Popup Bikes, Arch 5 Corporation St, Manchester, M4 4DG – Visit Now
Time for something a little different, thanks to Popup Bikes. This independently-run coffee shop and bike repair shop is based at the edge of the Green Quarter in Manchester, under a railway way a stone’s throw from Angel Meadows, and if you’ve ever been I’ll wager you’re fiercely proud of it.
After stumbling across it a few years ago, and being blown away by both the friendliness of the staff and low-cost, high-quality work, I now make a point of insisting all my bicycle-owning acquaintances go there for any bike-related matters. And they, in turn, do the same to their cyclist chums. Almost like some kind of, er, virus. But a good one.
You won’t get ripped off here – far from it
Why? Because much like GRUB, their near neighbours, it’s an example of everything good about Manchester’s independent scene. Popup Bikes is run by a team of people who genuinely love cycling, without being overbearing about it (hi there, Twitter’s Jeremy Vine) and it’s exactly what those pile-em-high corporate bike shop chains aren’t.
They have a loyal customer base because they treat them well and this means they’ve become an unassuming but essential hub of the cycling community. You won’t get ripped off here – far from it. Rather, more than once I’ve had to insist they accept a tip as they refuse to accept payment for fixing a few minor but vital issues with my bike.
An example of everything good about Manchester’s independent scene
But it’s not all about cycling. They have a mean coffee set-up (as well as other hot drinks) and an array of energy-boosting snacks, as well the odd guest appearance from local indie food suppliers. This includes treats such as Lupo’s delicious vegan pizzettes (cute bitesize versions of pizzas, in case you wondering) and doughnuts. It’s well worth popping by, saying hello to the staff, getting your tyres pumped up and sitting around for a natter.