Chain, chain, chain: bike-friendly cafes to grease your gears and fuel your summer rides
When our amiga Marcia of the Guardian's Tablehopping column hipped us that the Public Bikes store in South Park (123 South Park, SF. www.publicbikes.com) had installed a Saint Frank's coffee stand on its front porch, I hopped on Tim, my trusty steed, in search of other be-spoked, freewheelin' coffee options.
The first thing I should mention here is that SF is so fixie-java friendly that we have such a thing as Bicycle Coffee (www.bicyclecoffeeco.com), a roastery whose bike-pulled cart can be spotted around town (and whose coffee can be purchased at spots like Cykel bike shop (548 Union, SF. www.cykelsf.com) and Another Cafe (1191 Pine, SF. www.anothercafesf.com).
Here's more speed-freak symbiosis.
AROUND THE CITY IN FIVE CUPS
If you're willing to get creative with your trails — and break out the chamois butter — you can ride around the edge of the city, catching some beautiful views and thick brews. Start at Red's Java House on Pier 30 (www.redsjavahouse.com), and, if it's a weekday, wend your way along the Embarcadero to Euro-stylish Cafe de Stijl (www.destijl.com) at Levis' Plaza. If it's a weekend, de Stijl is closed — hang on til you reach the legendary Warming Hut (Presidio Building 983, SF.) in the Presidio for a breathtaking vista and some warming joe. Then it's on to the cafe at the gorgeous new Land's End Lookout at Point Lobos on the way to Ocean Beach. From there you'll head south past Lake Merced to take Alemany to Geneva along the south side of the city. Pop into Claddagh Coffee (951 Geneva, SF.) for a pick-me-up, before completing your circle up Third Street toward Pier 30. Buy me a mocha and I'll draw you a detailed map.
TWITCH WHILE YOU WIGGLE
I live practically right atop the Wiggle, SF's sneaky uphill bypass, and if you hit it from downtown I feel your pain — that's like 15 minutes of riding without coffee! Please stop into the fabulously multicultural Cafe International (508 Haight, SF. www.facebook.com/cafeinternational) or the quieter yet nicely cute Bean There (201 Steiner), with great outdoor seating, if you need a sip to get you through the evening. Oh, and shouts out to the new Wiggle Bicycles repair spot and gear shop, and its adorable manager Garret.
KICK UP WITH GIANTS
Any piece on the bike-bean connection would be remiss not to mention the fab grandaddy of them all, Mojo (639 Divisadero, SF. www.mojobicylecafe.com), which really brightened up the Divis scene when it arrived several years ago. With its evening beer, wine, and popup programs, it's bike-date central. Velo Rouge (798 Arguello, SF. www.velorougecafe.com) is another biggie, with rad sandwiches and an attractive clientele. In the East Bay things are always cooler, so you get indoor bicycle parking at Actual Cafe (6334 San Pablo Ave., Oakl. www.actualcafe.com) — and also an eight-ounce latte for $2.75, miraculous to citizens of SF. More indoor bike parking at roomy Temescal favorite Arbor Cafe (4210 Telegraph, Oakl.) which is also excellent for people-watching.
Or, you know, just ditch all the lattes and go straight for the lagers at the raucous Gestalt Haus (3159 16th St., SF.) bike-centric bar in the Mission. Beer's probably better for you, right?