings, bike customisation and workshop services, as well as bike parking at the rear of the shop.
info@dynamicrides.co.uk. Tel: 01564 783332
Mon-Weds & Fri 10.00-17.30 Thurs 10.00-18.00, Sat 08.30-16.00, Sun 8.30am-13.00

CAFE VENTOUX
Tugby Orchards, Wood Lane, Tugby, Leicester LE7 9WE
Bike-shop-cum-cafe situated on the Rutland and Leicestershire border, and winner of “best UK cycle cafe 2016” from a no-alcohol beer brand.
Tel: 0116 259 8063

CRANKED CUSTOM CYCLES
Gallery 15, The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B9 4AA.
Boutique bike-store serving speciality coffee, and homemade cakes and, according to the website, “good vibes.” Cranked is also the new venue for Birmingham’s Bicycle Lounge, an evening of cyclingness run by the producers of Bicycle The Film. (The Custard Factory has another connection to cycling – it’s the former premises of Alfred Bird and Sons, the food business famous for its eggless custard powder. Sir Alfred Frederick Bird, the elder son of the founder, was a champion tricyclist, and an energetic member of the Cyclists’ Touring Club in the 1880s and 1890s. Bird was part of a deputation that went to the Corporation of Birmingham to protest at the state of roads on behalf of cyclists.)
Tel: 07471 479892 Mon-Fri: 10am-5:30pm. Sat: 10am-6pm.

 

NORTH WEST

 

EUREKA CYCLISTS’ CAFE
Two Mills, Parkgate Road, Woodbank, Chester, CH1 6EZ
Serving cyclists since 1929, Eureka is a hive of road and off-road biking activity, attracting, on a good weekend most of the North West’s cycling clubs, according to owner Anne Peek. Eureka’s cakes (homemade by Anne and daughter), and “beans and a spare [toast]” are legendary, while famous riders drop by periodically.
anne.peek@talk21.com. Tel: 0151 339 5629.
Weds 08.30-17.00; Fri 09.30-15.00; Sat & Sun 08.30-17.00; Bank Holidays 09.00-16.00

GREYSTOKE CYCLE CAFE
Greystoke, Penrith, Cumbria
You’ll find Greystoke where the Lands End to John O’Groats and C2C cycle routes meet. For weary travellers there’s towels and bike oil, pumps and maps, drinks, a tea garden and camping, and an impressive variety of quirky workshops including blacksmithing, artisan cheese making, calligraphy and knife forging.
annie@greystokecyclecafe.co.uk. Tel: 01768 483984.
Open daily 10am-6pm Easter to the end of September for cyclists and Fridays, Saturdays and the second Sunday of the month out of season.

THE GREEN JERSEY
Shawbridge Sawmill, Taylor Street, Clitheroe BB7 1LY
A tea and cake stop, a base for the Ribble Valley and Bowland Forest. Serving hot drinks and cakes, Felt, Colnago and Ridley bikes, bike fit and repairs are available, and there’s a long-term bike storage facility. There’s a big screen and the shop is licensed during major races. There’s also regular “puncture evenings”, teaching basic maintenance skills.
richard@thegreenjersey.co.uk. Tel: 01200 427630.
Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00; Sat 09.00-18.00; Sun 10.00-16.00

THE COURTYARD
The rear of 92 King Street, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6ED
At the Courtyard you can sit surrounded by bicycle history, with high wheel “ordinaries” on the windowsills, and what is claimed to be the largest collection of English-made machines in the world, including a Regency hobby horse. There’s a cobbled courtyard outside and on the menu there’s soup of the day, risottos, curries, salads and tarts.
keith@thecourtyardknutsford.co.uk. Tel: 01565 653974
Mon-Sat 09.30-16.30; Sun 10.00-16.00

TANDEM COFFEE HOUSE
47 Lower Hillgate, Stockport SK1 1JQ.
“Tandem is about grind-on-demand coffee with good cakes and good company, served in a cycle-friendly environment.”
Tel: 07542 866349 Tue-Fri 9am-3pm, Sat 10am-3pm.

VELO ESPRESSO
Stamford House, Moss Lane, Altrincham WA14 1BA.
“It’s all about coffee-cake-cycle,” says the website for Velo Espresso. There’s also cycle racing on the big screen, and a bike shop in the basement. You can wander around Velo Espresso on Google Maps.
Tel: 0161 215 2578. Mon-Fri 7am-6pm. Sat 9am-6pm. Sun 11am-4pm.

