- - Cycling's "Coffee Stop" Rules

Cycling’s “Coffee Stop” Rules


“Carry a cotton cap which shall be worn, front facing, peak down, during the stop’

article by Anthony Walsh

Should I stop for a coffee?

Here are a couple of considerations to bear in mind when deciding if you should stop for a coffee.

  • Firstly, you need like-minded training partners. Nothing is worse than a training partner who refuses to stop for a coffee or nags you to get going thus reducing your enjoyment of the aromatic, liquid gold beverage.
  • If the session is over two hours in duration or you are on a recovery day you should always stop.
  • On wet days it is acceptable to forego the ritual coffee stop.

When Should I stop?

  • The coffee stop should be at the way half point in a ride. It should be the destination and the motivation for you to do those extra few kilometers.
  • Cast an eye on the weather forecast, often a passing shower can be avoided by a timely coffee stop.

Go small and strong or go home…

What should I have?

A really strong coffee served in a really small cup. None of your grande, half fat, vanilla iced frapachinos.


Coffee shop rules

  • Coffee stop can only take place at Independent coffee houses. No franchised coffee stops or garages.
  • When you do stop, stack your bikes neatly top and tail outside the coffee shop (saddle against handlebars) so as not to occupy half of the footway.
  • Don’t leave your Garmin or bike computer sitting on the handlebars for a passerby to steal.
  • Don’t wear your helmet inside the coffee shop, you are unlikely to fall and hit your head inside the coffee shop so it’s safe to remove your protective equipment.
  • Carry a cotton cap which shall be worn, front facing, peak down, during the stop.
  • De-layer once you get into the coffee shop – you’ll be thankful you did once you get back outside.
  • The inexperienced cyclo-patron can be easily spotted sweating in the corner wearing his Gaba jacket and winter gloves.
  • Have a coffee shop rota, – you pay this week, I’ll pay next week. Nothing makes a barista’s life more difficult than five riders all lining up to pay for a single shot of espresso separately and each with a laser card.
  • Have a light rain jacket folded away in a rear pocket. This extra layer is very useful in helping you acclimate to the outside temperature.
  • Alcohol is generally not recommended on these stops. I’ve learnt this one the hard way after a not so brief ‘coffee’ stop at the base of the Kapelmuur, Belgium.

Anthony Walsh is the founder and Director of A1 Coaching.

He grew up in a house enveloped by a love of cycling and it became a core part of his life from an early age. Anthony’s father was a bike mechanic and his apprenticeship began at an early age, working on bikes long into the night in a makeshift garage in the family home.

Anthony’s father was also a true fan of the sport and Anthony absorbed a love and appreciation for the sport that would one day turn into his profession.

Initially the bike was a tool of utility for transport. As a child, it allowed Anthony to explore beyond the boundaries of his local neighbourhood and expand his horizons. This, in time, led to summer-long romances and life-long friendships. The initial tool for transport would later morph into a means by which Anthony would earn his living.

Anthony took up cycling competitively in his early 20s as a student in University College Dublin (UCD) – a string of injuries had ended a long soccer career that included an All-Ireland Winners’ medal with Bohemians Football Club.

After a degree in Economics, Anthony’s academic career changed focus and he turned his attention to Law. He earned an MA in Law and a Barrister at Law Degree from The Honorable Society of Kings Inns.

Anthony excelled on the domestic cycling scene while balancing the demands of full-time study and his performances acted as the springboard to a professional career. He would go on to compete for the Irish National team and sign contracts in France with Division Nationale Team, Super U; in Canada with Jet Fuel Coffee, and in the US with Astellas Oncology Pro Cycling.

Anthony’s academic background gave him a particular perspective which helped him to learn within the professional environment. He fostered relationships, worked with top coaches and respected directors, and interacted with some of the world’s top riders against whom he competed. He soaked up the knowledge gained from these experiences while also studying everything he could find on up-to-day scientific training methods.

The analysis of all this input, viewed through his academic lens, gave Anthony a unique perspective and insight into top athletes’ successful training and conditioning regimes.

By 2011 Anthony had begun to advise friends in a structured way on how to prepare for events. Word soon began to spread about the successes gained on the back of his advice. In this way Anthony had, unintentionally, made the first steps in establishing a professional coaching service.

As the demand for his services grew, Anthony envisioned a coaching and mentoring approach based on the best available scientific evidence, combined with a high-level of practical experience and common sense. This would be blended with sensitivity to the unique physiology, ambition and life circumstances of every individual, and also respect cycling’s rich heritage, culture and handed-down wisdoms.

When his professional career ended due to injury, Anthony set aside his legal career to establish A1 Coaching based on this vision, and to return to domestic racing with his old UCD club.

The results were nothing short of astounding: National Road Racing Champions and Triathlon Age Group Winners as examples. He has advanced the career of every athlete he has touched and riders in his stable are achieving their ambitions and winning races all over the world.

As the business grew, Anthony recruited a team of coaches which would bring as broad a spectrum of expertise and experience as possible. While each coach brings a particular perspective and unique experiences, each shares the vision and approach that Anthony articulates for A1 Coaching.

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