There is a worn industrial park tucked in a corner between a highway & the railroad tracks that head in & out of San Diego. Behind the big buildings facing the road is a second row of corrugated metal buildings. They are sea-foam green, trimmed in white & aged by the sun.Dusty Ford pickups, Econo-line vans & a sign proclaiming a tree service, woodworker, surfboard shaper. Work gets done here.

Coffee Cycle San DiegoIt’s here that I meet Chris O’Brien to take a peek at his Coffee Cycle. A soon-to-be-operating coffee cart bicycle. A gracious host, he immediately offers up a pint of Boo Koo IPA on tap before launching into a tour of the cart and the story behind it. It is way more involved than we imagined. This, essentially, is a fully operating coffee shop with a 3-part sink in the back, expresso machine, water heating system & oversized mini-fridge. The entire thing has been built on-top of a used pedi-cab frame. There was an original design which has mostly been adapted & adjusted out of existence as the project has moved forward.

Chris is quick to point out that he wouldn’t have gotten this far without a lot of help from others. Taylor, 0f Hub + Spoke, has been working on the fabrication. His buddy, Stu, has been helping with the bike build. Another buddy from the shop is helping with electrical, even the health department (usually a terrifying place) has given advice to help him get his bike into code compliance. The wood-burning artist he shares his portion of the shop with is working on creative countertop designs that will really make this cart unique. Plus, he’s received a lot of positive support from his current employers at Bird Rock Coffee.

Coffee Cycle San DiegoThe idea for Coffee Cycle came up the way most great ideas do. While hanging out with a couple of bike-loving friends having beers someone said, “Hey! We should just put a coffee cart on the back of a bike.” That led to Chris drawing up some sketches of what a coffee cycle could look like. Then he found an high-quality espresso machine that would work, and he started thinking that this just might work.

Right now the Coffee Cycle is about 75% finished. They need to add the solar panels that will power the system, the rolling side walls, & a planter box of succulents on top. The goal is to have the first cup of coffee poured by the end of the year. Chris was hesitant to give a date since the project has taken on a lot of adaptations as problems arise or design changes need to be accomplished to achieve the ultimate goal of providing a true quality coffee experience.

Every little thing has taken longer than I thought it would. Longer, and more expensive! -Chris O’Brien

Coffee Cycle has obviously been a labor of love. When it is finished it will be a unique coffee experience in San Diego. Hard work from a team of like-minded friends and Chris’ passion for coffee & bicycles have gotten it this far. There is no doubt they will make it to the finish line.

You can follow along with the progress on Coffee Cycle here or get day-to-day updates social media by following Chris’ Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.

Coffee Cycle San Diego