Sunday, October 28, 2018

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2018: Ride 6 Metropolitan Market bakery & Coffee

Last night it poured and the forecast for today looked like rain all day so another ride this weekend looked doubtful.  I checked this morning, however, and it appeared there would be some dry spots in the afternoon.

On the off chance things cleared up I did spend some time last night fitting the front brake so the bike would be ready if a ride was a possibility.  In the end I was glad I did as I decided to go for it in the afternoon period where it looked to remain clear.

My destination was Metropolitan market, a fancy grocery store in the fancy end of West Seattle.  With my goal of not going to any place I have been in the last 2 years and excluding Starbucks my choices have narrowed.

I ended up with a very chocolaty chocolate chip cookie and a Hazelnut latte, not bad for a grocery store.  I sat down to coffee and realized I had left both coffeeneuring patches at home on the counter!!

I had a first on this ride, first time doing a coffeeneruing ride clipped in, I ride 99.9%  on flats these days but I had the spds on the Trek while its on trainer duty and didn't feel like swapping them out and decided to ride with cleats for the heck of it.

A four mile road ride gave me a lot of feedback on how the 420 fits and rides, that you don't get on the trainer, but rather than go into the whole litany lets just say it needs an overhaul, especially the ridiculous corn cob 7 speed cassette which might be great for crits but robs the triple crank of its range.

It also occurred to me riding in wet streets on old tires and ancient brake blocks with only one brake might not have been my smartest move, the new brake cable and housing did great but still...

The data:
  1. Where: Metropolitan Market, 2320 42nd Ave SW. West Seattle.
  2. Date: October 28th at 2:00 pm.
  3. Consumed:  Hazelnut Latte and Chocolate chip cookie.
  4. Details:  Rainy with sun breaks, ok bike parking.
  5. Mileage: 4.48 miles
  6. Bike Used: 1985 Trek 420.

Ride. Try not to die.Smile.Repeat.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2018: Ride 5 Top Pot Doughnuts & Coffee

It was a foggy day in Seattle town, but it was dry so I mounted up for my coffeeneuring ride.

To paraphrase the philosopher Homer; hmmm dooooughnut.

There was no parking any nearer than about 100 feet from the front door, so  I locked the rear wheel to the frame and bribed a dog to watch the Cresta GT.

It took until ride 5 but I finally remember my Patch!  (Patches we don't need no stinkin'...wait we do need Patches.  Sorry channeling old Bogart movies).  I heard a segment on drive time radio talking about Maple bars and its been in my head ever since so the giant I-can't-fit-on-a-plate Maple bar was a no brainer, accompanied by a hazelnut latte.

On the way home I got a nice foggy view of Seattle and ..

..a tunnel of fall leaves, something I really enjoy this time of year and all over the place trees are going out in a blaze of glory.  Oh, and that record on ride 2 this year of 5.28 miles for the longest coffee ride in 3 years...Smashed that with today's ride of 8.85 miles!  It also brought my total miles on the Cresta GT up to 51, so I am one good ride or two smaller rides away from getting to 100 Km on the new bike by years end.

I need to deal with a squeak in the front brakes and get the chain to drop into the small ring more smoothly but I am still loving the ride of this bike.  About 10 minutes after I got back from the ride, I heard the patter of rain.  I love it when a plan comes together.  I have a bike with a rear fender lined up for tomorrow so we'll see how that goes, it needs at least one brake first.

The data:
  1. Where: Top Pot Donuts & Coffee, 2758 Alki Ave SW. West Seattle.
  2. Date: October 27th at 1:15 pm.
  3. Consumed:  Hazelnut Latte and Maple bar
  4. Details:  Foggy fall day, no bike parking in front of store
  5. Mileage: 8.85 miles
  6. Bike Used: 1987 Nishiki Cresta GT

RIde (far).Caffeinate, Smile.Repeat. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2018: Ride 4 Olympia Coffee

Today dawned dry but foggy, it was almost kind of gothic out there but perfectly fine for a Coffee ride.

Today's destination was Olympia Coffee, readers of the blog will remember I have been here on the bike but they did not open soon enough for Coffeeneuring 2017 so this was my first official coffeeneuring ride there.

