Musette Caffe

September 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

So today we finally get around to taking a little tip from my cycling pal (and Italian eyeglass purveyor) Gianguido and visit Musette Caffe, which is supposed to be some kind of bike themed coffee joint in Vancouver. We drive around downtown Vancouver looking for the place only to get lost in a series of one way streets and back alleys and suddenly, we're there. And we are not let down. This is a serious bike cafe… I mean it's more like a bike shop or some kind of church of bike aficionados with a cafe inserted in the middle. It overwhelms with bicycle everything as soon as you step in. Fancy racing bikes along with some vintage ones are parked in the entry way. The Vuelta de España is playing on at least 3 screens of various sizes. Musettes (of course!) hang everywhere along with vintage pro jerseys and various display cases packed with all kinds of imaginable bike games, tokens, doodads, paraphernalia and weird stuff like a Lance Armstrong lunch box (signed by Lance) and a set of tiny toy pro bike racers that come in packs of 50 so that you can set up your own mini peloton on the table. Little bike details permeate the place, like the handlebar mounted iPad cash register with celeste (Bianchi green) handlebar tape and the celeste colored cappuccino cups and saucers and a fabulous La Marzocco cappuccino machine, custom painted in, you guessed it, celeste. There's even a 3 tone celeste phone! Inner tubes populate the shelves behind the counter, alongside the coffee. I almost had a panic attack because I didn't have my bike with me and I wasn't wearing any bike clothing. Never fear… there's a hip little bike clothing boutique in the back corner of the cafe, complete with a 6 foot tall sepia toned poster of Fausto Coppi towering over everything. One of my favorite touches, as a photographer and cyclist, was the picture wall at the back of the cafe, which featured a few of Stephan Vanfleteren's stunning and haunting photos of famous Flemish cyclists (including a really sly looking Eddy Merckx). I finally calmed down enough to order a cappuccino, which was expertly made and perfectly topped with a leaf pattern (not sure why it wasn't a chainring pattern, but I guess there are still a few little bike nerdy details to work out.) Meanwhile, I ignored my wife and daughter some more while I chatted with some locals, just back from a ride, wearing their Musette Caffe kits. Turns out it was a father and son (Ian and Christopher) and we related well, both of us fathers having been dragged around the hills by our young racer sons. Apparently there's a lot of great riding around Vancouver… next time we don't leave home without the bikes! Berkeley needs one of these cafes. Seriously.

 


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