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  • Holby City

    Lots of 1s!

  • GrahamWKidd

    Great article and so true. When I am not in MAMIL mode, I cringe at the behavior of some cyclists who visit my regular café haunts.
    One I would add is: Remember you probably are a bit sweaty and smelly, so maybe go to the loo and wipe yourself down with some damp toweling. GCN recently recommended taking a fresh undershirt to change into, that may be going a bit far.

    • Leroy

      I agree with this, a lot of MAMIL’s (particular if you’re less fit) sweat like a monkey in a sauna, and they jump straight out of their pack ride into the cafe. If you’re covered in sweat, try rolling up a side street for 500m or so just to dry out a bit, it’s amazing how that extra 30sec – 1min can help. Makes things more pleasant for everyone.

    • Keynesian

      Can’t agree. My riding group alone puts about $5k per year through the cash register just on coffee. Out local coffee shops bend over backwards to keep us happy. Coffee is their highest margin product – cyclists have gt economic power and we are entitled to use it.

  • D. Head

    I head to the non cyclist cafes and do what I want. Problem solved.

    • Leroy

      On your bike? Hmm

  • Eddy

    Good points but it passes me by. Maybe I’m too old school but sitting around in wet cycling clothes as the sweat runs off me, drinking coffee has never been my idea of fun. Training was always training. A bit of socializing was always the norm on bunch rides years ago but we never stopped until we were home. I am too much of a dinosaur to change now.

    • Samaway

      You’re not alone ;)

    • scottmanning

      Personally I would rather go home, have a shower and a bite to eat, THEN have a coffee. Be it at the cafe or at home it doesn’t matter, but I don’t get the sitting around while the fungus grows in your sweaty shorts thing either. Bunch rides are great socal events, but I’m happy for the chit chat to end at the end of the ride. As such, I am yet, after all these years to have a post ride coffee directly after a ride.

      • lostindaylight

        +1. I haven’t earned my Coffee or Green Tea until I’ve had a shower and the bib shorts are washed and set out to dry. I don’t get down with saddle sores.

    • Sam

      Agree. Never understood the “lets have a coffee” training ride. I have my coffee when I get home & have had a shower.

    • Erik Van Bommel

      Yeah. I’m old – skool, too. All these rules and regs (especially the shit velominati spews forth) can seem a bit much. Back in the day when all roadies had to worry about was the state of their spare tub rolled up in paper, because we were in such small numbers (comparatively) a cafe would be lucky to even register our existence. We would clomp in, sit down natter and be out with barely raising an eye-brow. We learnt this behaviour from our olders and betters.
      Now, people can’t sit still, observe, learn and copy. Its all a big rush, big crowd, big time, and pity the cafe and its patrons that can’t handle it. These rules, to me, spell out one thing, the declining state of decorum and manners in society as a whole. These are just teaching gran to suck eggs but with people looking at their phones, thinking about themselves, we’ve all gone a bit Pete Tong

    • SeanMcCuen

      best rule of all.

    • Annie.

      I used not to do that, too. And still, you’ll rarely ever find me in a café during/after a bike ride.

      On the other hand, one of the first things my coach “forced” me to do, was a regular coffee ride: I had to take my bike, ride no more than 15 (!) minutes at below endurance level, take a seat and have a cake or an icecream, take my time, then pedal back, also in no more than 15 minutes. It was absolutely forbidden to exceed 30 minutes riding-time.

      To me, that was annoying: Starting with the going-so-incredibly-slow (and being overtaken by grandmas on their ride to the local farmer’s store), followed by the inneccessarily-sitting-around-doing-nothing and eating-what-I-could-have-had-at-home-too. I was tented to skip that one (other days consisted of hard intervals and stuff, I could relate to those.). But then he had written into the comment section: “Do not skip that training!”, as if he’d known. Well, so I complied:I did it on my own most of the time, and after a while, I started not getting into proper gear, taking a little backpack with a book with me and finally, I even looked forward to those short and relaxing get-aways.

