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Local coffee shop gears up for bicycle social ride season

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McKenna Dirks

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SHIFT Cyclery and Coffee Bar to host social riding events

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Local coffee shop gears up for bicycle social ride season

SHIFT offers bike classes, bike care and even more bike company through different bike events.

SHIFT offers bike classes, bike care and even more bike company through different bike events.

Photo by Gabbe Henn

SHIFT offers bike classes, bike care and even more bike company through different bike events.

Photo by Gabbe Henn

Photo by Gabbe Henn

SHIFT offers bike classes, bike care and even more bike company through different bike events.

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Conversing with friends over coffee is one of many popular ways to catch up with friends, but one local cafe is encouraging conversing over a bike ride or, better yet, a social ride.

SHIFT Cyclery and Coffee Bar has opened an opportunity which does just that — SHIFT Social Rides for anyone with a bike.

Recently, the coffee bar/bike shop has decided to put on an event once a week called the SHIFT Social Rides. These bike rides are for locals to enjoy Eau Claire’s scenery, while having the opportunity to socialize with the people around them.

Sean Brandenburg, the co-owner of SHIFT Cyclery and Coffee Bar, said they do these social rides because it’s low key, low pressure and fun overall.

“You can talk while riding because you’re not out of breath,” Brandenburg said. “We hang out afterwards too.”

He said one of the activities they’ve done after biking through the city is bike soccer, which is the same thing as soccer, but everyone is on their bikes.

Andrew Gierke, a participant in the social rides, said the rides add a level of adventure and exploration of the city.

“You’re hanging out with people,” Gierke said. “But you’re not just in one spot. It gives you enough mobility to move around the city and explore new things. It adds more to social interaction.”

Brandenburg said the rides are usually about an hour long and participants bike around 10 miles during that time. Each week’s route and social activity afterwards is different, he said.

“Our goal is to build a community,” Brandenburg said. “And get as many people out riding as we can. We try to be as friendly as we can and help people learn about biking.”

Generally, Eau Claire has a robust biking community with a lot of mountain bikers, road bikers and recreational riders, Brandenburg said.

Because there are so many different groups who enjoy riding in different ways, there’s always someone to ride with, he said.

“We want to show people you don’t need fancy bike or clothing,” Brandenburg said. “It’s just a really fun town to ride your bike around in.”

Anyone can participate as long as they have a bike and a helmet, he said.

“I like being able to explore and see cool scenery,” Gierke said. “It’s that ability of being able to exercise in whole while breaking out of city limits.”

The SHIFT social rides will be taking place the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m., from May until October, according to their event page.

Dirks can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Writer
McKenna Dirks, Staff Writer

McKenna Dirks is a first-year journalism student. She loves tea and cats. You'll often find her hammocking in the trees or in Haas practicing the violin and trying to learn piano.

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Local coffee shop gears up for bicycle social ride season