RAPHA CYCLE CLUB
5 St Ann’s Alley, Manchester, M2 7LP
Selling a broad range of Rapha products, and fancy food and coffee, Rapha’s Manchester club is the newest in its fleet. All major road races are shown on a big screen, there’s regular rides and events, including yoga for cyclists, talks, film screenings and bike-related exhibitions.
ccmcr@rapha.cc. Tel: 01618 347648.
Mon-Sat 08.00-19.00; Sun & Bank Holidays 10.00-17.00

POPUP BIKES
Arch 5, Corporation St, Manchester M4 4DG
A coffee shop with parking for 100 bikes under a city centre railway arch, with bike repair and servicing and a community ethos. Free membership entitles you to parking (weekly, monthly and annual tariffs).
popupbikes@gmail.com. Tel: 0161 839 0709.
Mon-Fri 07.30-19.30; Sat 09.00-18.00

RYDE LIVERPOOL
Stanhope St, Liverpool L8 5XJ
Cycle-themed coffee house and bike workshop situated in Cains Brewery Village.
Tel: 0151 374 2425.

TWIN LAKES VELO CAFE
Twin Lakes Industrial Park, Bretherton Road, Croston PR26 9RF.
A “dedicated cycling cafe run by cyclists for cyclists,” says the website for a cafe situated close to National Cycle Network route 91 (and two trout fishery lakes).
Tel: 01772 603894 Mon-Sun:10:00-15:00.

 

NORTH EAST

 

IMPROMPTU TEA ROOM
Elsdon, Northumberland NE19 1AA
The former school house in Elsdon is home to the Impromptu Tea Room. The building dates back to the early 1700s. The cafe has a large selection of cycling memorabilia. The Gibbet Fruit Cake is a perennial favourite (the gibbet is a gallows on the run in to the village, if coming from the Newcastle direction).
Tel: 01830 520389

PARKHEAD STATION HOUSE & B&B & TEA ROOMS
Stanhope Moor, Stanhope, Co. Durham, DL13 2ES
A haven on the remote moors, Parkhead is 100 miles into the C2C route, and 1500m above sea level. What was a goods-only collieries train station now serves cyclists and walkers vegetable broth, bacon sarnies, soups and cakes. The rule is if the door’s open, please come in – being out on the moors they won’t turn customers away, and if you’re caught in inclement weather there’s spare clothes and a drying room, as well as secure bike storage, and overnight accommodation. Groups are asked to order ahead as it’s a 50 mile round trip to the shops.
ParkheadStation@aol.com. Tel: 01388 526434.
Mon-Sun 09.00-17.00

PHOENIX CYCLE CAFE
Hedley on the Hill NE437SW
The Phoenix Cycle Cafe is new, and on Northumberland’s 40-mile Lead Road cycle route. There’s secure cycle storage on site as well as a track pump.
Monday to Thursday, 9.00am to 5.30pm. Saturday 9.30am to 5.30pm, Sunday & Bank Holidays9am to 3pm.

THE CYCLE HUB
Quayside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 1BU
On both the C2C and Hadrian’s Cycleway Cycle Hub, a “focal point for cycling in Newcastle” welcomes all from toddlers to pensioners, Dutch tourists to tourers. The bike workshop, shop and cafe are complemented by an events calendar of maintenance courses, first aid for cyclists, and guided rides for all levels.
enquiries@thecyclehub.org. Tel: 0191 276 7250; enquiries@thecyclehub.org
Mon-Fri 09.00-18.00; weekends 10.00-18.00

PEDALLING SQUARES
The Old Brassworks, Quality Row Road, Whickham Bank NE16 3AQ
“I wanted to bring a little bit of Looks Mum No Hands to Newcastle,” says Eric Murphy, owner of Pedalling Squares, a cycling cafe which opened in February 2014 in a former 19th century brass works. He travelled around the country checking out other cycling cafes and then set to work on his own. He’s a self-confessed bike geek, with a love of grand tour cycle races. His cafe shows the major races on a big screen. Pedalling Squares is based in Swalwell, south of the Tyne, not far from the Gateshead Metrocentre. It’s at the base of Whickham Bank – Col de Whickham – an ideal stopping/starting point for roadies doing hill work or MTBers heading out to Chopwell Woods, heart of the local mountain bike scene. Non-cycling locals can’t ignore the fact this is a cycling cafe – by the entrance there are hooks for hanging up customer’s bikes. “We don’t mind how mucky they are,” says Murphy. (The bikes as well as the customers).
info@pedallingsquares.com. Tel: 191 230 4334

FAUSTO COFFEE
St. Georges Terrace, Roker, Sunderland, SR6
louise@fausto.coffee. Tel: 07447425158
Named for the 1950s cycling icon Fausto Coppi this little cafe is close to the end of the C2C cycle route. Arrive on a bike and you’ll get a 10 percent discount.

