Sunday, November 18, 2012

Coffeeneuring Recap

Here's a quick link to my 2012 Coffeeneuring history.  8 trips in all!

#1 Insomnia Coffee Company

#2 Edge Good Coffee

#3 Sesame Donuts

#4 Townshend's Tea Company

#5 Maggie's Buns

#6 Grand Central Baking

#7 Dutch Brothers Coffee

#8 Chatterbox Coffee

Coffeeneuring #8 11-11-12

Wow, how quickly 6 weeks pass by.

For our final coffeeneuring trip, Lynne & I planned to meet at Chatterbox Coffee on Baseline.   I haven't been there in a couple of years, and it's changed hands (and names) in the interim.  Seemed like it was time for another visit.

I'd been up fairly late the night before decorating a birthday cake, so I was glad the ride was just 8 miles round trip.  As it was the only exercise I was going to get this weekend, I was pretty sure I wouldn't burn off enough calories to cover the coffee, much less the cake to be consumed later in the day!   When I arrived, I found Lynne, her husband Fitz, and Jeff A already inside.

Chatterbox.  The gang's all here!

Lynne & Fitz.  (Jeff A not pictured)

Lynne & Mexi-Mocha.

Lots of choices!

Latte.  Passable coffee, lousy photo.
 We passed a very pleasant hour chatting.    Lynne's write-up of the day (and a group photo) can be found here.

Many many thanks to Mary Gersema of Chasing Mailboxes  for inspiring us to complete our coffeeneuring journey.  Looking forward to 2013!

Chatterbox Cafe
Vanilla Latte
8 miles
With Lynne, Fitz & Jeff A!

Coffeeneuring #7 2012-11-10

Every year I bake a birthday cake for Liam (the son of our best friends).  I've been doing this since his very first birthday.   This year marked the end of Liam's 7th trip around the sun, and thus it was time for me to make him yet another cake.

Over the years, Liam's cakes have gotten more elaborate.   I let Liam choose the theme, but after that I'm free to make whatever I like.   This summer, Liam learned to ride his bike without training wheels, so sometime around August he decided he wanted a bicycle cake.  With history as my guide, I knew I would invest a significant number of hours into the creation of his cake.

Liam's birthday is November 11th (Sunday).   His party was scheduled for 1pm.   November 11th is ALSO the day that Lynne & I planned to meet to do our final coffeneuring.  9am.

I planned to spend all day Saturday November 10th decorating Liam's cake.  With history as my guide, I knew I would invest a significant number of hours into the creation of his cake.   (Last year's cake involved 36 hours spread out over nearly a week.)   This year's cake, while not as complex, was still quite an undertaking.  Although the cakes themselves were already baked, I knew the entire day would be spent on it's construction.

What does this have to do with coffeeneuring?   Well, I was worried that November 11th would arrive to find me with his cake unfinished, me scrambling to put the finishing touches on it the morning of the party, and therefore unable to meet Lynne to coffeeneur.  Since this was the FINAL day of the FINAL weekend of coffeeneuring, I did not want to miss it!

 And so, since I decided to do an "insurance coffeeneur".  What's that?   Well.... sometimes Lynne & I do "insurance perms".  Both of us are working on another R-12.  Some months, there's a big ride (400K, 600K etc.) scheduled late in the month.   While neither of us ever DNF brevets, there's always that chance, and so, as "insurance" against breaking our R-12 streaks, we will sometimes do a 200K perm earlier in the month.   You know, just in case.

So, on the morning of the 10th, I decided I needed a quick "insurance" ride.   The grocery store is 1.2 miles (2.4 miles r/t) from my house.  I needed more powdered sugar for the cake fondant so I decided to ride my bike, get some coffee, buy the sugar, and hightail it home.   Perhaps this trip is not within the "spirit" of the casual, relaxed coffeeneuring events we'd had up to this point, but sometimes life intervenes to interrrupt our best intentions.

My dutch bike (a REAL dutch bike: the Gazelle Madelief) has a grocery pannier permanently installed, so I decided to take that bike to the local Fred Meyer.   As I was pedaling towards the store, I realized I could have fun with the dutch theme.  Rather that going to Starbucks (I'd sworn that I wouldn't use that as one of my coffeeneuring locations!) I decided to ride to the nearby Dutch Brothers Drive-thru instead!

