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by Verita Stewart
February 24, 2015
Photography by Andy van Bergen
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
Have you ever been enjoying a quiet breakfast with your family at a café and twenty cyclists show up and completely ransack the place? Moving tables, shouting loudly, bragging about how we all smashed each other on that climb, and treating the place like our own locker room. We’ve all been on both sides of the fence, and it’s easy to see how the outside world can view us when we forget our manners.
Aspiring pro cyclist Verita Stewart tells us about her first café faux pas and the rules she’s set for herself since she was reminded that helmets stay off the café table.
I cringe every time I think of this moment: my first, of many, lessons in cyclist related café etiquette.
This happened at the end of one of the first bunch rides I ever did. I was very new to cycling and had no idea about anything. I definitely had no idea that there was etiquette to follow at cafés. I was just coming to speed with bunch ride etiquette (that’s another story for another time…). In the end, cafe etiquette is just common sense and good manners – etiquette is a mere label.
My friends do a regular recovery ride, always finishing at the same café, which is very cyclist friendly. We parked our bikes, stacking them neatly top and tail against the wall outside and walked into the café. As my friends sat down, I followed, pulling out a chair and placing my helmet and gloves on the table. I was about to sit down, but one by one, I could feel a glare from across the table. They were all looking at me in absolute horror.
“What?” I said, thinking that there was something on my face or perhaps a bug in my tooth.
“Ummmm…. Helmets do not go on the table,” they said to me in sync.
Of course they don’t, I thought.
I have never put my helmet on the table. Not because my friends told me not too, but I would never do that at home, why would I do that at a café! That was my introduction to café etiquette. Over the years and many coffee rides later, I have come to the learn and observe cyclist-café etiquette.
Here are my top 10 café etiquette tips:
Have I missed any?
We are all probably guilty of doing some or all of these things from time to time, but observing these tips at a new café or your regular haunt will go a long way in keeping everyone happy. It may even result in staff remembering your order and filling your water bottles for you with a smile. My regular café does.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The tagline to Verita Stewart’s personal blog reads: “Not a professional cyclist, yet” and it’s the “yet” that’s most telling. Verita is a Melbourne-based cyclist riding for Specialized Securitor. New to the sport, she’s quickly made the jump from commuting to recreational riding to racing. She now juggles full-time work with full-time NRS racing and hopes to make the leap to the big-leagues sometime soon. Verita is full of stories and smiles and snark – and will bring all three to you on Ella. Follow Verita on twitter and instagram.