TOMLINSON’S CAFE & BUNKHOUSE
Bridge Street, Rothbury, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 7SF
Named after the reverend who brought education to Rothbury, Tomlinson’s, the Grade II listed schoolhouse is now a cafe with cycle hire, a bunkhouse and views over the river Coquet. Tomlinson’s offers itself to cyclists and walkers as a base for exploration of Northumberland National Park. The low-cost bunkhouse, spread over three rooms, sleeps 21. There’s secure bike parking, periodic bike doctors and guided rides.
info@tomlinsons-rothbury.co.uk. Tel: 01669 621979
Cafe open Mon-Sun 09.00-17.30; Summer (Easter-Sept) open late Thurs-Sat until 23.00

IMG_0939

KIRKLEY CYCLES
Thorneyford Farm, Kirtley, Portland, Northumberland NE20 0AJ
Thorneyford farm in Northumberland, twelve miles from Newcastle, has been Kirtley Cycles since 2012, a bike shop and workshop with a cafe. It has grown by becoming a social hub. Kirkley Cycles stages cyclo-cross races; it is the start venue for the Tour of Northumberland road race; it hosts Go-Ride coaching sessions for kids on Saturday mornings; it has hands-on sessions for would-be mechanics; and it has become the out-of-town rendezvous for a number of road clubs. The owner is a cat-4 roadie.
Tel: 01661 871094 Tuesday-Sunday 9-4pm

 

YORKSHIRE

 

PAVILION CAFE BAR
City Park, Bradford, BD1 1LA
The Pavilion Cafe Bar is in the heart of Bradford, close to National Cycle Network Route 66, and just around the corner from Bradford’s famous Media Museum.
Tel: 01274 307622
Mon-Sat: 08:00–20:00. Sun: 10:00–18:00

YOUR BIKE SHED
148/150 Micklegate, York, YO1 6JX
Bike workshop and cafe proud of its food, coffee and friendly environment whether you cycle or not. There’s seating for more than 50 people, with an open plan kitchen serving home cooked food from ‘Yorkshire breakfasts’ to cakes, soups, salads and sandwiches. The basement gallery has bike frames, art, seating and an events space, with custom bike builds in the workshop, standard bike repairs and servicing and, where possible, repairs while you wait.
info@yourbikeshed.co.uk. Tel: 01904 633777.
Mon-Sat 09.00-17.00; Sun 10.00-16.00

PROLOGUE
3-4 Wellington House, Cold Bath Road, Harrogate, HG2 0NA
Prologue is a high-end road bike shop in Harrogate, and it has a cafe serving Cycling Club Sandwiches and other sarnies such as the cycle-themed Vuelta Belter and the Giro d’Italia. There are widescreens for watching Grand Tours and the Classics.
info@prologuecycling.co.uk.Tel: 01423 503000
Mon–Sat 8:30am–5:30pm. Sun 9am–4pm.

DALES BIKE CENTRE
Parks Barn, Fremington, North Yorkshire, DL11 6AW
The bunkhouse, cafe, hire centre and workshop are all part of this road and off-road trails cycling hub in the Dales with a shop selling new bikes, ex-hire bikes, clothing and kit. Guided MTB rides, social rides and maps are available, along with MTB training. The cafe offers cakes, sarnies and soups from local produce with a Dales view.
enquiries@dalesbikecentre.co.uk. Tel: 01748 884908.
Open daily 09.30-17.00

FIREBOX CAFE & STAGE1 CYCLES
Station Yard, Burtersett Road, Hawes, North Yorkshire, DL8 3NT.
The Firebox cafe and Stage1 cycles are owned and run by the same husband and wife team, and based at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes, which doubles up as the Yorkshire Dales National Park Visitors Centre.
ride@stage1cycles.co.uk. Tel: 01969 666873
Open daily, 9-5.

