GR Bike Summit Recap in the LAB E-newsletter

A very positive review of the first Grand Rapids Bike Summit was sent out to thousands of League of American Bicyclists members around the country today in the American Bicyclist Update eNewsletter.  Here’s what it said:

Grand Rapids Bike Summit Recap

The inaugural Grand Rapids Bike Summit took place last Friday, April 24th in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event hosted by the newly formed Bike Grand Rapids Coalition had the goal of putting together an action plan for making the city into a Bicycle Friendly Community. The turnout of over 200 people was just one demonstration of the enthusiasm for these efforts from the city’s active bicycling community. Bill Nesper, the League’s Director of the Bicycle Friendly America program spoke at the event and expressed how inspiring the event was for him. “The community has a lot of the ingredients of a great cycling city but most importantly they have the thing that someone from out of town can’t teach at a workshop – a grassroots bicycling culture. [At their summit] it was clear that the community has the people at all levels, from city staff to club cyclists, who want to transform their city for cycling. They have come up with a plan of action which was the goal…and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

Thanks to Bill Nesper and the League staff for this positive exposure to bicyclists all over the country.  We should be proud of the bicycling culture we have in Grand Rapids and continue to build and push to make our city more bicycle friendly.  The potentional economic and health benefits are huge!

MadCap Coffee by Velo

With the unfortunate closure of the well loved Four Friends Coffee shop due to a lease dispute, a huge caffeine gap opened up on Monroe Center, most acutely felt in the evenings, after Biggby, Local Mocha, and West Coast Coffee have all closed up shop.

Swooping in to fill that gap (at least on Friday and Saturday nights for now) comes MadCap Coffee at the corner of Ottawa and Monroe Center. Although I haven’t been yet, I’ve heard nothing but great things about the place. If you read their website and blog and have followed their progress in opening the shop, you get the feeling that these people will do whatever it takes to deliver great coffee to their customers.

bikeflyerEven if it means hopping on a bicycle in the frigid, snowy winter wonderland of West Michigan and bringing it right to your door. Madcap is offering bicycle delivery on any coffee ordered to be delivered within the city of Grand Rapids. Just go to their online store and select that option when you checkout.

I emailed Ryan Knapp, MadCap’s general manager to get the scoop on this new service. He was kind enough to answer my questions.

Bicycle Delivery! That’s awesome! What gave you the idea to offer a bicycle delivery option?
It was something I brainstormed when I was working for a coffee roaster in IL about a year ago. I had heard of a company named “Peace Coffee” who was doing something similar in MN. So I figured if people can bike coffee year around in MN, surely we can do it in IL. But then I moved to Michigan to work for MadCap and that kind of upped the ante. But I was up for the challenge (p.s. we committed to this wonderful idea during the beautiful summer months).

Is there a minimum purchase?
The minimum is just one 14oz bag of coffee.

Do you deliver items other than coffee?
Currently all we do is coffee. However if someone wanted a merchandise order (mug, chemex, t-shirt) we’d be glad to deliver that as well.

Is there a limit to how far you’ll deliver? I mean, 42nd and Kalamazoo Ave is technically within the city proper. Would you deliver there?
Currently we don’t have a limit besides Grand Rapids city limits. 42nd and Kalamazoo is pretty far tho at this time of year. Hmm, maybe we should rethink that.

Do I have to be home when your bicyclist arrives with my order?
Nope, we will leave it on your doorstep or inside your screen door if no one is home. We will email you just incase you have specific instructions.

Should you tip your coffee bicycle deliveryperson?
A $2 surcharge is added for delivery. However, our bikers definitely wouldn’t turn away a friendly tip.

How do I get this awesome job?
Currently I’ve been doing the deliveries and we also have a handful of dedicated bikers from the community who have volunteered this service. If this program picked up (which we are hoping for) there would definitely be opportunities for bikers to help us out for a small compensation.

Does coffee delivered by bicycle taste better than coffee delivered by fossil fuel?
Absolutely! At MadCap we are incredibly passionate about telling the entire story from seed-to-cup when it comes to coffee. Therefore, we put an emphasis that each part of the coffee production has an effect on the final flavor in the cup including the soil the coffee is farmed on, the variety of the beans, the climate, the altitude, the processing the storage, the roasting, the brewing etc. We have been trying our best to relay that story as much as possible and research every step along the way for each one of our coffees. Thus, the opportunity to take the knowledge of our coffee one step farther by being there when it is delivered to a customer is undoubtedly a joy for the guru’s at MadCap.

But as far as taste alone, probably not.

How many bicycle deliveries have you made so far?
Less than 5, we haven’t advertised it too much yet.

Thanks to Ryan for answering all of my questions.  He also expressed interest in supporting the local cycling community, so you may see their name around.  Get in there soon and check out the coffee roaster in the basement, or better yet, have some fantastic coffee delivered right to your door on two wheels!