Dutch Brothers has a walk-up window so I parked my bike and ordered a "Cocomo".  I think it's basically a latte with coconut flavor.  It wasn't great, but wasn't awful either.  I wouldn't go out of my way to order it again.

Dutch bike at Dutch Brothers

My Gazelle Madelief at the grocery store.  

Groceries purchased, I returned home to work on Liam's cake.  

I'm pretty good at copying cakes I find online or elsewhere.  To make Liam's cake I was inspired by one I found on a blog, but decided i could one-up it by making the wheels actually spin!   To do so, I purchased lazy susan bearings online at Amazon

Spin me around!
The construction of the cake was time-consuming , but I got it done by 1am.   (Early enough to get up the next day for coffeeneuring with Lynne.  Yay!)

The finished cake!

Manufactured 2005.  The boy, not the cake!

My favorite 7 year old.  Love you, Liam!

Here's a quick video clip of Liam playing with the spinning wheels.   They were a big hit with all the boys at the party!

The details:
Dutch Brothers Coffee
Distance: 2.4 miles
"cocomo" coconut latte.  Meh.
All by myself!

Coffeeneuring #6 2012-11-04

Grand Central Bakery makes GREAT bread.   They also make a surprisingly good latte.  On November 4th, I rode the 14.8 miles  to Grand Central to meet Theo, Ed & Asta for coffee and breakfast.  We were planning to ride the Lunch at Nick's 200K permanent after breakfast, so coffee and some solid food seemed advisable.

I arrived to find everyone else already there, including Ken (the perm owner who needed to give us cards & waivers) and Rob, with whom we'd ridden the Verboort Sausage Populaire the day before.   They both live within a few blocks of Grand Central.

(L to R) Ed, Theo, Asta Ken & Rob.
Service was slooooooow, so despite wanting something warm, I ended up with just a latte and a jammer.  A very tasty jammer, but not the warm breakfast I was hoping for.

Latte served by the pint!

Ed bought bread to sustain him through the 200K.  Was quite amusing to see it sticking out of his handlebar bag half the day!

Now, don't go eating that all at once...

The details:
Grand Central Bakery, Multnomah Blvd, Portland
Vanilla Latte & a jammer
14.8 miles one way (30r/t)
with Ed, Theo, Asta, Ken & Rob!

Coffeeneuring #5 11-03-2012

November 3rd marked the umpteenth annual running of the Verboort Sausage Populaire run by the Oregon Randonneurs.    While I can't get Jeff to come out on a 200K with me, a populaire with sausage involved is right up his alley.     Of course, we *also* wanted to do our 5th coffeeneuring adventure, so we hatched a plan.

1) Ride 15 miles to Maggies Buns in Forest Grove for coffee and breakfast.
2)  Ride 3 miles from Maggies Buns to Verboort, the location of the populaire.
3) Ride the populaire.
4) Ride the 15 miles home!

With the populaire starting at 9:00, we did the math and realized we'd need to leave our house at 6:45 to get to Maggie's between 7:45 and 8:00.   It was still fairly dark when we left (clocks hadn't changed yet) and Jeff doesn't have much in the way of lighting, but the roads were fairly quiet and soon enough thre was enough light to navigate by.   We arrived at Maggie's at 7:55 and set about ordering food & coffee.

Maggie's Buns
Jeff.  Get that boy some coffee!
Maggie's is notoriously slow, so while we waited for our coffee and food, I entertained myself by photographing the eclectic mix of salt & pepper shakers.  Clearly, creepy owls are in.

Creepy owls.
Soon enough, Lynne & Bill arrived.   Bill ordered coffee, while Lynne ordered coffee and a cinnamon roll the size of Manhattan (Maggie's specialty!)

Jeff & Bill

Lynne & a cinnamon roll bigger than her head.  

My food arrived shortly thereafter, and I proceeded to tuck in to a very passable bagel sandwich.  Everything is better with bacon, of course!

Plenty of bacon!
Latte & creepy owls.

 Soon enough it was time to  head out for the three mile ride to the populaire!  We were well fueled for the ride!  :-)

The details:
Maggie's Buns
Vanilla Latte
15 miles (30 r/t)
With Lynne, Jeff & Bill!