 

SCOTLAND

 

RONDE
66-68 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH3 5AZ
Selling fancy pastries and coffee, and award-winning soup, Ronde also boasts a shop and exhibition space. Races are screened, and there’s high-end kit and bikes. Offering regular maintenance workshops, tune-ups and services are also available, as well as tailored training plans, bike fits and custom builds. A three hour social ride runs every Saturday morning.
info@rondebike.com. Tel: 0131 260 9888.
Mon-Sat 09.00-18.00; Thurs 09.00-19.00; Sun 11.00-17.00

SIEMPRE BICYCLE CAFE
162 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow G11 6XE
For the fast-growing cycling community of Glasgow’s West End, Siempre sells largely organic and locally-sourced foods, with five types of hot chocolate, vegan treats, smoothies and homemade cakes. Open since September 2012, Siempre offers up its ample event space free to those promoting cycling, community and the arts. With commuter-style clothing, bikes and indoor bike parking available, the graffiti covered secret garden offers an outdoor haven in milder weather.
info@siemprebicyclecafe.com. Tel: 0141 334 2385.
Sun-Thurs 08.00-18.00; Fri-Sat 08.30-22.00; Winter opening times Mon-Fri 08.00-18.00; Sat-Sun 08.30-18.00.

VELOCITY CAFE & BICYCLE WORKSHOP
1 Crown Avenue, Inverness, IV2 3NF
Velocity is a social enterprise where any profit goes to promoting cycling in Inverness, including via the Go ByCycle outreach team, which provides maintenance classes, safer routes workshops and confidence building rides, among other things. Cafe punters are invited to sip “bicyclattes” and “campagcinos” from a retro cup collection, to wash down locally home-baked cakes. There’s social rides and live music, too.
hello@velocitylove.co.uk. Tel: 01463 419956.
Daily: 09.00-17.00; until 21.00 on Thursdays

DEBBIE’S
Ar Dachaidh, Isle of Islay PA49 7UN
The village shop and post office at Bruichladdich doubles as a deli and a cafe – and with a stonking sea view. Debbie’s is also the coffee stop of cult micro-cycling club Velo Club d’Ardbeg, as well as the start and finish point for the club’s annual Ride of the Falling Rain.
Tel: 01496 850319
9am-5.30pm Mon-Sat.

 

WALES

 

PEDAL POWER CAFE
Dogo Street, Cardiff CF11 9JJ.
Pedal Power Cafe in Bute Park, and its second hire centre in Cardiff Bay, offer two-wheelers, tandems and e-bikes, to all ability bikes, go-karts and six-seater pedal cars. The Taff Trail is near both centres, a 55-mile ride north to Brecon. The Bute Park (Pontcanna) cafe serves home-cooked food, including gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options and Fairtrade coffee. There’s group social rides, too, and training for group leaders and those riding with disabled cyclists.
info@cardiffpedalpower.org. Tel: 029 2039 0713.
Pontcanna Summer opening hours (April-September): Daily 09.00-18.00; Winter (October-March) 09.00-16.00

ONE PLANET ADVENTURE
Coed Llandegla Forest, Ruthin Rd, Llandegla Denbighshire, LL11 3AA
One Planet Adventure is a mountain bike shop – and cafe – situated in the Coed Llandegla Forest, seven miles west of Wrexham. The cafe has “amazing cake”, says one happy customer.
hello@oneplanetadventure.com Tel: 01978 751656
Monday to Thursday 9.00am – 9.00pm. Friday to Sunday 9.00am – 6.00pm. Earlier closing times during the winter.

PLAN2RIDE
51 Merthyr Road, Tongwynlais, Cardiff CF15 7LG
Plan2Ride is a new-for-2016 cafe-and-bike-servicing-hub situated in the village of Tongwynlais on a junction between two bike trails, the Taff Trail and the Rhymney Ridgeway. Order a locally-made gluten-free flapjack or brownie while your bike is in for repair. Tel: 029 20810868

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UK cycle-themed cafes too provincial for you? Here’s a list of similar cafes in the rest of Europe, compiled by Lonely Planet. And if it’s a whole bunch of cafes you’re after, not just cycle-themed ones, there’s this Google Maps mash-up of cyclist-friendly tea stops across the UK.

Text by Laura Laker & Carlton Reid.

