Monday, November 23, 2020

2020 Coffeeneuring Review

So here’s the 2020 Coffeeneuring Report, documenting my return to this event after a couple of years absence due to travel, life changes and then this year's craziness. The theme for the event this year is One Good Thing, and that includes the convergence of cycling, coffee and camaraderie that Mary inspires, particularly timely this fall.

All of the rides took place on Y-Rod, the yellow Rodriguez described in my last post of this blog, and on Planet Earth, the one home that we share.

Ride #1 -- Bay to Breakers Ride with Max in SF - 10/11/20 - Pleasant ride on a rented bike from the Inner Sunset to the San Francisco waterfront, the baseball stadium where the Giants play, and the Ferry Building, and then out through Golden Gate Park to the Java Beach Cafe, a popular spot worth a revisit.  I had a latte, Max ordered a regular coffee, and we split some baked goodie.

Ride #2 - Ride Around Seattle - 10/17/20 - Regular route with a stop at Caffe Umbria for an americano and chocolate croissant.   Excellent!  Still, a bit sad to be in Pioneer Square with no weekend crowds due to the pandemic lockdown.   Stopped at a new park on the Portage Bay waterfront on the way home to enjoy the views.

Ride #3 - North Lake Loop - 10/22/20 - Another routine route, around the North end of Lake Washington with a return across the 520 bridge, which is always a highlight.  I stopped at old standby Caffe Ladro in suburban Kirkland  for a muffin and a latte, always great.  What was not great was the conversation started by a guy in a cowboy hat who dissed the Seattle mayor, kept calling me “son” (I’m 67 and a grandpa), and then bragged about he and his vigilante buddies protecting Kirkland with their automatic weapons from the “mobs of looters” who threatened their cute shops and bars.   I told him what I thought, got on my bike, and headed back over to the Anarchist Jurisdiction.

Ride #4 - 520>Medina>Mercer Slough - 10/25/20 -  Returned to the Eastside to scout another route, and stopped for a latte at the Bellden Cafe.  Terrific route, but I’ll find another place to stop next time I’m in the neighborhood.   

Ride #5 - Silver Lake>Snohomish>Everett - 11/1/20 - Spectacular two-volcano day and great ride with Larry and Mike out along the Snohomish River and then into Everett.  Coffee from the gas station parking lot espresso stand near our start.  Great ride, forgettable coffee.   

Ride #6 - Victory Lap around the North End of the Lake! - 11/7/20 - Same route as #3.   First rest stop included someone setting off fireworks!  Hoped to run into the Kirkland Vigilantes to see how they liked the election results, but they weren’t there.   Instead, plenty of happy people dancing, waving signs, shouts, high-fives (virtual!) and other expressions of joy.   Americano from Starbucks, but what the heck, that’s not what made this ride special!

Ride #7 - Magnolia>Myrtle Edwards Park>Seattle Center - 11/11/20 - Saving the best for last, the Magnolia loop, with refreshment from Petit Pierre Bakery, a fresh-out-of-oven blueberry muffin and an excellent latte just hit the spot.

Bonus Coffeeneuring #1 - Ride Around Seattle - 11/15/20 - A blustery Sunday ride around our city, headwinds on the way out along the lake, and tailwinds along the waterfront on the return, with a stop for a fine latte at Uptown Espresso by the Olympic Sculpture Park.   the barista gave me the news about the return of the COVID restrictions that the Governor announced that morning, and was worried about the shop having to close again.   What a strange time we live in, and I’m grateful for the health for me and my family, as well as for this  Coffeeneuring community, and for the dedication, generosity and good cheer we all receive from Mary, Queen of Coffeeneuring!

Link to Coffeeneuring Facebook Group ---> 

Instagram --->

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

New Bike Review

After three weeks and some 430 miles, here are my first impressions of the Rodriguez Rainier.  The bike is fast, comfortable and fun.  R & E gave me a custom fit for my odd-shaped body, and built a bike that was more upright, with a smaller frame, and shorter reach than I was used to.  The result is that the ride is faster up the hills, more comfortable to get into the drops on the handlebars, and easier to pedal on longer distances.   The bike's lighter weight has taken some time to get used to, a little squirrely on the descents and in crosswinds, compared to what I rode for the past ten years.  The yellow color is more visible, but also shows the grime and dirt.   Some say that it can get mistaken for a station-free ride-share Ofo bike.

I made a couple of adjustments from the standard Rainier Limited set up. I swapped the Panaracer Paselas for Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires.  The result is more weight, a wider profile, and a steadier ride, especially on rough surfaces.   I added a Brooks Cambium saddle.  There was no need to break it in, and the fit was comfortable from the start.   Other changes including installing a kickstand.  Yes.  Much, much easier, and now the bike won't fall over when I lean it against stuff.  Another touch was Swift's Bandido handlebar bag, spacious enough for my clutter and food.

The result is a good bike for everyday rides, for MORE or LESS hills in the evening, and for the last three big rides, Flying Wheels, the Kenmore-Sultan schlep, and a glorious Kent-Enumclaw CTS #11, through the foothills, farmland and NW Woods.

So far, so good, and I'm pleased with the choice.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Keeping It Simple and Some Other Stuff

A few bike-related pieces that have caught my attention recently......

Kent Peterson laments the complications of modern life.

This video about the SF Randonneurs' Adventure Series makes you want to ride long distances to nowhere.  More here at SFR's home site.

And, about ten years and maybe 20,000 miles ago, the Blue Riot's debut was reported here.     Now that I'm getting ready to take the plunge on a new ride, it's a good time to be nostalgic.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Sequence of Odd Choices

As Lydia Kiesling wrote,  ' is nothing if not a sequence of odd choices vaguely considered...'

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Cycling, Teaching and Getting Past the Nope.

Alyson works on the negativity.    Lots of parallels in coaching, teaching, and Alyson's writing is always worth a read. 

Why Drivers Hate Cyclists

Thoughtful comments by the Reno Rambler on the never-ending friction between those who use different modes of transportation.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Life Hacks and Rules for Living

Lots of Life Hacks and Rules for Living out there, and some are worth repeating, noting, while others are best ignored.    Here are a few.....
Others have things worth saying....
And maybe my favorite set, Satchel Paige - "Avoid running at all times."  and "Don't look back.  Something might be gaining on you."