      I still hate sitting around in sweaty gear. I still prefer doing my training and having a cup of coffee at home. But then, there’s nothing better than changing the rules sometimes, taking away the grim I-have-to attitude.

      The funny thing is that those of us who are not at all pros and could do whatever they please, tend to be the most stubborn riders in training, even if they never actually race. So what’s the point?!

      It’s too cold for coffee rides right now, I’m afraid (snow and rain don’t encourage coffee culture). But I’ll put them back into action as soon as spring sets in. :P

  • Mikael_L

    Yup, all very relevant. Couple of others we like to keep to are:

    Sit outside where possible, again eases the noise/odour issues
    In addition to #7 & #10 – Clean up after yourself, it doesn’t hurt to return dirty cups & plates leaving staff to actually concentrate on making coffees.

    • Aaron

      with my group when possible I try to put the tables back where they were before we moved them ! the staff appreciate it !

  • Daniel

    Dear Ms. Stewart, :-)
    What’s the tip for rain/ dripping? Just go home?!
    Related to this I have finished a ride with a bit of dirt on my knicks/ legs and have tried to dust it off and dust seat after coffee. But should I just go home also?

    • lowercasev

      Dear Daniel,
      If you are dripping wet, go home. You will catch a cold if you are wet and sitting around for hours. You don’t want a cold to ruin your riding week. Common sense comes into play if you are dirty. If you are filthy, go home. If no one will notice, have a coffee.

      • Anon N+1

        There is a problem with these Procrustean rules: You assume “home” is close. What if it is hours by car, bus, train or plane away? I have been grateful for the opportunity to drip on someone’s floor while I warm up, have something hot to eat and recover from hours out in a cold rain before returning to my unheated room with no coffee or other amenities.

        • Annie.

          I’m with you: We had a several days’ trip through Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. After hours and hours of riding in the pouring rain (and it was quite cold as well), our support car didn’t make it on time to the meeting point for our lunch break. So it was cold and windy, we were soaking wet and very hungry. In total, we had to wait for hours, and it was great to get into a little cafe place: It was a tiny cafe and crammed ful with wet cyclists dripping all over the place. The owner handed out old papers to keep the seats clean. Then we ordered french fries and hot coffee and currywurst and stuff, they made a lot of money that day. Also, usually they’d never have that many people sitting together and never stop ordering food and drink. :)

  • Great tips! If I could add …

    – Mind where you store / stack bike(s);
    – Leave the helmet with the bike;
    – Zip up your jersey (you should never have it unzipped on the bike unless its fully unzipped >35 deg, always zip up to the top once off the bike);
    – Always be courteous to others and clean up after yourself.

    • jules

      the bike storage is a good one. don’t block the footpath. also, don’t lean your bike against neighbouring shop windows or otherwise in front of their shop. if others are sitting around there, don’t leave your bike lights flashing in their eyes. also, avoid saying your goodbyes with everyone straddling their bikes and blocking the footpath/cafe entrance.

      good article Verita.

      • lowercasev

        Thanks Jules!

      • Peter

        Agreed, there is one certain way to annoy a cafe or neighbouring shop owner and that is to lean your bike on their windows. Dont do it.

    • PeterC

      Turn your Garmin off when parked so we don’t have to listen to constant beeping as it repositions on the GPS

  • molddr

    Here’s the only etiquette rule you need to know. If you’re in your riding gear…only stay if there’s outside seating.

    • Hamish Moffatt

      And you cyclists shouldn’t wear lycra in public anyway, nobody wants to see all that!

      Wait, what blog are we on here again?

      • Kevin

        I think this should be #1! Ever since I started this crazy sport, I wear thin tights over my Ibex knickers to avoid the embarrassment of “baby arm!” (Maybe TMI). I cannot stand it when guys walk around in smaller, very public cafes and aren’t cognizant of how gross it is!

        • God

          Agreed, try to sit outside wherever possible.

        • Chris

          Not everyone has a “baby arm” Kevin and maybe just try to maintain eye contact.

        • Annie.

          If your body is so gross, why show it at all: Stay at home!