Pedalling propaganda: bike books for kids

Want to inject a bit of cycling culture into your wee ‘uns? Get them enthused about cycling from a very early age by accidentally-on-purpose stocking your home library with bike-friendly books.

Cycling-themed books are better than books which – via anthropomorphic black arts – make cars look benign and cuddly, when they’re anything but.

Some of these bike books for kids are classics and will never go out of print; many are no longer available new but are well worth searching out in second-hand book shops, or websites, or in libraries. Some of the newer ones are available on Kindle and for iPads. For a range of buying and library options click through on the author names to go to the book’s Goodreads.com listing.

Fred the Magic Bicycle
Tom Bogdanowicz
Cycle campaigner Tom Bogdanowicz – the Senior Policy and Development Officer at the London Cycling Campaign – roped in his sister-in-law, Basia, a childrens’ book illustrator, to bring to life his idea for a bicycle-based adventure story for under-sixes. Fred The Magic Bicycle stars Tom himself, imagined as the magician uncle of bike-mad Dominik. The tale involves the comeuppance delivered, magically, to two bike thieves. However, as you’d expect, the tale has a happy ending. A third of the profits from the sale of the book goes to LCC.


Raoul Taburin Keeps a Secret
Jean-Jacques Sempé
Raoul Taburin – Ralph Sprockett in English – is the story of a man who knows everything there is to know about bicycles, except how to ride one. An expert bicycle mechanic, thanks to constantly crashing and subsequently having to repair bikes as a child, he is admired by everyone in town for his skill and knowledge, so much so that they have even started refering to bicycles as ‘sprockets’ in his honour. No one knows his deep, dark secret – not even his wife knows that the great Ralph Sprockett cannot ride a bike. When his friend Noel, who is a photographer, announces that he would like to take a picture of Ralph riding his bike down a local hill, Ralph finally has to confront his fears… Sempé is France’s best known illustrator, famous for his New Yorker covers (many of which feature bicycles). This graphic novel isn’t specifically for children but it’s wonderful nevertheless.

Mrs. Armitage on Wheels
Quentin Blake
Mrs. Armitage has many ideas for useful accessories for her bicycle, including mast and sail. Disaster awaits her and her dog, Breakspear…

My First Bike Book
Frank Dickens
A ‘how to’ book from Haynes, the ‘how to’ specialists.

Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen
Cari Best
The tale of Sally Jean and her bicycle, Flash. They’re inseparable but when Sally Jean starts to outgrow Flash she has to build a new bicycle. First, she collects the parts.

Curious George Rides a Bike
H.A. Rey
Curious George rides his bike delivering newspapers. Hmm. The little skamp gets into a few scrapes.

Bears on Wheels
Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain
Bears love their bikes…

Bear on a Bike
Stella Blackstone
In fact, it’s a multi-modal bear (raft, balloon, rocket…)

The Bike Lesson
Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain
“When Brother Bear gets a brand-new bike, he’s all set to ride it.”

Mike and the Bike
Michael Ward
“This is a boy whose name is Mike. This is Mike’s pride and joy, his bike…” An inspirational tale of a wannabe rider. Book ships with a CD with some bike-themed songs and the text of the book narrated by ‘voice of cycling’ Phil Liggett. Warning: there’s a foreword by Lance Armstrong (“daddy, what’s blood doping..?”)

Eric’s Big Day
Rod Waters
“It’s a big day for Eric, the day of the bike race. His knapsack packed, Eric rides his bicycle to his friend Emily’s for a picnic near the finish. Pedaling from his house, Eric is slowed as he aids wayward bike racers, using helpful items from his backpack. The faster he rides to meet Emily, the more delays he encounters, until he tears off in a burst of speed. The cheers of a crowd surprise Eric, but where is Emily?” Rod Waters is a London-based writer, illustrator and Level 2 British Cycling coach.

Red Ranger Came Calling
Berkeley Breathed
A classic ‘boy wants bike for Christmas’ tale from the much-loved American illustrator. Watch out for the bicycle eaten by a tree (a real-life thing, too).

Angelina’s Birthday
Katharine Holabird, Helen Craig
The ballerina mouse kinda likes cycling, too.

Froggy Rides a Bike
Jonathan London, Frank Remkiewicz
Froggy perseveres at pedalling.

Miffy Rides a Bike (or Miffy’s Bicycle)
Dick Bruna
The white Dutch bunny rides a blue Dutch bike.

