In the latest series of our member insights blog thanks to See.Sense, we will be revealing 10 of the most popular cycle-friendly coffee stop locations across Ireland. These insights have been taken from the See.Sense ‘Ride Insights’ dashboard, which is powered by data gathered from the free See.Sense app. This dashboard allows users to view the popularity, speed and dwell times of routes across Ireland using our interactive map. For this installment we have focused on dwell times, enabling us to view the most popular coffee stop locations amongst Cycling Ireland members. Make sure to give these stops a visit if you’re nearby on your next ride!
Established Coffee - Belfast, 54 Hill St.
Up first it’s Established Coffee, a trendy cafe tucked away at the entrance to Hill Street in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. Established Coffee is one of the most popular locations in Central Belfast to stop amongst our members, with dwell times only beaten by City Hall and Victoria Square. The cafe is cycle friendly, with a cycle stand located directly outside the cafe as well as outside seating. Hill Street also provides the challenge of riding on cobbles, letting you get your Paris-Roubaix practice in early if you’re so inclined!
General Merchants - East Belfast, 481 Upper Newtownards Rd.
General Merchants has four cafes situated throughout Belfast, with its East Belfast outlet on the Upper Newtownards Road proving the most popular amongst our members. Looking inside it's easy to see why; the former grocery store provides a cosy and nostalgic location for a coffee stop. Again, this cafe has plenty of outdoor seating for cyclists, allowing you to enjoy its specialty belfast-based White Star coffee.
The Promenade Cafe - Ballycastle, 7 North St.
This cafe in Ballycastle is a particularly popular spot amongst Cycling Ireland members. It not only has some of the highest dwell times in Northern Ireland, but also ranks highly in terms of the average number of cyclists who stop here during their rides. The cafe provides an excellent coffee-stop for cyclists riding along the plethora of stunning routes that Antrim’s coast has to offer, particularly for those riding into Ballycastle from Waterfoot and Cushendall. Although there isn't too much bike parking near the cafe, there is plenty of outdoor seating with a view of the picturesque Ballycastle harbour and beach.
Paper Cup - Belfast, 11 ARC Queen’s Road
Up next we have Paper Cup; a small but modern cafe in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. Paper Cup is extremely accessible by bike, as the cafe is located off the Queen’s Road road in the pedestrianised ARC square, situated just behind the Odyssey Arena. The cafe is cycle-friendly, offering a 10% discount to cyclists as part of Sustrans’ ‘Pedal Perks’ scheme, and has outdoor seating and bike parking available. There’s plenty of reason here to pop in and enjoy a coffee overlooking the stunning SS Nomadic.
Bob & Berts - Portstewart, 60 The Promenade
Bob and Berts rounds off the Northern Irish section of this list, with the popular coffee-chain’s Portstewart branch providing a convenient stop for cyclists on the North Coast. The coastal road between Bushmills, Portrush and Portstewart is the most popular route undertaken in this area, so Bob and Berts location on the Portstewart seafront is perfect for a coffee before making the return journey back along the coast. Those familiar with Portstewart in the autumn and winter months will also know this coffee stop is often needed; the town is no stranger to wind and rain!
Happy Out - Dublin, Bull Island
Happy Out, located on Dublin’s Bull Island, is one of the most popular coffee stops in Ireland according to our data. Bull Island and the neighbouring Clontarf area are popular with both cyclists and walkers alike, with the journey across from Clontarf to the island via the South Bull Wall providing stunning views of Dublin Bay and the Poolbeg Stacks. The iconic wooden bridge connecting the island dates back to 1819! The cafe itself is made rather modestly from two recycled shipping containers, and provides plenty of outdoor wooden benches from which to enjoy the scenery. Happy Out is a perfect stop off for numerous routes around Dublin’s north coast, and is particularly well suited to offer respite from the popular 36km Dublin to Howth cycle route. There’s not many nicer places to have a coffee on a sunny day than here!
Glendalough Green- Wicklow, Glendalough
You’ll be hard-pressed to find views better than what's on offer on Bull Island, but Glendalough Green might do just that. Nestled in the small village of Laragh, Glendalough Green cafe lies just 1km from its namesake; the stunning Glendalough Valley. Situated on the edge of a three-way intersection, the cafe acts as a hub for cyclists in what is one of Ireland’s most popular and beautiful cycling locations. Glendalough Green takes full advantage of its location in the “Garden of Ireland”, priding itself on its use of organic, fresh produce. This coffee stop is certainly a must visit if cycling in the area.
Breakaway Coffee & Bikes - Dun Laoghaire, 75 York Road
Breakaway Coffee in Dun Laoghaire takes cycle-friendly coffee to a whole new level. Founded in early 2021 by the people behind Dublin Loves Bikes, the shop doubles up as a bike shop as well as a cafe, and offers bike repair services alongside your traditional cafe offerings. Breakaway Coffee is also filled with bikes and equipment for you to browse while waiting on your coffee, which can be enjoyed either inside or outside. With all this on offer, it's no surprise Breakaway Coffee has high dwell times amongst cycling Ireland members!
The Rolling Donut Dublin - Dublin, 55 King St.
This one isn’t a typical coffee shop, but please donut let that put you off (sorry). The Rolling Donut will undoubtedly be familiar to any Dubliners reading this, as the chain has expanded to several locations throughout the city in recent years. The most popular of these amongst cyclists according to our data is its King Street cafe, located right in the heart of Dublin just to the south of Grafton Street. The shop contains dozens of colourful donut variations and of course offers coffee too. Although the Rolling Donut has no outdoor seating, the nearby St. Stephens Green is a popular spot to enjoy your coffee and treat - particularly on a sunny day - while King Street contains plenty of cycle stands for your bike.
Insomnia Coffee Company - Malahide, Units 9 & 19 Malahide Main St. Shopping Centre
It comes as no surprise that this coffee shop in the centre of Malahide possesses high dwell times. Malahide is an extremely popular destination for cyclists in and around North Dublin, with our dashboard displaying that the routes around Howth, Malahide and Swords are amongst some of the most frequently travelled in Ireland. As such, Insomnia Coffee provides a convenient coffee-stop location for any Cycling Ireland members undertaking these routes. Unfortunately there isn't much in the way of cycle parking, however Insomnia Coffee does possess outdoor seating. `
Based In The Island of Ireland? How You Can Get Involved If You Aren't Already
We are calling for more cyclists to get involved by anonymously contributing your ride stats to the dashboard using the free See.Sense App. You need to be a member of Cycling Ireland and own a See.Sense light to contribute, however Cycling Ireland Membership offers an exclusive 30% discount code off all See.Sense award-winning reactive bike lights.
NOT JUST A BIKE LIGHT
It's not just about the insights. If you own a See.Sense product and have joined the See.Sense community through their mobile app, you’ll see some unique and fun stats about your own rides too. These include:
The distance you've cycled
The calories you've burned
How much CO2 you’ve saved by cycling
More unique and fun stats.
Remember, all Cycling Ireland members get 30% off See.Sense lights. Log into your members area for access.
We are now asking members who ride with See.Sense lights to enter a new code to update the Ride Insights Dashboard. All you need to do in the See.Sense app is go to: settings > my account > my profile > cycling membership > enter the code 'CYCLINGIRE'.