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Bicycle-riding coffee enthusiasts are gearing up for the fourth monthly Second Saturday Coffee Bike Tour, a free daytime event hosted by Broadacre Coffee.
Broadacre Coffee has been open about six months, and co-owner Jake Elia, 21, said Thursday that the bicycle tour of locally owned coffee bars has gained popularity each month, with the first ride in December drawing about a dozen riders and the most recent one bringing almost 30.
“It’s fun and simple,” Elia said. “It’s a super-casual pace, and people bring anything from beach cruisers to road bikes to fixies, and we get young people and old people, and even some kids.”
He said the tour was an idea the owners had wanted to launch because “coffee and bikes just go together.”
The route changes each month, and this month’s ride starts at 10 a.m. at Broadacre Coffee, 1014 10th St. Riders will set off to Insight Coffee Roasters at Eighth and S streets, then head to The Naked Lounge at 15th and Q streets. A longer stop is planned for Old Soul at Weatherstone, 21st and I streets, so riders can have lunch or grab a beer, and the ride ends back at Broadacre Coffee.
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“It usually takes about two or three hours,” Elia said, adding that no one is obligated to stay the full time or buy coffee.
Riders must bring their own bicycles, but Elia said he is hoping to work with a local bicycle shop on future rides to have a supply of bicycles to loan or rent.
The tours haven’t faced heavy rains yet, and Elia said that if it is raining heavily, the tour likely will not proceed, but riders can call Broadacre Coffee at 442-1085 to check before the ride.
When it comes to taking people to competing businesses, Elia said he doesn’t think he is costing himself patrons.
“I believe that a rising tide raises all boats,” he said. “We like to support our local cafes. If we aren’t drinking here, we’d be having coffee at the other places. We want to show everyone what Sacramento has to offer.”
Past rides have included stops at Temple Coffee locations and Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, and Elia said he likes to switch the routes to keep the ride fresh.
Ben Lance, co-owner of Insight Coffee Roasters, said Thursday that the rides help promote Sacramento’s independent coffee bars.
“I think the bike rides are a phenomenal idea,” he said. “Every shop is so different, and it’s pretty distinct once you see these places. A bike ride like these guys do is an effective way to see that come across.”
Lance said similar events are held in cities such as Portland and San Francisco, and he is glad someone locally took the initiative to start the Second Saturday Coffee Bike Tour.
“They look like a hell of a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s a whole gang of bikes coming down the street. To me, that’s pretty awesome.”
Elia said two or three Broadacre Coffee workers go on each ride, with one leading and one taking up the rear to ensure that the group stays together.
Broadacre Coffee co-owner Andrew Lopez, 24, said the bicycle tour gives people the chance to explore downtown.
“Back in the day, downtown had a lot of livelihood to it, and that’s sort of gone by the wayside,” he said. “Nowadays, we’re trying to bring that lively community back to downtown. By doing the bike tour, we’re getting people out and about and building up businesses other than our own.”
He said that doing the tours by bicycles allows people to see parts of downtown they might not traverse on a normal basis, and they can see some of the interesting architecture in the city.
“They get to see other things and kind of experience it,” he said. “They get to slow down a little bit and experience downtown.”
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.