I stayed with the latte theme for the weekend and went with a chocolate croissant -delicious.  Perfectly nice shop but not a place that makes me want to linger as much as say C&P coffee, 

Since it was on the way I stopped at the market and went to the Beer Junction.....

I had a very smooth 25th Anniversary Imperial Stout by Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, CO.   A fitting fall drink.  Feels good to get in four rides in the first two weeks especially since our gorgeous fall weather is expected to turn to rain on Tuesday.

The data:
  1. Where: Olympia Coffee,  3840 California Ave SW. West Seattle.
  2. Date: October 21st at 12:15 pm.
  3. Consumed:  Latte and Chocolate Croissant 
  4. Details:  Foggy but dry fall day, bike rack about 50 feet away
  5. Mileage: 2.58 miles
  6. Bike Used: 1978 Moto_GT

Ride a different bike.Drink Coffee and beer.Smile.Repeat

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2018: Ride 3: Sound & Fog

The day started cool and foggy but it cleared into a crisp fall day so I took advantage of it with a Coffeenuering ride.

I wanted to use one of the bikes that needed some help (brakes) to get road worthy so the Allez went into the stand.

And a front brake got the  cable and housing run.  Since I was doing a fairly short flat ride I only ran the one brake, a bit sketchy I know but I dialed it in snug and took a back street route.

The Allez got to rest at a very arty bike rack once we arrived.

I had not heard of this place until a West Seattle friend mentioned it to me, its close and means I won't have to work as hard to fill out the lineup this year.

Sound and Fog has a light, bright spartan Scandinavian aesthetic and the coffee was excellent.  I had a latte and a chocolate chip cookie.

Having gone back to the original cockpit I kind of expected it to be compressed, I still hated the saddle although I got the angle adjusted better but the fit was actually pretty good and I wondered why.  When I got home I measured the stem, it works out to about 100 mm reach.

The compares to about 80 mm for the Nishiki cockpit I was using on the Allez this summer and it might be a bit more of a delta as the Nishiki stem is longer so the bars end up being closer to me than with the shorter stock stem.  Hmm, maybe after I get the Allez rebuilt I might have to ride it a bit more before listing it.

Whoops almost forgot

The data:
  1. Where: Sound & Fog, 4735 40th Ave SW, West Seattle.
  2. Date: October 20th at 3:15 pm.
  3. Consumed:  Latte and Chocolate chip cookie
  4. Details:  Gorgeous fall day, Very arty rack right out front
  5. Mileage: 2.26 miles
  6. Bike Used: 1992 Specialized Allez Sport

Ride (carefully). Caffeinate. Smile.Repeat

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Squeezing daylight

With about two weeks to go before we fall back into daylight savings I have gone from chasing daylight to squeezing every available minute.  In order to do that during the week I need to ride near work, and I am fortunate to have a network of trails near my office.  Tonight I rode along lake Sammamish, the views do not suck.

I had hoped to ride twice during the week in the nice weather we've had but I got a pretty bad calf cramp on Tuesday to the point where I was limping which put an end to any thoughts of riding that night.  Today the calf is much better and I was able to get out and enjoy blue skies, temps in the mid 60s and a nice flat trail bordered by a fall collage.

I even got to ride a bit of gravel.  I didn't end up going far, just short of 8 miles, but was happy to take advantage of the nice weather.  I have experienced neck pain after the last two rides on the Ibex so if I ride again next week its going to need to be on a different bike.

I also saw a vintage steel bike on the ride and they aren't as prevalent over here on the east side as much as they are in Seattle.  Is a nice 80s Centurion Iron Man.

Ride in the waning light. Smile.Repeat?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

1987 Schwinn LeTour update

I am getting farther and farther away from the easy fix and flip idea I had for the LeTour,  this weekend I gave the frame a good clean, and then attacked some rust with naval jelly.

Rust treated, I obtained some touch-up paint, which was cheap at .99 cents.

It's no where near a match but I am really just trying to protect the bare metal from further rust.  I will let things dry for a day or two and then give the frame a waxing.

While waiting on the frame I ran the headset and bottom bracket through the sonic cleaner.

