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.
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.