Created by Susan Charlton and Wayne Hildred as a space that cyclists could call their own, Bright Velo has quickly became the mecca of cycling in the North East Alpine region. Anytime of the year, regardless of weather conditions, you will find a long line of bikes stacked up on the many bike racks available at the café. Lycra is almost a dress code and the clip clop of cleats the soundtrack.
Bright Velo first opened in July 2011 and aimed to create a warm and welcoming environment where people could meet and share stories over a hand-roasted Padre coffee and home cooked breakfast.
The café has a European retro feel, the walls showcasing the legends of the sport through cycling memorabilia, some of them belonging to Wayne, owner, operator and brilliant cyclist in his own right. Wayne is always up for a chat, so I highly recommend having a relaxed start time to your ride, ordering a coffee and letting Wayne mesmerise you with his stories from the past.
To give you some background on Wayne, he is literally one of the greatest cyclist in the history of Australia and New Zealand. To this day he is still ranked number 14 in the New Zealand 1869-2014 top cyclists of all time. He has an incredibly impressive resume including two Australian Professional Road Championships in 1982 and 1986, holding the course record for the Melbourne to Warrnambool for 10 years, winning the Auckland Cup, racing in three World Championship road races, finishing the Tour of Flanders, Liege-Baston-Liege, Gent Wevelgem, placing 16th at the Amstell Gold and winning the Australian Cyclist of the Year in 1986.
Wayne still races today, getting involved in local Masters events and MTBing. And he still holds the STRAVA record for the fastest descent down Towanga Gap at almost 70kph! That takes a lot of skill, mixed with equal parts bravery and crazy. On that topic, one of Wayne’s best stories and greatest achievements is his journey from Bordeaux-Paris, covering 576km in 13hours. Not to be out done Susan is quite an athlete herself completing the Hawaii Ironman and winning the Altona Half Marathon in 1986.
Wayne and Susan are very welcoming to everyone that walk through the door, and have created a very social atmosphere. If someone walks in alone, they will introduce them to another patron there. If there is a group on a training camp, they will offer up advice as well as an assortment of home-baked muffins, apple streusel cakes and giant moreish choc chip cookies.
Speciality post ride meals like Spartacus and the Johnny Hoogerland are perfect for post ride recovery and as always, come with a great story.
Wayne will regularly take out groups for tours of the area and offer up tips from his many years of riding experience. If you can’t get enough of Wayne and Susan in your pre or post ride coffee stop, accommodation is available as well. A perfect way to set yourself up for a weekend away or a more intense training camp, Bright Velo is a one stop cyclist shop.
Bright Velo: 2 Ireland Street Bright VIC 3741
- Bike-friendly / dietary requirement-friendly
- Open from 07:30 in the warmer months. In the cooler months open from 8am until 4pm.
Café run by cyclists for cyclists. Great food options, equalled only by the cycling stories that come with.