The Bear’s Bicycle
Emilie W. McLeod, David McPhail
A boy imagines his teddy bear can ride a bike. The boy is a safe rider, the bear might not be. Not a widely available book.

Gracie Goat’s Big Bike Race
Erin Mirabella, Lisa Horstman
Gracie Goat has to face her fears and learn to ride a bike in order to participate in the big race. Written by a former pro MTB racer.

Friends
Helme Heine
Charlie Rooster, Johnny Mouse, and Percy the pig ride a bike, together.

Noddy and the Broken Bicycle
Enid Blyton
Why do elephants have Big Ears? Because Noddy won’t pay the ransom. Boom boom.

Kids’ Easy Bike Care: Tune-Ups, Tools & Quick Fixes
Steve Cole, Sarah Rakitin
Lots of ‘how to fix bikes’ illustrations for kids but also sage advice on riding on bike paths and on the road.

The Tough Princess
Martin Waddell
“Princess Rosamund grew tired of rescuing princes and killing dragons, and her front wheel got buckled in a fight with a hundred-headed thing. In the end she set off sadly for home, carrying her bicycle.” In fact, it was the King’s bike, and she’d mangled it. Oh, dear.

Top Biker
Ruth Dowley, Strawberrie Donnelly
“Steve asked Kipper and me if he could have a go on one of our bikes. But how could he, I thought. Steve has spina bifida. He uses sticks to help him get around.” An uplifting tale of friendship overcoming adversity, with some bullying thrown in (the bully gets what’s coming to him).

I-Spy Bicycles
Carlton Reid
Disclaimer: I wrote this book and also wrote this article. I-Spy Bicycles was published by Michelin in 1998 and is well out of date on the technical side of things (although there is a Garmin handlebar GPS included in the book).

Duck on a bike
David Shannon
“I bet I could ride a bike,” muses Duck. The other farm animals laugh at him, but they’re soon riding, too.

Like a Fish on a Bike!
Brahm Piterski, Paul Piterski
Sonny is a fish. This makes it rather tough to ride a bike. Sonny fins a way. Geddit? I’ll get my coat.

Franklin Rides a Bike
Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark
A turtle, in a red helmet, rides a red BMX.

Supergrandpa
David M. Schwartz, Bert Dodson
A picture-book based on the inspirational – and true – tale of ‘steel grandfather’ Gustaf Hakansson who, in 1951, at age 66, entered the Tour of Sweden, and, er, won. Unofficially.

Monsieur Albert Rides To Glory
Peter Smith, Bob Graham
“There’s a hush in the crowd as the mayor lifts his gun, then an ear-splitting Bang! and the race has begun, with a flashing of goggles and pale cyclists’ knees, and a murmuring sound like the bumble of bees.” Monsieur Albert enters the Grand Cycle Race, but he’s up against Francois, the champion of France. (The title perhaps gives away the story’s ending but, if Monsieur Albert *did* win that’s doubly amazing because it looks as though his cranks are on skew-whiff…or maybe the illustrator didn’t know how to draw workable transmission systems?)

Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist
Lesa Cline-Ransome, James Ransome
The great 1890s African American racer Major Taylor was a superstar in both America and Europe. This picture-biography charts his rise from a 13-year old trick cyclist to the all-conquering champion.

The Mountain Bike Challenge
Patrick Morgan
Follow Myra Moller as she rides through dense forest and over rocks, streams, mud, and up and down huge hills, training for a mountain bike race.

The Bicycle Man
Allen Say
Beautifully illustrated story about two American soldiers who entertain children in a small village in occupied Japan, just after the Second World War. Entertain them with bicycle tricks, that is.

I’d Rather Be Riding My Bike
Eric Pinder, John Cardinal
“The sun is still out. I’m stuck here inside. When will I ever get outside to ride?” After a long school day and chores at home, one boy’s patience is rewarded when he finally gets to go riding his bike with a friend.


The Best Bike Ride Ever
James Proimos, Johanna Wright
“I want a bike! I want a bike!” This is all Bonnie says for one full week, until her parents surprise her with…a bike! Bonnie rides off on an adventure of epic proportions. She bikes over mountains, under giraffes, up the Statue of Liberty, through the Grand Canyon, and past the Giant Cheese.

The Boy Who Biked the World: On the Road to Africa
Alastair Humphreys, Tom Morgan-Jones
Alastair Humphreys rode around the world – speedily – on his bike. This is Humphrey’s tale of Tom, an adventurous boy who feels there must be more to life than school and who decides to ride off into the sunset…


The Cycling Wangdoos
Kelly Pulley
A rhyming tale of an unlikely cycling team and their off-road lessons in teamwork.