          I don’t like this too-much-ashamed-of-everything attitude with many people. Others show off their body in various layers of clothing every day, it’s not always an aesthetic thing to see. And no, that doesn’t depend on physical attractiveness or fitness only. Also, it’s only natural to sweat and while I wouldn’t want to sit next to a person all sweaty and stinky in a small room, I wouldn’t mind if that person would act politely, keep his or her distance, sit outside or next to the door,….(that’s why I like the article above: Be polite!) I also do not get why people have problems with sweating in public: When you work out, you sweat. When it’s hot outside, you do too. As long as you wash yourself and your clothes regularly and don’t stink in appropriately, that shouldn’t matter.

          So where do we start and where to stop with rules?

          I once attended a classical music concert in my motorcycle gear (wearing the helmet around as there was nowhere to store it). Of course, I stood out, a lot. But I was there for the music and there was no other way I could get there. I went there to hear a friend play who is a professional orchestrial musician. Funny thing: Some people in the audience didn’t like my appearance, but the orchestra didn’t mind at all. To them, it was all about their music.

  • Phillip Mercer

    While its good not to clip clop around the cafe too much, leave shoes on. No one needs to smell sweaty feet and damp socks from a mid-morning shower on the ride. While your feet may be beautiful and smell like roses, it may tacitly give permission for Barry, the guy with the winning combination of toe jam and fungal infection to follow suit.

    • lowercasev

      Never remove your shoes.

  • Noodledique

    The sponsored comment is very helpful and relevant.

  • Unbelievable

    I love to stop for a coffee during or after a ride, but it always makes me cringe when one of my group decides to sit at the cafe table, eat only a bar they brought from home, then leave the wrapper on the table for the staff to clean up. The last part is covered by your Rule 10, but what about sitting and eating your own food? That seems a little rude to me too.

    • lowercasev

      I think it is okay to eat your own food, to a point. Just don’t flaunt the fact in the face of staff, or leave your litter behind.

      • Brooke Fraser

        It is not okay to eat your own food in a cafe, restaurant bar or any other commercial establishment that sells food.

        • d9veNI

          Except for cinemas …… fill your pockets and scoff rather than being gouged by those barstewards!

          • Dave

            Same goes for a stadium. I was shocked to see that the in-house outlets at Adelaide Oval had been rebranded as a certain three-lettered fast food chain for the duration of the Cricket World Cup.

        • Michael Bland

          Bollocks ,, if you buy a crazy priced coffee there, feel free to get stuck into your own nutbar .

          • sps12321

            If you can afford the over priced coffee you can afford their cookie. Or wait till you’re outside for the snack. Would you eat your own food in a coffee shop when not on a ride?

            • Michael Bland

              A: I wouldn’t be in the coffee shop if not riding ,B: I wouldn’t be carrying food if not riding ,C: I’ll stick to my original statement

          • A

            Wow. Imagine trying to make a living selling just coffee. Have some empathy. It is 100% not ok. That is why some cafes have signs. But for most they do not bother as it is basic common sense. Next time why not as the owner or manager their opinion?

  • Beak158

    Good article. A couple we try to adhere to – if moving tables, put them back afterwards; and we’re always served in takeaway cups so we clear them into the bin afterwards. Both just common courtesy like the others mentioned.

  • Don’t forget you (we) all probably stink like hell! Sit outside if you can :)

    • If we move tables and chairs to accommodate a large group, should we move/put the chairs back? Always wondered abt this. I noticed don’t do this at our local cafe.

      • Annie.

        In my opinion, before moving anything one should ask staff first. They know if and how it is okay for you to do it. It’s not your property so that should be common sense, I think.

    • If we move tables and chairs to accommodate a large group, should we move/put the chairs back? Always wondered abt this. I noticed don’t do this at our local cafe.

  • Ray

    And keep your cod pieces out of peoples faces.

  • kamoteQ

    I plead guilty to some and make sure don’t commit them next time.

    • lowercasev


  • Callum Dwyer

    So essentially don’t be arsehole.

  • jon

    3 and 5 are up for debate.

