‘Carry a cotton cap which shall be worn, front facing, peak down, during the stop’
By Anthony Walsh, Director, A1 Coaching
Should I stop for a coffee?
Here are a couple of considerations to bear in mind when deciding if you should stop for a coffee.
- Firstly, you need like-minded training partners. Nothing is worse than a training partner who refuses to stop for a coffee or nags you to get going thus reducing your enjoyment of the aromatic, liquid gold beverage.
- If the session is over two hours in duration or you are on a recovery day you should always stop.
- On wet days it is acceptable to forego the ritual coffee stop.
When Should I stop?
- The coffee stop should be at the way half point in a ride. It should be the destination and the motivation for you to do those extra few kilometers.
- Cast an eye on the weather forecast, often a passing shower can be avoided by a timely coffee stop.
Where should I stop for a coffee?
After much field-testing and quality control we are happy to recommend our top five coffee shops in the DCA (Dublin Cycling Area)
5. Hill of Tara
It has long been a cyclists’ favorite and deserves its recognition. They serve a reasonable coffee and good scones.
A caveat; it can be very busy and difficult to get a seat on weekends or Bank Holidays.
4. Glendalough Stores, Laragh
The vegetarian selection of sandwiches comes highly recommended; this shop-coffee shop can be a heaven in the hills and a brief rest bite from climbing.
3. Timber Trove Café on Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham.
Located at the back of a saw mill this little gem offers a great atmosphere and panoramic views across the Wicklow Mountains.
2. Ruby’s Cottage, Ballyboughal, Co Dublin
This small coffee shop has become a classic on the Irish cycling scene in a relatively short period of time.
Bike parking around at the rear, track pump, fresh water, wifi and a great cup of Joe make this a must visit.
1. El Panorama, Portmarnock
The best coffee in town, great choice of homemade cakes, bike frames hanging from the ceiling and always a friendly bit of banter with the staff.
If you like cycling and coffee this is the place to be!
Go small and strong or go home…
What should I have?
A really strong coffee served in a really small cup. None of your grande, half fat, vanilla iced frapachinos.
Coffee shop rules
- Coffee stop can only take place at Independent coffee houses. No franchised coffee stops or garages.
- When you do stop, stack your bikes neatly top and tail outside the coffee shop (saddle against handlebars) so as not to occupy half of the footway.
- Don’t leave your Garmin or bike computer sitting on the handlebars for a passerby to steal.
- Don’t wear your helmet inside the coffee shop, you are unlikely to fall and hit your head inside the coffee shop so it’s safe to remove your protective equipment.
- Carry a cotton cap which shall be worn, front facing, peak down, during the stop.
- De-layer once you get into the coffee shop – you’ll be thankful you did once you get back outside.
- The inexperienced cyclo-patron can be easily spotted sweating in the corner wearing his Gaba jacket and winter gloves.
- Have a coffee shop rota, – you pay this week, I’ll pay next week. Nothing makes a barista’s life more difficult than five riders all lining up to pay for a single shot of espresso separately and each with a laser card.
- Have a light rain jacket folded away in a rear pocket. This extra layer is very useful in helping you acclimate to the outside temperature.
- Alcohol is generally not recommended on these stops. I’ve learnt this one the hard way after a not so brief ‘coffee’ stop at the base of the Kapelmuur, Belgium.
I’m always on the hunt for new coffee shops to review so I’d welcome your suggestions.