Thursday, December 14, 2017

2017 Bike year in review

Its that time of the year when folks are looking back over the year that is almost over and I am doing the same.

I spent the winter months tearing down and building back up my 1986 Schwinn Passage including many upgrades.  It has been my favorite bike to ride and I am very happy with how it turned out.  I have had occasion recently to think about which one bike I would keep if I could only keep one, it might just be the Passage.

Part of the reason for building up this 80's Japanese touring bike was to use it for the Tour De Lopez in April.  It was a ride I have been thinking about doing for a decade and it almost didn't happen because of back issues so actually getting to ride it on my freshly rebuilt bike was especially rewarding.  Did I mention there was beer at the end?

June ended up being vintage Mountain bike month.  I had wanted to find a lugged steel 80s Mt. bike for a while and for a total outlay of about $50 I found two, a 1984 Nishiki Cascade and a 1986 Miyata Trail runner respectively.  I have made some progress on the Miyata and got the Nishiki down to the frame and conquered a stuck seat post.

I also accomplished my goal of riding to a baseball game this year in June, they even won!

July was just about my "bikeyest" month ever, just a few highlights:

  • Felt like I blogged just about every day (19 posts)
  • One week I rode four different bikes
  • Had a fun ride in Portland on my birthday and there was beer!
  • Finished working on the Ritchey Project
  • Capped off the month with a gravel ride on the John Wayne trail

October featured getting to ride on the Willapa river trail on an upgraded, but not finished, Miyata Trail Runner on a beautiful fall day and also kicked off my 2nd consecutive Coffeeneuring season.

There are plenty of projects in the queue so we'll see what happens in 2018.  Happy Holidays all and remember to Ride.Smile.Repeat. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2017: Ride 7 Freshy's

The forecast was for dry weather Friday and Saturday and then a pattern of rain for the next week so I decided to strike while it was relatively dry for ride # 7, the finish line of the Coffeeneuring challenge 2017.  Not only did the weather gods smile on me but so did the deities of the traffic lights.  There are 5 lights between me and my destination so 10 for the round trip.  I made it through them all without having to stop! I am pretty sure that is a first.

My destination today was Freshy's, they have been open for 12 years and are within 2 miles of my house and this was my first visit!  They have a funky living room vibe. eclectic furniture and arcade games scattered throughout.

I could have even sat next to the (gas) fireplace if I'd wanted to.

Instead I sat at the Space Invaders table top arcade game, probably a good thing it wasn't working or I might have had to feed it some quarters for old times sake.

Even as I finish this years challenge I am thinking of next year, Olympia coffee, based in the state capitol is going to open a shop in West Seattle.  They had a target open of October 1st but look no closer to opening than they did when I first noticed their store front 3 weeks ago.  So they may be on the roster for 2018.

The data:

  1. Where - Freshy's Coffee
  2. Date - November 10th, 2017
  3. Consumed - Mocha, everything bagel toasted with cream cheese
  4. Details - dry, 45 degrees, bike parking out front, first visit
  5. Mileage - 6.05 KM / 3.78 Miles

Until next year. Ride. Caffeinate. Smile. Repeat


And today I sent away for my prize

Patches!  We really do need some stinkin" patches! 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2017: Ride 6 Realfine Coffee

New month, new season and a new destination for ride #6 of Coffeeneuring 2017.  Today's ride was over 20 degrees cooler than ride #5, over the weekend it snowed! in Seattle, in November! which just does not happen.  It didn't stick in my neighborhood but not for lack of trying.  I wasn't feeling hardy enough to ride in snow flurries so I targeted today when it was supposed to be sunny.

In addition to adding a heavy merino wool sweater to my riding kit I used long fingered gloves for the first time in recent memory.

It had been cold and wet enough over the weekend that the roads, and bike lane, got a dose of salt.  Dang! I knew I should have sprung for that undercoat protection.  I briefly thought of using the Handsome Devil for today's ride with its wider tires and heavier frame but decided I was being an over reactive sissy and went with the Passage instead.

My destination today was Realfine coffee where bike parking was nonexistent but I was able to park just outside the door so I had a great view while I was in the shop and in a pinch I could have locked up to the picnic table  but didn't.

The nosh was quite good and if I was in need of a haircut....

 I could have just stepped into the adjoining barbershop.  When I moved to the area almost 20 years ago this building housed a Diva Espresso location but a few years ago the new coffee shop/barbershop replaced them and this was my first visit.   The building has been around since the 1930s and I had always assumed it had been an automotive shop but I learned something today.

It was originally an oil company that delivered oil for home furnaces, you don't see them much today but the very first house I rented right of college had one.  My friend and I had a budget fail and spent one cold winter month without heat, we learned our lesson!

Waiting for today to ride worked as expected and although cold it was nice and clear, no rain or snow.

The Data:
  1. Where - Realfine Coffee
  2. Date - November 6th, 2017
  3. Consumed - Hazelnut Latte, plain crossiant
  4. Details - Clear cold winter day, 40 degrees, zero bike parking, historic building
  5. Mileage - 4.98 KM / 3.11 Miles

I have 13 days to get in my last ride, can I do it? will it be epic? will it come down to the wire like 2016?  stay tuned.  Until next time Ride. Caffeinate. Smile. Repeat.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2017: Ride 5 Caffe' Fiore

Today as I was noodling along in the middle ring smiling to myself under a vivid blue sky with my tires crunching over fall leaves I thought there is about zero chance I would be doing this if it wasn't for the Coffeeneuring Challenge.  Thank you Mary.

