Ten years ago, Brian Fu met five cyclists through their mutual interests in cycling. Since then, the group of friends have kept in touch and opened a bicycle store in Hong Kong with a twist – a bicycle cafe.
The idea started when Brian spotted a gap in the market to open a cafe for cyclists after his travels. He realised there wasn’t a place in Hong Kong for the biking community which gave him the initiative to open the first. “In Japan they have communication shops where people meet to talk about their interests. They also sell unique products in those stores and we do too,” explains Brian.
Determined to establish a cycling community in Hong Kong with five other partners he met a decade ago, Velo6 is a cyclist hotspot where people can enjoy a cup of coffee and share the same passion for cycling. Without a doubt, Velo 6 is no ordinary store name. Brian points out, “The name Velo 6 has a double meaning. Six of us opened this shop together and we have all contributed towards the shop. The second meaning is the building number of this address, 6.”
Taking a glance inside, the interior of the store is detailed with various pieces of bike gear including fluorescent cycling gear and an abundance of small accessories. To the left side of the shop are white cabinets that hold smaller items such as bicycle straps. Stationed across the room is the coffee bar where a colourful line of bottles are neatly stacked together on the shelves above.
Selling road bikes, bicycle accessories, gear, and good tasting coffee, the store welcomes any bicycle enthusiast and passersby. In-store, expect to see a focus on road bikes based on the emerging cycling trends. “Before the trend was BMXs but now it has shifted towards road bikes. They say cycling is the new golf,” says Brian. From BMXs to mountain bikes to fixed-gears, the cycling enthusiast has been riding bicycles for many years.
However, running the business is not an easy task but it is manageable with his partners. The Hong Kong bicycle industry suffers as small parts and accessories can only be purchased online which makes it harder for business owners. Despite this, Brian conveys that, “Cycling is our passion, so we want to promote it as much as possible.”
Despite the lack of people cycling in Hong Kong, Brian firmly believes this is changing – however, there are notable precautions to take. He highlights that, “You need to find an appropriate time to cycle. Normally people wake up early and cycle before work. There are considerably fewer cars in the early morning as opposed to rush hour.”
With Velo6, Brian hopes to sustain the cycling community he has created for as long as he and his partners can. Even though the business is not profitable, Brian remains encouraged and motivated as his love for cycling transcends all odds.
6 On Wo Lane, Central, Hong Kong