His Finest Hour
David Neuhaus
Two friends, Ralph and Dudley, take part in an adventurous bicycle race. Ralph, who has all the latest cycling equipment, hopes to catch the eye of the local racing team by challenging Dudley to a bicycle race. Dudley arrives at the race with his ancient, heavyweight bike. Ralph brings all his fancy equipment. When the starting gun is fired, Ralph shifts gears and takes off like a bullet! A close race ensues, and at the finish line there is ice cream in the park for all. Everyone is there but Ralph, who can’t be found . . . what happened to Ralph?

New Red Bike!
James E. Ransome
Tom is having a blast zooming all over the neighbourhood on his new red bike. But when Tom stops by Sam’s house to show off his wheels, he’s in for an unhappy surprise. The new bike is suddenly gone. Could his best friend be the culprit?

The Tour of the Forest Bike Race: Guide to Bicyle Racing and the Tour de France
H.E. Thomson
A lion in the yellow jersey? Naturellement! Animals get on their bikes for a race based on the Grand Bouclé.


Hero on a Bicycle
Shirley Hughes
It is 1944 and Florence, Italy, is occupied by Nazi forces. The Italian resistance has not given up hope, though – and neither have Paolo and his sister, Constanza. Both are desperate to fight the occupation, but what can theys do against a whole army with only a bicycle to help them?


B is for Bicycles
Scott and Jannine Fitzgerald
This is a Kickstarted picture book which associates each letter of the alphabet with a different bicycle-related item. D is for drivetrain, S is for singletrack, and so on. With illustrations by Kathleen Hanson.


Along A Long Road
Frank Viva
Illustrator Frank Viva takes kids on a trip through towns, along the coast, and over bridges. Follow the yellow road as it drops through a tunnel, and winds around a carnival.


Zoom!
Jennifer Charrette and Marcia Kinne
A three-year-old rider scoots his balance bike confidently through mountains and mud, puddles and rain, and through a deserts studded with cactus. He proudly puts on his favorite helmet as he rides with his dog, with his brother, and with his entire family.

Use the cycle satnav app

The free Bike Hub cycling satnav app for iPhones and Androids finds quickest or quietest cycle routes in UK and Ireland. It also locates nearest bike shops in UK. It has been featured on Treehugger.com, Macworld.co.uk, The Register, BikeRadar.com, Road.cc, The Sunday Times, and BBC.co.uk.

A car satnav uses roads, the Bike Hub satnav uses roads and cycle paths, including Sustrans’ off-road bike routes. The app features true turn-by-turn navigation, with voice instructions and vibrating alerts.

The cycle routing – note: UK and Eire only – is done via CycleStreets.net. This A to B bicycle journey planning website uses mathematical graph theory algorithms to quickly work out great bike routes. It uses OpenCycleMap, a cycle-specific map based on the community-generated OpenStreetMap.

The Bike Hub app can cache maps so users can download sections of the map to their phones for even faster screen loads. There’s also an exclusive feature: A to A routing via ‘sticky’ points of interest, such as pubs or churches. This makes the app into a leisure route suggester.

The app also has an online version on this site.

The following video runs through the app’s main features and how to use them:

Here are some of the latest reviews of the app on iTunes. We really appreciate these reviews and the star ratings. As there’s no mechanism to reply to reviews on iTunes it’s impossible to provide solutions to those people who report problems, and leave one star reviews.

A common complaint is that the app thinks the user is in the North Pole! This is easily fixed by allowing the app to know a user’s whereabouts in ‘location settings’ on the iPhone. When the app is first opened after downloading a pop-up message asks for the user to allow the app to know the user’s location. Some people click ‘no’ and wonder why they can’t see polar bears… And to that reviewer who said he/she has tried to open three accounts but still can’t log in, we’re flummoxed: there’s no account creation option on the app.

If the app is eating your battery by staying on even when you think you’ve turned off the app, get the 2.01 update, this fixes the issue. When the app says you’re too far away from the route suggested that’s because you have strayed from the route, or taken a wrong turning by mistake. At the moment the app doesn’t offer dynamic re-routing: this is a feature in the next version of the app.

