Cycling / Food / Travel

Dreams of Cycling Customers: Bicycle Pasta, Bike-Inspired Menus and Window Dressing

Tri-coloured bike pasta from local Italian grocery store.

Tri-coloured bike pasta from local Italian grocery store.

On winter deep freeze days, when -29 C degree temperatures plunges down to -40 C* with winter chill, it’s easier to hunker down indoors and think about cycling. To justify procrastination, but still feed our cycling enthusiasm, I discovered tri-coloured bicycle pasta in a local Italian grocery store and café. We found this wonderful store in an industrial area, near the airport  and cycled home with $60.00 worth of groceries.

Later, Jack fashioned a lovely mushroom red wine sauce (no open home bottle of white wine) over steaming pasta and asparagus. Yes, of course, our meal was graced by a glass of red wine. Cooked bike pasta looks a scrap heap of squashed bikes. If I had stir-fried the pasta with veggies, we would have had too many broken bicycles!

Bike Lingo in Menu
Last December, we were in snowshoeing in the mountain resort town area of Kimberley, British Columbia. During summer, the area is promoted for mountain biking. For supper, we headed over to a pub and restaurant, Pedal and Tap. The restaurant’s outdoor metal patio railing, was completely forged with original bicycle shapes. The restaurant’s menu listed their dishes in cycling lingo and adjectives –clever marketing for, in our opinion, average food. Fender Bender , a twist on steak sandwich or Pedal to the Meadow, a vegetarian burger, were some inventive wordsmithing.

Bicycles are actually hand forged into the metal patio railing around Pedal and Tap restaurant-pub. Kimberley, British Columbia 2013.

Bicycles are actually hand forged into the metal patio railing around Pedal and Tap restaurant-pub. Falling snow in Kimberley, British Columbia 2013. Serves cleverly named dishes -ie. Fender Bender

Awhile ago in this blog, I showcased a few restaurants and cafes that embraced the bicycling theme. However Pedal and Tap was the first we visited, that took an extra step of embedding their dishes in bicycle lexicon.

Bicycles: May Attract Young Hearts, Fun and Chic-Lovers
Now there are other retail establishments that like to grace their windows with a bicycle as a marketing tool to suggest warm seasons and fun. For a few seasons, a local floral shop featured an antique single speed bike that was used during WW for the army, as a central harbinger for summer, spring and fall. Nature and cycling are wonderful partners in imagination and reality. For certain, an antique bike is more an attention grabber than just flowers –if some people normally are bored by flowers.

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Not Bicycle Pasta, But Honest Business Self-Analysis
In fact, for some street facing retail businesses, with sagging sales and stagnant customer base, they might consider visual bicycle iconography to attract a younger, broader set of customers. I think of the ongoing battle

A delicious heap of home-cooked bicycle pasta with asparagus, mushrooms and wine sauce.

A delicious heap of home-cooked bicycle pasta with asparagus, mushrooms and wine sauce.

between some restaurants and whenever a city installs a bike lane by their establishment. Without falling into a lengthy soliloquy, let’s just say that it won’t be just bicycle pasta nor bicycle-inspired menus that will save bike lane adverse-businesses. Instead, a business owner needs honest self-analysis on their customer base, potential market demographics and changing trends in appetites for food and drinks.

Meanwhile on winter or summer days, at least, I will still need a bike rack close by to lock up my trusty bike –if you want to get me out of my house with my home-cooked pile of bicycle pasta and into your storefront business.

*Conversion of earlier winter temperatures to Farenheit:  -20 degrees F, -40 F.

More Interesting Reads
Chong, J. Cycling-Themed Eateries. In Cycle Write Blog, Aug. 7, 2012.

A pedal-powered food delivery service. Trout Lake Farmers' Market. Vancouver BC 2013.

A pedal-powered food delivery service. Trout Lake Farmers’ Market. Vancouver BC 2013.

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17 thoughts on “Dreams of Cycling Customers: Bicycle Pasta, Bike-Inspired Menus and Window Dressing

    • Yes, that’s all it takes –a better way of rebranding a pub and some food dishes to get us cycling over there…well, uh snowshoeing there.

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  1. Love the bike pasta Jean! I cycled all year-round before I had my daughter. A few months ago I saw a cyclist whose bike had motorcycle-like thick knobby tires. The bike looked heavy! I asked her if it made a difference in the slurpy like snow and she said this was the first time she’s tried it and hadn’t gotten very far yet. I just did a quick google search: https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=664&q=thick+winter+tires+for+bicycles&oq=thick+winter+tires+for+bicycles&gs_l=img.3…3761.14868.0.15832.31.14.0.17.17.0.192.1673.5j9.14.0….0…1ac.1.36.img..17.14.1555.U5eXDZvROBo

    Have you ever seen or used these?

    Diana

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    • I like that description for certain days: slurpy like snow! We just gotta suck it up –extreme cold and yucky snow at times. :) I have not yet tried the fat tire bikes that should also have metal studs for ice. The really wide, fat ones looks weird and those qualify as motorcycles. Ah one day, I should try a fat tire bike –I understand safest, slower cycling snow is around 20 psi pressure in wheels. Normally it’s 70-85 psi air pressure in wheels to cycle up hills and go at certain speeds. (not racing, just steady if you wish).

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  2. Ha ha! Love the bicycle pasta! I had a slip and fall on ice in November, and haven’t been back into the saddle since, but you’re definitely warming me up to the idea. Also, you’re making me hungry. Nice post.

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    • Sounds like a bad fall jb, if you still haven’t returned back on the bike. I’ve fallen 3 different times –all on black ice over the last 10 years. The last fall, 2 yrs. ago, I couldn’t lift my arm for 2 wks. up to my head. So I have no problems getting off and walking even if bike warriors with studded tires are bombing along nearby. Hope you’ll get better soon!

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  3. Fortunately, it wasn’t a bad fall — just a shake up and wake up call. Totally my fault. I was messing with a glove. It’s hard to cycle here in the winter because it is dark and rainy so often, and I just don’t feel seen by the cars. I know this sounds odd, but it’s comforting in a way to hear that you’ve fallen, too. I felt like a klutz, and wondered what the heck I was doing. If you can get back on, I can too. Maybe just not all winter long.

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    • This is why I feel safer on a bike-ped path or separated bike lane with physical barriers from cars. So if I fall, I simply fall –not in the path of cars. In terms of cycling over some ice, sometimes the best situation is to ensure there’s no one or no dog nearby ahead/beside and to go along slowly straight ahead safely (if you were not expecting ice in advance) on a patch of ice without braking. As soon as one brakes, sometimes the bike will slide/back wheel will fishtail. And then bike cannot balance.

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    • Yes, carbo-ing on a bike trip. Actually eating a lot of starchy carbohydrates before or beginning of a day long ride is not the going trend in advice. But if I eat pasta, I like lighter pasta.

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