This year NAHBS is coming to Denver. Conveniently I am also working in Denver. It looks like I’ll have to go!

Several years ago I geeked on NAHBS when it landed in Portland, but most of that was second-hand and through the itinerant bike bloggers. Each year since I sat and looked longingly from the wrong side of an LCD display at all the pretty horses. NO LONGER! I live in Denver and I work for a pedal-head that is actually going to be manning a booth at the show, so I have no excuse not to shuffle down the way and enjoy a day of rich bike culture and geekery.

I’ll be back on this weekend with my impressions and perhaps pictures of the loveliness.

Something I have been meaning to bring online yet has been languishing, is a review portion to this blog. As I am riding on new equipment or gear or as I experience a new part of the bike culture in Denver I want to document it here. As stated this has been stalled out, not for lack, but due to my general slacker qualities.

Today we change this, and visit The Denver Bicycle Cafe.

The Denver Bicycle Cafe

They are located at 1308 E 17th Ave, Denver, Colorado.

L. and I happened by the Cafe last fall while the Tour de Fat was wandering through Denver elsewhere. This afforded us a quiet crowd and a chance to look at the a Cafe.

As a space the Cafe is a little rough on the finish but comforting as the Third Place. Though they haven’t gone as far as couches and coffee tables, the hardtop tables and wooden chairs still invite the community into the space as both a service and a social atmosphere.

Backup 155Backup 157Backup 154Backup 156

The interior is divided into a food-and-coffee side and a beer-and-mechanic side. This division works well, aside from putting the random grade-schooler adjacent to the beer. And this does happen. Pleasantly there were a couple grade-schoolers who wandered into the Cafe to take advantage of the mechanic and advice.

At the time we were in there were two barista/bartenders on duty with a mechanic staffing the bike bar. Each of the three were knowledgeable and friendly, bringing further pleasantry to the space.

The mechanic was worth a minute of people watching. During our time in the Cafe, as mentioned, a grade-school aged boy brought his bike into the shop with a flat tire. The Mechanic on-duty offered help/tools/direction as needed but mostly allowed the young man to fix his own issue. He did step in when the boy was struggling or would point out a how-to when the boy was stumped. All-in-all he approached both this young customer and later, older customers with patience and confidence. Though I didn’t step into the conversations, I could see the mechanic approached each customer where they were rather than with pretension.

At the bar we had much the same experience with the barista/bartenders. They were on the ball and knowledgeable without sliding into the pretension that can become so unpleasant. Our questions about their brews and roasts were met with as much enthusiasm as our questions about the company itself.

The tastes of the menu are going to appeal to the micro-brew fan or the coffee snob in you, with just enough food to cushion the impact of throwing back an espresso and a beer.

As Spring is fast approaching, the Denver Bicycle Cafe has a large outdoor space that is sure to endear it as a happy hour favorite.

Backup 159

The location offers easy sidewalk access, as well as plenty of bike parking and immediate adjacency to RTD Route 20. DON’T expect to find street parking though. The available parking is entirely dependent upon the time of day and day of week.


I think my favorite thing about the Denver Bicycle Cafe is that you can join them as you would a gym membership and have access to their entire tool bench. The prices for membership sounded reasonable to me last fall, considering the cost of tools themselves. If this interests you I would suggest calling for details.

Or just drop in to have a pint of Denver Bike and Beer culture.

This week my commute and our life in general is taking a shift. Last summer when we moved to Denver, it was all in preparation for my firm to consolidate its offices. The office I currently work in, in Boulder, is reducing to a front desk and conference space. We are all moving into a sexy industrial space in Five-Points, down in Denver.

For the last week, after getting Philip back together, I’ve been riding to the office, trying to get myself back into the groove. The commute to Boulder has been nice. Roughly 5.5 miles. This last week I have altered it and have been riding about 8 miles each way. It’s been an effective way of waking my hibernating butt up. Starting Thursday my commute is going to reduce to only 3.5 miles each direction. It seems almost ridiculously short. PLUS there won’t be a regional bus in the middle of the pedal to add an hour of sitting each way.

