With my urinary tract infection out of the way, my mouth decided it was time for its own, and along came a week of heavy pain relievers till I could get to my wife’s dentist (mine was – I hate to say it because she’s a lovely person – useless) and an emergency root canal. Now I’ve got a sawed-off molar, but at least I can ride my bike and suck cool air without giving myself a brain hemorrhage.
But I haven’t been on the bike because I’ve been in Paris. See for yourself.
When Shoko and I go anywhere ‘cultural’ there’s usually a trade-off. In this case her ‘John Paul II getting hit by a meteor’ was countered with my ‘cycling coffee shop’.
Steel Cyclewear and Coffeeshop is the first (and only, I think) ‘cycling cafe’ in Paris, which might seem a little astonishing since there are more than several cafes in this city and cycling has a bit of a history here, too, you might have heard.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect with Steel, but their name led me to believe they might be a kit maker, like Café du Cycliste in Nice. And as soon as we walked in and saw what they had to eat, it was clear that food wasn’t the main attraction, like La Fabrica in Girona. Intrigued, we ordered some (delicious) cake and coffees and studied some more.
As luck would have it, a group of slim Italians entered the coffee shop just after us and began a long conversation with the young owner/manager. I left my latte and wandered around the store, looking at their interesting and unique kit (did you know Katusha has their own branded cycling wear line?) and bike accessories. Then I overheard the magic word more than once – Steel was selling lots of stuff (including a magazine that they might be publishing themselves), but the main commodity was ‘lifestyle’, which is, I suppose, what brought us there in the first place.
You can also find helmets, shoes and everything in between, so if you’re ever in the 11th (you could combine your visit with a brew pub and make a day of it), stop in and have the only good coffee you’ll probably get in your time in Paris. Oh, and bring along your credit card – ‘lifestyle’ does not always come cheap.