Android users have issues specific to certain Android phones. Android is an operating system that’s available on lots of different devices: we haven’t been able to test the app on every single Android smartphone. The app works fine on all the market-leading, ‘standard’ Android phones but there are some niche ones which may have screen sizes that aren’t well suited to the app. This is frustrating for owners, and frustrating for us too, but there’s little we can do. Sorry.

And to those folks asking whether we’ll bringing out a Blackberry version the answer is no. The platform isn’t suited to third-party mapping apps.


And there are no plans to extend the routing overseas. A common complaint is wonky routing. We suspect these reviews are left by people outside of the UK. The app description in iTunes stresses that the app routing only works in the UK and Ireland, but we get a surprising number of downloads from the US, Japan, South Korea and a long list of other nations. Users not in the UK or Ireland can use the bike shop finder (as this is fed by the bike shop layer of OpenStreetMap) and will see maps, but the routing-engine is only able to plot routes in UK and Ireland.

The Bike Hub iPhone app is available – for free, thanks the Bike Hub levy – on iTunes and in the Android marketplace.

Stunned by how good this is! – ★★★★★
by Andy Murray Version 2.0.1 – 15 July 2011
I didn’t beleive a free app would work do well. This app got me through Kingston via the back roads and cycle paths. I did an awesome 10miles without having to deal with fast traffic. I used to deliver pizza around Kingston and thought I know the road well, but this app showed me routes cars can’t do, but bikes can AWESOME! Planning to follow the app on a 25 mile route next.

Not too bad – ★★★
by Scourgelord – Version 2.0.1 – 12 July 2011
So, got the new road bike to pick up from Notting hill, need to ride it back home to sunny East London. Trip is allegedly 12-13 miles, don’t know the route so relied on bike hub getting me home. Good news bike hub got me home. However .. Turn points require you to be riding at a snails pace. Other wise you’ll over shoot and end up ” too far from route” Audio works but it would be better if it simply said “turn left/right/straight on to x road/street/etc” rather than the yard count down. Voice itself needs more clarity. No issues with crashing, the app is free and not aware of any other iPhone apps that give route planning and voice directions. So a decent app, just need to be patient to use. Hopefully dev’s can improve on it.

Good new route finder – ★★★★
by MuckerIT – Version 2.0.1 – 09 July 2011
This is very good app. I have used it to try new occasional commuting routes from St. Albans to Central London. It gave me a completely different route from the one I had planned. Safer, more enjoyable and 30 minutes quicker than my current route. The ability to upload gpx routes would make it even better but the developers say it is coming fairly soon.

Useless – ★
by Ifoundmysoul – Version 2.0.1 – 05 July 2011
Iv created 3 accounts and still can’t log in!

Got me to my destination, Good App – ★★★★
by Big mazza – Version 2.0.1 – 26 June 2011
So I decided to use the bike hub app today to get me in the uk from bath to Glastonbury, 35 miles and back again. So here is my opinion on it.. Good points; Gets you there! Takes you off the main roads and makes really good routes, you can chose fast routes as well if you want to brave the traffic. It works in parallel with runkeeper so I can get directions and record my progress. The battery consumption gives you about 6 hours. Points to improve; The speed options only go to 15mph, on a racer this is too slow, 20, 25mph should be also in there. Sometimes the message to turn happens after you’ve passed it! Maybe I’ve went too fast?! If you go off track completely then it doesn’t tell you. The beep is not great to listen to, the voice sounds depressed! Voice level would be good to be adjusted, also fade in fade out if you have music in the background. You’ve got to check the map occasionally to make sure you’ve not missed the voice cue, particularly if it’s a right immediately by a left or vice versa. Overall though great product! It took me on a sweet route today:)

Will be great – one day – ★★
by xyz100 – Version 2.0.1 – 22 June 2011
This has the potential to be good app and it will be really useful. However, at present the location finder is not working so it thinks I live at the North Pole rather than in the Home Counties….

Just what I’ve been looking for – ★★★★
by Wimblepool – Version 2.0.1 – 15 June 2011
I tested my route from home to work on the balanced option and it is almost identical to what I normally take, so it’s a great fit for me. I can’t agree with the other reviewers so far on this version. I’ve had no problems with crashing, loading or directions on an iPhone 4; obviously it may be different on other devices. I did have a problem with being able to hear the directions, but sorted that by changing the settings on my phone. However I wish it would stop going into a silent huff if I don’t follow its instructions to the letter