Coffeeneuring #3

The weather this weekend was a little dicey–a big storm front was due to arrive . . . sometime. The forecasts ranged a good twelve hours in when it was expected to start raining.

This pushed the big ride for the weekend (45 miles) onto Saturday. Not only is it a higher priority, but that bike path tends to submerge after heavy rain. Last weekend was quite the aquatic adventure. I can ride two miles in the rain to coffeeneur if I must.

Luck would have it, though, that it rained mostly overnight and Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon was lovely. Damp out, but lovely.

We elected to hit up the best tea place in town for chai.

The problem with the best tea place in town is that, despite being a hipster-y place, they don’t have a bike rack. Not so much as a tall signpost or a fence. So, you have to sit outside with the bike, and they don’t have much outdoor seating. Outside of coffeeneuring it isn’t a huge problem, since this shop is on the way to our #2 shop from last weekend. No tables? Bike on.

Conveniently, though, the tea place has taken over the vacant lot behind the building and turned it into a seating area. Very good to know. A little dampish, but quite serviceable. We picked the driest table.

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Chai was delicious, as always.

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I was a little silly to order the hot. It was FLAMINGLY hot and I think it took me an hour to drink it. Then I had a very ginger-y belly for the rest of my ride. But the hot is just so much better than the cold.

We left the tea place and went the long way home, cruising through the nice neighborhoods and looking at the over-the-top Halloween decorations. This year we’re on a continuum ranging from enormous inflatable animals to tasteful displays of mums and pumpkins. I was also proven right about the state of the local bike path–they put down new pavement, THEN decided to do extensive excavation work, so it is perpetually muddy. K: “Let’s go on the bike path! They cleaned up all the mud!” Me: “I think it rained four inches overnight. Don’t you think there will be new mud washed over?” Yep. New mud. Thankfully Florence is running a set of cyclocross tires these days.

Ten miles at toodling around speed:

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Bringing me to about 55.5 for the weekend.

Coffeeneuring #2

It was a lovely day today. Perfect weather. It was a little cool heading out–not so much because it was cool as because it’s dropped about 20 degrees in the last few days. I was starting to think that summer was never going to end.

The plan was to hit up a new place. It’s the rare beast around here that’s easier to bike to than to drive. It’s in a hipster neighborhood, with the attendant parking problems (they do have a lot, but it’s shared with a popular restaurant and a popular bar.)

The bike parking was great. A nice bike rack, plus a nice bike rack next door. Also, as an even better bonus, there’s a station for the city’s relatively new bike share program just across the street.

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The coffee was a little disappointing. I don’t even know how this was possible. They use the same roaster as our favorite place, who also roasts the beans we brew at home. And, if I’m getting this town’s kind of incestuous restauranteering right, the roaster is actually co-owner of this shop. Still, the coffee is better across town.

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My croissant, on the other hand, was amazing. Perfectly balanced between crisp and tender, buttery enough but not greasy. Marmalade was just bitter enough, creme fraiche just tangy enough.

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I think I’ll add it to the rotation, but I may stick with regular drip coffee.

8.92 miles total.

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Coffeeneuring Ride #1

The coffeeneuring challenge from Chasing Mailboxes came along at a good time for me. On the one hand, I’m a terrible urban cyclist. I live within biking distance of a lot of things. Finding a safe route to those things isn’t impossible, now that we’ve lived here long enough to know the back streets, but it does take me out of my safety zone.

I’ve also spent all summer doing basically the same ride both days of most weekends. I’m trying to extend my long ride mileage, though. That means shortening the other day, which means that it isn’t worth driving all the way out of town.

Enter coffeeneuring!

I missed the first weekend, because I wasn’t paying attention.

Saturday was Kolache Saturday at our favorite local coffee shop/grocery store, though. They have almost no parking, and it’s easy to connect with a separated bike path for part of the route home. A perfect candidate for biking.

I had to (literally) dust off the mountain bike for the ride. My “townie” bike has some kind of serious drivetrain problem. I’m so afraid to shift that I might as well be riding the world’s only 3×8 single speed. With my minimal bike handling skills, I’m not a fan of skinny tires and drop bars (not to mention clipless, which I’m still learning) for city biking. That leave the mountain bike. I don’t know why I own a mountain bike. I think I imagined myself riding along through meadows or something. I am, like I said, a terrible bike handler AND I have a strong instinct for self preservation. Not only do I own a mountain bike, it has nicer components than my real road bike.

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It’s also, in a twist of total weirdness, where my Brooks saddle wound up. I’ll have to post sometime about the lively game of musical saddles I played at the beginning of the summer. It was mostly a holding place, but it turns out to work quite well with that bike geometry.

The ride itself was uneventful–a little over 8.5 miles round trip to have kolaches and lattes. I did panic and walk over the very narrow bike/pedestrian bridge. No picture of the latte. I forgot until after it was in my belly.

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