Bike the Cities: Best bike shops, hangouts and events

CHRISTY DESMITH WITH SIMON PETER GROEBNER | Updated 8/17/2012

Freewheel / photo by Tom Wallace

Best bike shops

The Alternative Bike and Board

The granddaddy of local bike businesses (with 37 years and counting), the Alt is famous for its friendly staff and formidable repair shop. But when it comes to shopping, they have an unbeatable spread of boutique-brand bikes.

One on One Bicycle Studio

This Warehouse District coffeehouse/bike-shop hybrid (and occasional gallery) caters to architects, graphic designers and other creatives. Riders on tight budgets, don't miss the near-steals in the Bicycle Junkyard!

Behind Bars

The shop with the coolest name, Behind Bars has become the unofficial arbiter of bike-art culture in funky northeast Minneapolis. Staffers are friendly and handy with wrenches to boot.

Freewheel Bike

Clean, easy-to-browse showrooms loaded with big-brand bikes? Check. But the best thing about Freewheel? It's the Twin Cities' trailblazer when it comes to bike education. It was the first to offer bike-repair classes and private lessons for aspiring gearheads.

The Hub Bike Co-op

The Twin Cities' only cooperative, worker-owned bike shop, the Hub has multiple appeal for socially progressive riders: It offers a fine stock of used bikes. The shop also promotes environmentally friendly causes.

  • 301 Cedar Av. S., Mpls. • 612-238-3593
  • 3020 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls. • 612-729-0437
  • www.thehubbikecoop.org
Angry Catfish / photo by Tom Wallace

Best bike hangouts

Sea Salt Eatery

Come summertime, tasty fish tacos lure throngs of leisurely two-wheelers, Schwinn family-packs and other fair-weather pedalers. Located in Minnehaha Park, just steps from the waterfall, this outdoor dining spot is a true bicycling haven.

Angry Catfish Bicycle + Coffee Bar

Classier than you might think, with rakish cycling wear, boutique brand bicycles and excellent espresso drinks, this upstart coffeehouse/bike shop is best enjoyed by sophisticated cyclists. Bonus: the shop's proximity to trails at Lakes Hiawatha and Nokomis.

Birchwood Cafe

Where racers and breeders converge with carbon speedway bikes and Burley trailers, this Seward destination hits the spot with healthy, organic eats.

Barley John's Brewpub

Think knee-high stockings and tweed caps. If it's a weekend afternoon, the gentlemen cyclists are sure to be pulling up on their Dunelt, Hetchins and other British-made bikes.

National Sports Center Velodrome

The only sure-fire place to spot cyclists breaking collarbones, this cereal bowl is the summertime setting for time trials and hard-core fixed-gear sprints. Check the website for events.

The Soap Factory

Perhaps it's the location (close to the Stone Arch Bridge), or maybe it's the casual environs (a tattered old factory without proper heat or air conditioning). Whatever the case, no gallery attracts so many cyclists to its openings and outdoor events like the Ten Second Film Festival on July 4th.

Best bike events

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