Posted Tuesday 9th April 2013 –
Bristol’s brand new community bike café, Roll for the Soul, has revealed its location. From this summer, Roll for the Soul will take over Café Central, on Quay Street in the city centre, transforming it into a celebration of Bristol’s cycling culture.
Roll for the Soul will be a combined café, bike shop and workshop. It aims to become the focal point for cycling in the city and will open its doors in summer 2013 to coincide with the fourth edition of the Bristol Cycle Festival.
Rob Wall, riding force behind the project, said, “We fell in love with the Quay Street premises immediately. It was tough finding an affordable central location with the facilities we need to serve good food and drink and accommodate the bike side of things.
“But Quay Street is a great location for cyclists, commuters and visitors from all corners. It’s bang in the centre of town and is a continuation of Nelson Street, home to 2012’s urban art extravaganza, See No Evil.”
Kerry O’Neill is a cycle blogger and former employee of Sustrans, Bristol’s bike-promoting sustainable transport charity. Kerry said, “Roll for the Soul is going to be by cyclists, for cyclists. They’ll understand exactly what cyclists need – and by that I mean I’m expecting large portions of delicious, calorie-tastic cakes and the like – and will be able to fix your steed of steel while you wait. Roll on Roll for the Soul!”
Fellow Bristol cyclist Sam Howard is the co-founder of Beds for Cyclists, the website that helps cyclists find bike-friendly B&Bs, hotels and campsites across the UK. Sam said, “There just seems to be a groundswell of positivity behind cycling in Bristol at the moment.
“Beds for Cyclists has really taken off this year and we’ll be more than happy to promote Roll for the Soul to our users and followers to help spread the great news about its launch. The more cyclists, and the more facilities for them, the better.”
Roll for the Soul was inspired by the meeting of minds and bikes that is the Bristol Cycle Festival, which will take place from 13 – 21st July in 2013. Antony de Heveningham is on the festival committee and has for years been heavily involved in Bristol’s bike scene on many levels.
Antony said, “I organise Bristol Trails Group, which maintains the mountain bike tracks in Ashton Court and Leigh Woods, as well as sitting on the Bristol Cycle Festival committee.
“Roll for the Soul is just what Bristol needs, and it’s being run by a fantastic, motivated, community-minded bunch of individuals. I’ve worked with Rob on several projects in the past and it’s evident that this café is about people and their love of and interest in bikes. It’s a not-for-profit Community Interest Company that cares about spreading the love, not racking up the cash.
“I wish them all the best and look forward to enjoying a few Bristol Cycle Festival events there during this year’s edition in mid-July.”
Roll for the Soul will provide quality food and drink; cycle-related events; information; sales, repairs and servicing; workshop space; and will advocate for cycling. Any surplus revenue will support and promote cycling in Bristol, in partnership with other social enterprises including the Bristol Bike Project and the Bristol Cycle Festival.
The venture has already broken a fundraising record. When Roll for the Soul raised almost £13,000 towards its start-up costs through Crowdfunder (a site that allows people to pledge money in exchange for rewards like branded t-shirts or simply cups of coffee), the café achieved what was at the time the highest total of any project funded through the platform.
Rob concludes, “We’ve got everything crossed that this goodwill continues when Roll for the Soul opens on Quay Street in a couple of months. Anyone who’s yet to claim their Crowdfunding reward, pop down to say hello and we’ll be delighted to get those complimentary coffees on the go.”