I’m excited.

This weekend I went out and purchased a new riding shell. I’ll post a review after I’ve had it for a week or so.

This morning the final piece of Philip’s revival arrived on our doorstep. As I’ve been riding back and forth, the Brooks cork barends have taken a beating. One has been chipped away at slowly until it is only a small stump of broken cork poking out of the barend. The other was doing OK, until suddenly it fell out while in the undercarriage of the regional bus late in November. So I found a distributor that sells just the barends.

Starting Thursday Philip will be riding pretty through the streets of Denver. New paint. New headset (I’ll have to tell that story later). New barends.

The week ahead looks like a good one. Now if we could only get some hot-water in our apartment…



This morning I went it the first fixed-gear ride in a LONG time. Daily I ride single speed on Phillip, but I have flipped the flop in quite a while.

Two things. It was fun and its amazing how much more it takes to ride fixed than single. I felt so clumsy.

On Wednesday I ended my day with a flat. Thursday I picked up a new tube and fixed the flat. While I was at it I decided that I would flip to my new cog for a bit.

It was beautiful out today. Fall has arrived. And though we didn’t get the riot if color some years bring, it has definitely had its moments.

Today has shown itself to be set against me riding.

I’ve been sick for roughly a week and today was the first day I felt like riding would be a good idea.

It all started this morning when the dog insisted in getting me up 10 minutes before my alarm, which absolutely kills my momentum. Next as I was getting dressed, one of the seems on my knickers blew out.

This, the wife was kind enough to fix while I was getting everything else together.

Got out caught my bus and thought I was past the downside of the day. Not so…

My right cleat has been acting strange the last couple times I’ve ridden, but I hadn’t really gotten curious until today. So as I’m waiting for the bus I check it out. The issue is that it hasn’t been clipping in like it should. The reason is that I had lost a bolt. Strange. I think, “i’ll take care of this this afternoon…” good intentions and all. Bus stops; I grab my bike and I’m off pedaling. *CLICK* The cleat even snaps in like its supposed to.

So we arrive at work. I clip out on the left, put my foot down and *…* nothing. Not anything. I can’t release from the right.

Long story short (too late); I had to untie my shoe to get off the bike and then spent 20 minutes trying to rescue my shoe. Finally wrestled it free. Took the elevator to the office walked down the hall to the changing rooms and *CLICK* The door is locked with no one inside. I can find a place to change, but I have no shoes.

I think perhaps I should have left the bike at home.

This last week I have been trying to iron out the kinks in my commute.

This has included procuring a locker at the office and digging my SPD shoes out of the buried depths.

At the same time I have been evaluating Phillip to decide what kinds of work he needs in the way of upkeep. Sadly there is something going on in the drive chain. I think it is the bottom bracket, but I’ve decided to replace both the bottom bracket and the freewheel.

Towards this Phillip is getting an upgrade to a White Industries freewheel and a Sugino 75 bottom bracket. This means I am going to have to also upgrade cranks to something square tapered.

(written almost two weeks ago and forgot to post)

So since originally starting this post I have had the joy of removing a stuck freewheel, replacing it with a shiny new one, replacing my aged octalink BB with a new Sugino 75 and finally replacing the octalink cranks with a new (used) pair of Sugino 75 cranks.

This has been fun and reminds me that I enjoy working on my bike and always have.

Today I need to make an adjustment to the bottom bracket, so I’m looking around for a place that sells tools. I started calling the little shops around my neighborhood and found what may be my new heroes.

The store is called The Bicycle Cafe. Their slogan or tag line is: Bikes. Beer. Coffee.

You have to love that. Anyway they have a mechanic and a very choice selection of brews and then coffee to boot. I may have to hang out at their store, ALOT.

When I called about tools they let me know that they didn’t sell tools, but they did offer shop memberships. For $30/year you have access to their tools and stands.

I’m terribly impressed with this shop and I haven’t even been in yet. Later today I am going to head around and have a beer while looking their setup over.