For ages I have been meaning to pay another visit to The Hub coffee bar and cyclist’s refuge. It’s in Redbourn, Hertfordshire. I have blogged about this place before; a delightfully quirky, very English cafe with definite bicycling focus. Once I got to Redbourn and I was getting near, a new bike shop caught my eye as I whizzed past and then the penny half dropped: this could be another place in downtown Redbourn or an off-shoot?
I recognised The Hub livery straight away and spotted that Simon, the proprietor, was inside. So I went in and said “hello” and almost immediately Simon recognised me as the “….man with the stressful job” (top marks for remembering that Simon!) and I’d written about him last winter. He had remembered I paid him a visit with my family too.
Seriously impressed, I really was.
Simon went onto explain the cafe is still there and the Bike Loft was opened earlier this year as it was becoming difficult to squeeze everything in – things were growing so much. It’s a mark of success that the enterprise has effectively outgrown the original premises which is still serving coffee, delicious cakes and…. well, I need to check that out sometime.
1st Saturday cycle ride rule: make time for coffee & catching up
Last time I never did get a chance to partake the famed coffee as I got chatting and totally distracted by everything around me. My wife and kids, as I recall, had their fill of hot chocolate and cakes. So this time I was looking forward to a coffee…. which you can still have in the Bike Loft… but again I was thwarted by a lack of time. You can’t hurry your time in Redbourn, especially when you start a cycling related conversation. There was a steady stream of people dropping into say “hi” and it was good to see the interaction between Simon and his friendly and supportive customers. The top photo shows Simon fine tuning the gears on a particularly nice looking road bike where his customers can see everything happening and to discuss the finer details of jockey wheels, gear ratios and cassette clusters.
Besides his workshop, there are the usual array of spares, components and some clothing. In my view not a bad place to go for a winter training bike; indeed there is a sign outside spelling this out as “at last, affordable winter training bikes, complete with full mudguards, from only £499, gents and ladies specific”. To be honest I didn’t clock many of the individual bikes while I was there but I think you’d get good service from a place village based business like this.
So, great to see Simon. Once again I managed to totally miss out on coffee by some bad time management on my part. Hey ho, I’ll just have to find and excuse to return again (I’m hoping this can be sooner rather than later).
Contact details: click here