    • 900Aero

      Not to me.

      • jon

        Nor is the idea of not up for debate is to me.

    • 900Aero

      Not to me.

    • d9veNI

      No I don’t think so! How can 5 be up for debate? ….. so you’d rather go with, gouge the frig outta every cafe’s floor where possible, especially if they’ve put down some nice wooden tiles?!?

      • Dave

        Slip a rubber cover over the cleat or use walkable cleats. Simples.

        • d9veNI

          Which is obeying “Rule” 5.

        • jon

          I ride speedplay and i don’t always have cover with me, and that won’t stop me from stoping for coffee or beer.

          • Dave

            And in my former cafe staffing life, it wouldn’t have stopped me from serving you with a cardboard takeaway cup at our outside window either.

            • jon

              ok. good for you.

      • Leroy

        The ‘clip clopping’ is annoying, but if you’re a cafe and you either think you will or are trying to attract cyclists you should chose a flooring surface which can handle this – there are heaps of choices. Most cafes chose super hard wearing surfaces (like polished concrete) anyway.

        • jon

          Again, i don’t know what Australia use for their floors, I’m not sure why the floors in OZ are that prone to destruction.

      • jon

        I don’t know any cafe with floor that isn’t concrete.

  • 900Aero

    If you don’t buy anything, don’t fill your water bottles from the cafe fridge. And if the whole group doesn’t buy anything – don’t stop at a cafe.

  • 900Aero

    Whats the difference between training & going for a ride?
    Stopping for coffee.

  • 900Aero

    Whats the difference between training & going for a ride?
    Stopping for coffee.

  • Ed

    Are you kidding me… a couple of stories:

    1. A Cafe owner in Canberra complained in the Canberra Times a year or so ago about bunches of (20 or so) cyclists turning up unexpected at their cafe, which created a problem for them… are you kidding me! That cafe is no longer in business – looser!

    2. Another cafe owner who was approached recently by an ‘office worker’ complaining about the sweaty cyclists taking up the cafe early in the morning. Owner responded saying that those sweaty cyclists brought in $700 in revenue each week day before 8am… hello…!

    Absolutely, lets not forget our manners at cafes folks… but also, lets no forget the revenue we represent.


    • I have a friend who owns a cafe that does reasonably well. He welcomes us to come there, but asked that we didn’t “support him” by bringing all our cycling mates. He says that it takes him four extra staff to service the influx of cyclists, labour laws says that he needs to keep those staff on for a minimum of 4hrs (the cyclist come and go for a 1-2hr window), and they also scare off the rest of the patrons. I can see his point. And if you’re wondering, he’s a keen cyclist himself.

      • Arfy

        Now there’s a reason to clean up after ourselves and put tables and chairs back – less work on the staff means we can actually contribute to the success of the cafe.

      • Arfy

        Now there’s a reason to clean up after ourselves and put tables and chairs back – less work on the staff means we can actually contribute to the success of the cafe.

      • Ralph

        Good point. I think a good thing to do is to return to that cafe when you can (maybe with the partner / kids / whoever, just not lance) in your civvies and spend some good coin, instead of just popping in and throwing down $3.5 for a latte everytime. People will warm to you as well when you see you sans lycra!

  • Anon N+1

    One of the establishments our group frequently visits does not have table service. We arrive, park our bikes, put our gloves or some other piece of personal property on a table to claim it and go to the window to place our order for beer (who drinks coffee anyway?) and pay for it.
    Then we carry the beer and food to our claimed places at the claimed tables. Failure to do so would mean some other party could place some personal item on the table and we would not be able to sit at that table. A few small parties sitting at different tables could make it impossible for us to sit together enjoying our beer. Therefore, Step one: claim a space for your group. Helmets and gloves serve this function beautifully. (NB. These are outdoor tables and pigeons occasionally fly over.)
    And what’s with this dark glasses bit? Mine are prescription so I can’t take them off if I want to see anything.
    But I agree, we should all say “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” more and swear less.

    • lowercasev

      Of course, prescription glasses are an exception to the rule!

