London Velo in Deptford joins ‘bike café’ trend

New 'bike café' London Velo  is finishing decorating ahead of their opening 29 May. Pic: London Velo

New ‘bike café’ London Velo is finishing decorating ahead of their opening 29 May. Pic: London Velo

London Velo in Deptford is next to join the ‘bike café’ trend where coffee is combined with cycle repair and trade.

The café opens on 29 May and welcomes all cyclists, from hardcore riders in lycra to complete beginners.

Steve McMillan, co-owner of the café, emphasises that the café will be a spot that, “someone who’s ridden for the first time in 10 years enjoys as much as someone who crushes out a triathlon every weekend.”

Last year, McMillan and Sophie Segal followed their passion for bikes and “mooching around eating and drinking” when they decided to take the risk to open a bike shop café.

Being Lewisham residents themselves, McMillan and Segal wanted to contribute to the area after experiencing its transformation into a multicultural and creative hub over the past few years.

Last year, McMillan and Segal traveled to several bike cafes in London and New York, and they hope to bring the best of it to Lewisham’s many cyclists.

Describing South East London as a hidden gem, they chose Deptford as their location as the area has been “underserved by nice places to meet for coffee, brunch and casual drinks.”

In recent years, Lewisham has fostered a good cycling culture with growing numbers of cyclists. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of people cycling to work in Lewisham grew  143.5 per cent from 2001 to 2011, making it one of the boroughs in London with the largest percentage increase, although it is still behind Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

McMillan has felt the growing popularity of cycling, as there has already been a lot of positive response about the opening of the bike shop café.

When asked about his expectations to the shop, McMillan says that the café simply wants to “become a place where people enjoy spending time.”

Visit London Velo’s official site for more information.

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