Today's ride was to Caffe' Fiore in the Admiral district of West Seattle.  I have a stopped here a few times after dropping my Daughter off at her near by High School on a Saturday morning for extra curricular activities, but I have never ridden here.

Fiore is a local chain with four cosy locations and great coffee, I have a friend in the Queen Anne section of Seattle who claims they make the best Latte in his neighborhood.

I enjoyed a petite mocha and some mini donuts outside in an adirondack chair.

It was so nice to be sitting outside soaking up a gorgeous autumn day,

The Data:
  1. Where - Caffe' Fiore
  2. Date - October 30th, 2017
  3. Consumed - Mocha, Mini cinnamon donuts
  4. Details - Gorgeous fall day, 55 degrees, good bike parking
  5. Mileage - 7.29 KM / 4.55 Miles

Until next time Ride. Caffeinate. Smile. Repeat.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2017: Ride 4 Easy Street

Another gorgeous blue sky 60 degree day in Seattle and another Coffeeneuring ride.  Today's destination was not on my original list of places to go for the 2017 challenge but it isn't a place I used last year either.

I went to Easy Street records for ride number 4, wait a minute what? a record store?  And yes by the way they really do have vinyl!

Like the menu says its the best little record store, coffee bar and diner this side of the Puget sound.  I am wondering how many coffeeneurs' have ridden to a record store for their coffee.

I woke up jonesing for breakfast and Easy Street has classic diner style breakfasts and that drove my choice, but even though today was really about breakfast there was coffee and biking involved so I am counting it!  And today I remembered my patch.

The Data:

  1. Where - Easy Street Records, West Seattle
  2. Date - October 27th, 2017
  3. Consumed - Mocha, diner breakfast - eggs, hashbrowns, toast and bacon
  4. Details - Gorgeous Clear 60 degrees!  decent bike parking, funky store
  5. Mileage - 3.70 KM / 2.31 Miles

The mountains were out today too.  Until next time.....

Ride. Caffeinate. Smile. Repeat.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2017: Ride 3 Caffe Ladro

Well here it is only ride three and I have already violated my theme of no repeats!  I am a bad coffeeneur, I should be given a demerit or made to drink sanka or something.  I didn't get a chance to ride on the weekend because I was driving 800 miles over 4 days (Seattle to Portland to Spokane to Seattle) to, with my siblings, help my Mom move.  I took Monday as a recovery day, but I was thinking it would be good to do two rides this week.  A combination of gorgeous weather today with rain expected tomorrow, a compressed timeline and just plain laziness made me decide on the easy route of the short ride to Caffe Ladro today.

I opted for the Passage today since this is ride that is downhill on the way to the shop and uphill all the way back home, although it's really more of an incline than a hill.  I really like the way the Passage gearing lets me spin easy as the road tilts up.

Ladro has a signature drink which is basically a mocha with orange zest but I just went with the regular mocha today.

I really like the croissants at Ladro so that was a natural pairing with the mocha and it was so pleasant outside I was comfortable in shorts as I enjoyed the sturdy and comfy adirondack chairs out on the sidewalk.

And I had a great view as I lingered over my coffee as I let the grade school traffic die down (the local grade school had just let out).

The Data:

  1. Where - Caffe Ladro -West Seattle location
  2. Date - October 24th, 2017
  3. Consumed - Mocha, plain croissant 
  4. Details - Gorgeous Clear 65 degrees!  good bike parking, comfy outdoor seating (adirondack chairs)
  5. Mileage - 3.54 KM / 2.20 Miles
Ride. Caffeinate. Smile. Repeat.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2017: Ride 2 Original Bakery

grey skies coming my way....

I am going to be out of town this weekend so I wanted to get a weekday coffee ride in to give myself a decent chance to complete the 7 ride challenge. Unfortunately the weather this week has been down right nasty; very windy, driving rain and no real breaks until today.  I spotted a two hour window that looked promising and decided to go for it as I would be leaving town this evening.

My destination was the Original bakery which is just up from the Fauntleroy ferry landing and famous for their donuts.  I have been here before with the girl but never for coffee so in that sense its another first time visit for me.  There has been a bakery on this site since 1936 and the same family has run this one since 1975.

My previous experience in getting there at mid morning rather than at open was the donuts were severely depleted but not so today!

It all looked so good I couldn't decide on just one item!  I also realized I'd left my Coffeneeruing badge at home (sad trombone) but it was all very tasty.

I ran into a friend who had also come for donuts and then came out to find my bike had a acquired a very friendly guard pup!

The handling felt a bit "squirrely" on ride to the bakery which I thought might be due to an underinflated rear tire so I added some air before leaving.

It had also been raining while I was in gorging on baked goods and I discovered that a bandana is more of a squeegee than a towel - not very absorbent.

I got to see some great autumn leaves including these 3 trees across the way from the bakery.



In addition to the rain I also discovered I had thrown my chain just at the point I needed it on a hill, sigh.  Go it fixed, walked to the crest and ground out this ride to the finish.

The rain picked up during the slog home and I had a nice little pond in the corner of my rack bag to prove it.  The weather looks like it might improve next week so I am hoping for some drier rides.  Man, I really need to get a fendered bike in the fleet, or rather I need to get off my rear-end and apply one of two potential fender options to the Passage.

The Data:
  1. Where - Original Bakery 
  2. Date - October 19th, 2017
  3. Consumed - Latte, Glazed twist and a ham & cheese croissant 
  4. Details - Wet, windy, good bike parking, historic building
  5. Mileage - 7.82 KM / 4.88 Miles

Until next time Ride. Caffeinate. Smile. Repeat.