Ride Studio: One High End Pit Stop
This bike studio/upscale coffee shop on Mass. Ave. is turning heads and drawing cyclists from all over the Boston area.
Cyclists seeking a caffeinated pit stop and coffee-drinkers who bike to work have had a destination in Lexington since last May where both passions are united -- Ride Studio Cafe on Mass. Ave.
"I've always been a fan of coffee, and worked in the bike industry," Ride Studio's Rob Vandermark said. "What's unique about Ride Studio is that it has both high-end bikes and high-end coffee."
Vandermark worked in bike manufacturing before opening Ride Studio last year. Today, the shop sells bikes, cycling apparel, and offers bike service and repairs to go along with its coffee offerings.
Vandermark and the rest of the Ride Studio staff spent a lot of time making sure that those coffee offerings can proudly stand alongside the bike shop portion of the store.
"We sampled and sampled before finally deciding on the beans we use," said Dave Simon, who mans the Ride Studio Coffee bar.
"If you're really into coffee, it's a coffee bar," Vandermark said. "We wanted to create a coffee experience that was good enough that it could stand alone."
Vandermark, who lives in Somerville, said Ride Studio chose to open in Lexington specifically because it's a central location on a lot of Boston-area bike routes, which start on Mass. Ave and branch out west.
Riders can stop in pre-, post- or mid-ride, park their bikes inside the store and enjoy a drink in a friendly, bike-filled room.
And those who aren't as serious about biking -- or who can't afford a $3,000 bike -- are welcome to stop by and check out the more affordable European commuter bikes (they start at around $500), or just say hey and grab a top-notch coffee.
"A lot of bike shops tend to be intimidating," Vandermark said. "We wanted this place to be inviting, and feel like a home."
Ride Studio runs weekly rides on trails in nearby areas, and next week they're amping things up with what they're calling the "Tour of the Unattended," a five-part solo riding challenge.
The five different courses in the challenge span from a 0.88-mile quick hill climb, to a longer, flatter 27-mile route. And there's no need to take days off from work -- each rider can ride the course whenever is convenient, and then report the time using either a GPS or the honor system.
Sign up for the ride and learn about the rules and regulations here.
To promote the challenge, Ride Studio's throwing a bike beer bonanza Saturday night, with free beer, a flat fixing face-off, appetizers, snacks and free cake. Festivities start at 7 p.m.