The derailleurs got a bath too and I am hoping to get started hanging parts off a waxed frame soon.

Ride. Smile. Rehab. Repeat

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2018: Ride 2: Uptown Espresso (Delridge)

Another lovely fall day for Coffeeneuring ride #2, Barney got the call today so I can take him work and leave him for a few weeks to get in some after work rides, as weather allows, before the time change on November 4th.

My destination today was Uptown Espresso,  I did go to a different location for Coffeeneuring 2016, but this is my first time riding here.

The bike parking was a bit sketchy as you can see from the remnants of the mountain bike but I went ahead anyway since I intended to sit outside on this lovely October day in the 60s.

Obligatory shot of bike and coffee shop as proof of completion.

I enjoyed a latte, almond croissant and an October day so nice it felt like stealing.  I will savor this during the coming long grey months.

 A couple milestones today.  This post ties my high water mark from last year of 67 blog posts, and with 2 and half months and five more Coffeeneuring rides remaining I should set a new mark in 2018.   Today was also my longest ever Coffeenuering ride at 8.5 Km, which isn't saying much but it is the record, for now.  Finally, I achieved my goal of two rides in the first week to get off to a good start on Coffeeneuring season.

The data:
  1. Where: Uptown Espresso, Delridge Ave. West Seattle.
  2. Date: October 14th at 2:15 pm.
  3. Consumed:  Hazelnut Latte and almond Croissant 
  4. Details:  Gorgeous fall day, questionable bike rack about 50 feet away
  5. Mileage: 5.28 miles
  6. Bike Used: 1990 Bianchi Ibex (Barney)

Ride a different bike.Smile.Caffeinate.Repeat

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2018: Ride 1: Caffe Vita (Thriftway)

It wasn't the most auspicious start, I rode a rented bike to the grocery store.  I did however check a number of boxes with this ride:

  • Try out a Lime bike
  • Try out a bike with Electric assist
  • Don't repeat a coffee shop you have already been to for Coffeeneuring
  • Ride on a lovely day

Its a lovely fall day out and its day 2 of Coffeeneuring .  I am hoping to ride again tomorrow so I can get off to a flying start.  I have two themes for year 3 of Coffeeneuring; no repeats and ride a different bike each time.  In the last 2 years I have gone to 13 different places on 14 rides, only Cafe Ladro got on the board twice.  This year I want to avoid a repeat and that means thinking outside the box, hence the grocery store.

Unlike most stores which just slap a Starbucks in and call it good, my local Thriftway serves Caffe Vita which is good stuff.

I sipped my latte outside where I could keep and eye on the bike.  Since I only have 6 bikes I needed the Lime bike to make 7 different bikes for 7 different coffee rides.  A few observations on the Lime bike:

  • Its a tank so the E assist was really necessary
  • I like the E assist
  • Not a fan of the saddle
  • I would have liked the throttle, can I call it a throttle?, to be more clear i.e I am adding or decreasing my assist? and am I at 20% or 100% of assist.  I could feel it helping but the controls were vague.
  • No helmet but I brought my own in a back pack and used the convenient front basket for my pack.
  • I had to walk about 4 blocks to find one but the app makes it pretty easy to do so, kind of ironic as they are often within 100 feet of my building.
  • Easy unlock with your smart phone
  • I kind of like the step thru for mounting the bike.
  • No way I could see to "pause" my ride, which meant I had to ride, lock/end ride, and then unlock and start a new ride after getting coffee.
  •  2.3 miles total in 2 separate rides cost me about $3.50  so cheaper that uber and faster than walking and no waiting around for a bus.
I could see using one of these for errands but not for any ride over about 3 miles.

The data:
  1. Where: Morgan Street Thriftway, West Seattle.
  2. Date: October 13th at 12:15 pm.
  3. Consumed:  Irish Creme Latte from the Caffe Vita kiosk inside the store.
  4. Details:  Gorgeous fall day, bike parking near store entrance 
  5. Mileage: 2.3 miles
  6. Bike Used: Lime Bike with E-assist 

Hope to have another ride to report tomorrow on one of my own bikes.

Rent a Ride.Smile.Caffeinate.Repeat