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.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2017: Ride 1 Admiral Bird

Admiral Bird and the Passage
The Coffeeneuring season has kicked off and despite a late start today I have ride number one of seven in the books.  With an "any day of the week" rule in effect this year I should be able to complete the challenge despite some busy weekends coming up,  I am still on the job search trail so I have the flexibility to ride to a coffee shop at 11 am on a tuesday.  As you may recall last year my theme was only places within a mile of my house and no mermaids.  This year the theme is no repeats, as in I can't go anywhere I went last year (still no mermaids).  I live in probably the most coffee shop dense place on earth (Seattle) so that shouldn't be a problem.

I didn't get started until about 1 pm, I had lots of excuses about not riding today:

  • It was cold, it didn't break 50 until after noon
  • my knee feels stiff
  • I haven't been riding much
  • I'm broke and have mostly been French pressing at home lately
  • I wanted to ride the Passage but it needed air in the tires
In other words one long whine!  So I put on my big boy pants, shorts actually, and made it happen.  I had thrown together a quick list of places earlier in the week and had decided to start with the Admiral Bird.

I have walked by this place a number of times thinking someday I will have to have coffee there.  And today I finally did.  Its a store with a coffee shop in the front have and a flower shop in the back.  The sign in the first photo above rotates and has Admiral bird on one side and Flower lab on the other.

The coffee shop portion has a mid-century diner vibe and great light with tall windows on two sides.  They also have some breakfast items; waffles and breakfast sandwiches on offer.

I just opted for a standard coffee and pastry option, which was fine but won't be stealing me away from C&P anytime soon.  I confess I started my day at C&P not sure I was going to ride so I am well caffeinated today.

The data:
  1. Where: The Admiral Bird, West Seattle.
  2. Date: October 14th at 1 pm.
  3. Consumed:  Americano and a Cinnamon roll 
  4. Details:  Cool day but no rain, bike rack near the front, a place I had never visited before.
  5. Mileage: 6.60 KM/4.16 Miles

The ride was fine and I didn't even need the granny ring on the slight incline on my way there.  That bodes well as with this years theme I will need to go farther afield and that will mean real hills. 

The Admiral Bird is right next to Alki bike and board so I spent some time ogling the shiny blue Jamis Aurora in the window with painted to match rack and fenders.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Willapa River Trail

One of my goals for this summer was to ride the Willapa river trail, I had considered riding it at the end of July but did the John Wayne trail instead.   My job didn't end up working out so I am back to square one in my search, which sucks but does give me a flexible schedule.  I was driving to Portland anyway to visit my Mom so I decided to get in a quick ride on the way down.

I wasn't exactly sure where to access the trail and as it turned out I drove right over it as I was looking for an access point.  I have noticed on long trips that my mileage is noticeably affected when I have a bike rack on the trunk and especially if I have a bike hanging on it.

So for this trip I decided to transport the bike in the car, which required a bit of disassembly.  Putting a trunk bike rack on and off the car isn't quick, but neither is disassembly and reassembly of the bike, but I did get great mileage!

In order to get the bike to fit in the car I needed to remover the seat and seatpost and the non drive pedal.

And of course the wheels.

Once I had the bike back together it was time to hit the trail.  I had a bit of rain on the drive down but I lucked out on my ride and it was like I had stolen a bit of summer on October 1st.

The total trail is about 60 miles long but it's not entirely built up, however for today I was only going to ride about 45 minutes total out and back.  The trail is a mix of pavement and gravel but I had almost entirely pavement on my ride.

On my short and flat ride I passed over rivers on trestles.

by cut corn fields
and alfalfa fields

A swampy area - this is a low lying valley that gets a lot of rain.

And cows, a few smells brought back my days visiting my grandparents ranch when I was a kid.

In a few more weeks I expect all the trees along the trail will be giving a spectacular show of fall leaves.

In late September I failed to take advantage of riding on a few lovely days so I was grateful to get a second chance at riding in lovely weather.  October tends to be a transitional month in the PNW, you might get 2 weeks of Indian summer or it might start raining tomorrow and not stop for 6 months.

I have plenty of bike projects to work on and might need to thin the herd a bit to raise some cash, I just need to find the motivation.  Hope you all get a chance to ride before the rains come.