Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 Coffeeneuring Challenge Report

The 2017 Coffeeneuring Challenge has been completed, is in the books, and I'm ready to report.  Some of the rides were solo.  A couple were with the Cascade Bicycle Club, but those events hardly qualify as 'organized,' in the sense of a race, century, fund-raiser or the TdF.  This year, I tried to avoid large intergalactic retail chains that have metastasized across the commercial landscape, and instead patronize the local shops, preferably those who also baked their own goodies.

Here's the rundown:

1.   Lundeen Coffee Company in Lake Stevens, Washington, after a 41 mile route with the CBC from Lake Stevens to Granite Falls and then returning via Marysville.   The coffee shack was right across the street from where we started and, coincidentally, we finished.  Drank my standard, a double short Americano, here balanced on my saddle.

2. The next day, a 30 miler solo stopping at Zeitgeist Coffee in Pioneer Square, Seattle.   A must for ambiance, flavor, history, java and their molasses cookies.  I've stopped at Zeitgeist every year during the Coffeeneuring Challenge.  It's worth it.

3.  And, the following Sunday, a similar route took me to the SODO neighborhood (South of the Dome, which no longer exists).   This time, 32 miles and a stop at Macrina Bakery, followed by a visit to The House that Griffey Built, and a return on the Ship Canal Trail.  Autumn is a great time for cycling in Seattle.

4.  Again, back with the Cascade Bike Club, and again with the "Steady" pace group, also known as the slow riders.   We started in fog, with the sun breaking through as the group approached Warm Beach.  Coffee this time #4 at First Class Coffee in Arlington, WA., at rest stop on 40 mile ride in Snohomish County. 2X Americano at coffee stand adjacent to a cannabis shop.  We were downwind from a chicken ranch, but the retail staff at the cannabis shop assured us that that the aroma was better inside their establishment.  We chose to ride on with just caffeine in our system.

5.  Once more, rode the next day, and this time a regular route used for training, city exploring, with a stop at the venerable Larsen's Bakery, a Ballard institution.  Kringle and a double-short Americano to boost my tired legs over the 2nd half of the 23 miler.

6.  Raining, windy, chilly and I needed to go to the library, so I put on the rain jacket, rode up to return a book and pick up the next read, and stopped at the Grateful Bread for a coffee and a cookie. 

3 and a half miles, but hey, it got me out of the house.

7.  It's now November, it rains in Seattle, but in between storms and showers, there's still good cycling, and today, 25 miles out to Sunset Hill, the Chittenden Locks, and back via the Ship Canal trail to Byen Bakeri, for a 2X Americano and some amazing goodie with a Scandinavian name that had sugar, butter, almond paste and puff pastry, and the clear winner of treats for this year's challenge.

So, that's it.  7 rides.  All on the Blue Riot.  7 coffees, all at independent stores, some with excellent bakeries.   All rides took place on Planet Earth, and in all instances, I kept to the Spirit of Coffeeneuring, even on those two excursions that were scheduled group rides.  Our gratitude, thanks and admiration for the Goddess of Coffeeneuring, and once again it is an honor participate with the international community of coffeeneurs in harmony, peace, goodwill, and friendship.   

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

No Chilly Hilly for Me!

Woke up, looked outside at the rain, the cold (35 degrees F!), saw the breeze, and decided, no.

I wasn't alone in not going.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Here We Go Again

How many times have I done this ride? I've got a record in Garmin Connect from 2010, a ride report from 2008, but am sure that was not the first time.   What I do know is, I don't need the map.

Chilly Hilly is always an adventure of some sort, and this year the weather is supposed to live up to it name.  I've pedaled about 125 miles this year so far, with 3,400 ft of elevation gain, and will add to that before next Sunday.    Here we go again.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 in the Rear View Mirror

52 miles on the last two days of 2016 were my attempts to get the New Year off to a better start than 2016, a difficult year for all on a global level, with too many losses to bear and the national prospects dim and foreboding.

I rode about 300 fewer miles in 2016 than the previous year,  the result of travel, both for work and family.  By far, the best reason to travel was to see our first grandchild, Miles in San Francisco.  And, while traveling, I got to bike in Brooklyn, Denver and Austin, the latter two using their Bike Share programs.   For the first year in the last four, I was not able to complete the Coffeeneuring challenge, but still had fun doing so.

The Blue Riot took me to Portland on the STP, and I rode over the Columbia River in Pasco, Washington.  One of the clear highlights of the year was the Emerald City ride, over the newly constructed 520 bridge on the first day the span was opened, a celebration with 7,000 others.  And, of course, there was the Chilly Hilly on a cold and wet day last February, a ride that normally lives up to the name.

For the year, my mileage totaled 2,568 miles, plus or minus, gained about 113,000 in elevation, and actually rode 85 times. Longest one day ride was Day One of the STP, 116 miles, exceeding the CTS Century and Kent-Enumclaw loop, both part of the Cascade Training Series where I volunteered as a Cascade Ride Leader.

I stayed healthy, stayed upright on the bike, and aside from the Coffeeneuring challenge, had no DNFs.   Those are victories.   The Rivendell Bleriot continues to be my go-to bike, for recreational and sight seeing rides, for the occasion commute, century, mosey or two-wheeled therapy session. Here's to more of the same, only more so, in 2017.