      • Phillip Mercer

        Sunglasses are allowed on if at an outdoor cafe and you’ve got the sun in your eyes surely?

        • lowercasev

          Yes, this is where common sense comes in to play. No one wants you squinting and getting a headache!

          • Phillip Mercer

            thanks lowercasev, I don’t want to get wrinkles too soon either. :) #vanity

    • Ralph

      I drink coffee. And beer! Shock horror. Sometimes both in the one day! Quelle horreur!

      • R

        sorry too many languages

  • Ali

    If you’re prone to a sweaty arse after a hard ride, don’t sit down until you’ve dried off a bit and make every effort to wipe your seat off with a damp serviette…. no one wants to sit in that!

  • CLS

    In summary “Don’t be a dick” :-) Common courtesy and common sense should prevail.

  • The Maling Room

    Every morning we have 10-30 cyclist at our cafe in Canterbury, exactly at 7am. Love it. Cyclist get a thrill by riding, we feel the same making coffees. Having to do 30 coffees under 5 minutes is how I like to start my morning!!

    • lowercasev

      Sounds like you have your routine down pat @Mailing Room. I’ve heard lots about the MMR crew – I’ll join them one day so you can try 31 coffees! :-)

    • DavidS

      In terms of the etiquette, it is worth noting that the Maling Room: has plentiful bicycle parking which doesn’t impinge on adjoining businesses/ a lot of outdoor seating which means we never need to go inside (when it is raining, generally there are fewer people riding- can’t understand why- which means that the undercover outdoor seating copes well)/ quite a few of the riders are local, which means we exchange greetings with other “normal” people visiting the cafe and so aren’t complete outsiders/ the Maling Room has a great electronic ordering system which means the first coffees are being delivered while orders are still being taken/ the staff come out with a money box so that “split”orders are not an issue. Oh, and the coffee is really good.

  • So simple – yet so good to see in writing.

    • lowercasev

      That is the thing Grace, sometimes we miss the simple things don’t we! ;-)

  • Richard Braginton

    why not just do your ride, go home, shower, and then relax clean dry and comfortable I just don’t get this sitting around in cafes sweaty, in training gear, then coming out in the cold…Duh, or to put it another way if you go to the gym do you work out and then go and sit in the cafe after a spinning class, dripping sweat .No you get showered and changed then go to the cafe. Same as i don’t understand people saying they did 100 mile ride when actually then did 50 miles and stopped for 60 mins then did another 50 miles, NO. When your gonna ride…ride, end of

  • Polderspeed

    Loved reading this + going trough the comments here. For me a lot comes down to the type or vibe of the establishment i roll up to. Some café’s are perfect for cyclists. Others less so. In generaI i think cyclists are pretty well behaved and fun to be around. Especially with more and more women joining in, making café and ride atmosphere less ‘blokey oi oi’. I don’t stop when i’m muddy and wet, but sweaty is fine on a nice terras outside though i lay off the pace in time to dry a bit beforehand. Helmet stays with the bike if it’s a safe place.

  • michael addison

    What’s the rule when the morning group ride gets too big for the cafe?

    • lowercasev

      Interesting… Maybe get a takeaway and sit on the curb/stand in a laneway and enjoy (out of the way of course)… Or drop half your group along the way and head for another café ;-) ?…You’ve got me on that one!

  • John B.Race

    Modern cycling shorts padding are butt sweat sponges. Never sit on a cloth seat or bench. First choice is outside seating or use a newspaper if no other option.

  • SeanMcCuen

    it’s Fred and the gang.

  • Guest

    just give me a shot of caffeine so I can leave quick.

  • guest

    sounds like first world problems to me.

  • Jim Barber

    Just found this. One note to add. Chairs are for humans to sit in .Chairs are not for holding your helmet or other gear. We had a situation where a dozen cyclists came into an albergue that was mostly filled with folks who were walking Camino De Santiago. The bikers tossed all their gear including saddlebags etc on every available chair and went out for a few pops. When they returned later that night every piece that was on chairs had gone missing. Word to the wise. . . .


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