Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Your Bike Shed - York



As I have got older and contemplated things like mortality and a more sedentary life my bucket list of adventures and experiences has multiplied. The collection has expanded at such an alarming rate that I would surely have to live until  at least 103 years before I have time to complete them all. 

As many of them include two wheeled feats of endurance I have now decided to have two bucket lists. One for 'Cycling', and one for 'The Rest of life' - The second one seems a bit lightweight.
Two of my cycling goals occur this year with a trip to the Rockies and to Climb the mighty Mount Evans at 14,000+ feet it is one of the highest tarmac roads in the World. 
This is quickly followed by Tour de Moon a sportive in West Colorado through the National Monument Park.

Not all of the list involves actual cycling as it also includes watching great cycling events  like the Tour de Yorkshire sorry.........France. Paris Roubaix and other Spring Classics.

On a less Grand scale further down the list was to visit all of the Rapha Coffee shops which are now appearing on every continent. 
So far I have had the good fortune to visit the one in London and one in San Fransisco.
Being a modern Rapalite, I love all things Rapha and their Coffee shops are no exception.
They are just classy with a small 'c', simple, understated yet oozing identity and creating a sense of belonging. 
Having Cycle centric Coffee Shops is not a new Idea but rarely seen on these shores.

I was therefore intrigued to hear of a new Cycle Cafe in York called 'Your bike shed' which is just through the old city walls on Micklegate. I did not want to like it and knew that obvious comparisons with Rapha would be made.

With the Mules in tow we made our pilgrimage on Good Friday in search of that perfect roast coffee bean.

I like surprises ....especially when they are good ones and as soon as I entered 'Your bike shed' I was smiling.

This was not like Rapha.......It was much better.
Although the venue had never been on my bucket list, it should now be compulsory for those like me who keep such records.
It would have been if I had known about it!

We were warmly met by Adele Proctor who runs the establishment with her business partner Martin Harman. Adele feeds and waters you, whilst Martin takes care of your bike, if it needs some attention.
 This is no ordinary Cycle Cafe..........you can have your precious conveyance, fixed, serviced washed or just generally pampered whilst you enjoy the surroundings.

Unlike the Rapha Cafes the room for cycle storage is not an after thought.
This has been well thought out.
I hate leaving my bike out of sight and ideally I would prefer to have my lunch served on my saddle if I could.
Well here I practically could.
With both conventional and vertical storage there was ample room both inside and out for a full Club run if required.


The Coffee was superb and even got a big thumbs up from Manuel our Coffee Mule who is a connoisseur on such subjects. Whilst my expertise is in cake tasting.
'Your bike hut' offers far more with a menu that would keep any gruppetto happy. 
Bottled beer and wine are also available........Oh joy!

This was a lively place with a great mix of cycling and non cycling visitors who all smiled through the intoxication of the atmosphere.

Such was the ambiance I suggested to my fellow Mules that I might like to visit when I was in York without my cycle. The feeling was Mutual. 

It was certainly refreshing to see Cycling Events chalked on a board next to a large mounted Television.
For me televised cycling is a bit like watching a cricket Test Match. 
Highly Technical like physical chess, it often last for hours.
You can dip in and out of it without missing too much with equal amounts of lulls and high drama.
Basically you don't have to be glued to the screen.

Far better than witnessing  the customary exploits of overpaid, snood wearing footballers 
whose idea of endurance is playing two games of football in a week.  

Old cycling Photos, Bikes, Cycling Magazines, Cake, Coffee, Booze and Cycling on the Box and great company.
Maybe my list was too late and I had already home to Heaven.




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