Thursday, November 20, 2014

Coffeeneuring 2014

# 1:  Pony Espresso at Beaverton Farmers Market, Beaverton OR, Saturday October 5th

Absolutely fabulous day for a bike ride.  Warm and sunny!   I rode my dutch bike with grocery panniers attached.  Lots of fabulous fruits and veggies purchased at the market.

Bike: Gazelle Madalief
Companion: Asta on rollerskates (Bonues: chance encounter with Super Coffeeneur Bill A.)
Drink: Large Americano
Bike facilities:  The market is adjacent to the public Library.  There is a large covered bike parking area with plenty of racks.
Mileage: 13-14.  My dutch bike doesn't have a computer on it.  I rode all the way there from home, and multi-moded bicycling + the MAX train on the way home.

Farmers Market goodies

Me & Asta.  Photo by Bill A.

#2:  Longbottom's Coffee and Tea, Hillsboro OR, Sunday October 6th

Another sunny day!   Asta acquired a new bike, so we made a quick spin to Longbottom's for her first test ride.

Bike: Gazelle Madalief
Companion: Asta on her new bike
Drink: Black coffee
Bike facilities:  There a rack outside the front door, but we just lean our bikes wherever.   Super safe location with no need for a lock
Mileage: ~3.5.

<<Missing my photo!   Yikes!  Luckily, I did a bonus 8th coffee, just in case...>>

#3: Starbucks, Richland WA, Saturday October 18th

I drove to the Tri-Cities region to ride the Richland-Pendleton-Richland 205km permanent with Norm, Gary, Jason and Keith.  The meetup was at a Starbucks which was 2.5 miles from the hotel where Jason, Keith & I were staying.   This is what we call "Opportunistic Coffeeneuring."   Sometimes ya just gotta fit them in where ya can!

Jason works for Starbucks corporate, so it was funny to coffeeneur there with him.   Especially since the staff there was pretty clueless...

Bike:  The Troublemaker (my carbon Sweetpea)
Companions: Jason & Keith
Drink: Pike's Place, black
Bike facilities:  None.   This Starbucks is inside the Albertsons.   We just lean our bikes up against the storefront.
Mileage: 2.5 miles.   We rode back to the hotel too, with just a wee little 205km ride in between.  Does that make it 5 miles??  ;-)


Jason & me

#4: The Verboort Sausage Festival bingo tent, Verboort OR, Saturday November 1st

Another opportunistic coffeeneuring adventure.   This day began with a 100K populaire with Oregon Randonneurs.   This ride finishes at the annual sausage festival, where a local church makes and sells thousands of pounds of homemade sausages and kraut for it's annual fundraiser.   After finishing the ride, we wandered off to the Bingo tent for sausages, coffee and "atmosphere".   Bingo was in full swing and the polka music was blaring from the loudspeakers.   After our meal and much socializing, we rode our bikes back to our vehicles, which were parked near the start of the populaire, which was a few miles away in Forest Grove.

Bike:  The Troublemaker
Companions: Paul, Keith, Graham, Michal, Gary
Drink: black coffee out of the biggest urn I've ever seen
Bike facilities:  None.   We leaned our bikes up against the chain link fence near the church.
Mileage: 3 miles.  

Like ebony and ivory.  Only different

Banks Vernonia Trail
Group, post-populaire

OK coffee, tasty sausage.

#5: Coava Coffee, Portland Oregon, Sunday November 2nd

After the populaire the day before, I had a big post-ride party at my house.  A bunch of us decided to coffeeneur Sunday morning, and eventually settled on Coava, a place I've never been,

Gary crashed in my guestroom on Saturday night.  We had "grand plans" to take the long way to the coffee shop, but Sunday dawned cold, foggy and chilly.  Instead, we took the most direct route.  Still a lovely ride to get there, involving a ride up and over the West Hills in the fog.  Everything was drippy and eerie, and traffic was nearly non-existent.

Coava shares space with a wood-working showroom of some sort.   Neat space, but not enough chairs.   All the baristas were prototypical lumbersexuals.   In addition to a tasty pourover, I purchased some coffee to go.

After coffee, most of us rode to brunch.  And had more coffee.   After which the group splintered a little more and Asta, Theo & I headed off towards the MAX.   Somehow we managed to use up a goodly portion of the daylight by the time we got home.

Bike:  the steel Sweetpea
Companions: Keith, Jeff, Theo, Asta, Lynne, Gary
Drink: Pourover, black.
Bike facilities:  Minimal.   We locked our bikes up to a motley assortment of utility pipes and street signs.
Mileage: 17 miles from my house to town.  Plus additional unrecorded miles post-coffee to brunch and back home.  Probably about 30 miles, all in.

Foggy morning up on Skyline


The group.  Photo by Jeff A.

#6: Starbucks, Hillsboro OR , Saturday November 8th.

Every year, I bake a birthday cake for my friend Jill's son, Liam.  I've been doing them since he was born.  In the early years, I made the cakes based on whatever he showed an interest in, but now that he's older, I let him choose the theme.    Then, I start googling around for ideas, and usually come up with something fun.

This year, he decided he wanted a cougar cake. Well, if you google "Cougar Cake", the results that you are presented with are decidedly NOT fit for a child's visual consumption.    So, I spent quite a few weeks stressing over his cake would look like.   Finally, on Friday night, I settled on a design.

On Friday night I began baking the layers.  On Saturday morning, I started working at 8am, baking more layers.   Then I began the layout and fondant work.   Around 3:00pm I decided I needed more fondant, some foamcore to serve as the base, and an exacto knofe for easier and more precise fondant cutting.  Plus I needed a break.   So Asta & I headed out to Joann's for supplies, with a Starbucks's top along the way.   I ordered a latte.  It was terrible.   Watery and tasteless.  Should have stuck with black coffee, which is the only reliable thing at Starbucks these days.

After picking up supplies at Joann's we headed back to my house.   Cake was finally finished at 12:30am.  16 hours start to finish, not including the layers baked the night before.

Bike:  Gazelle Madelief dutch bike to carry supplies.
Companions: Asta
Drink: A very disappointing latte
Bike facilities:  None.  We left our bikes outside while we purchased coffee, then sat with them while drinking our coffee.
Mileage: 6 miles roundtrip including the stop-in at Joann's for supplies

LOUSY latte
But fabulous helmets

Cake plan

Finished cake!

#7: Poppa's Haven, Beaverton OR, Sunday November 9th

Liam's birthday party was scheduled for 1pm.   After breakfast, Asta & I headed out to Poppa's Haven for coffee.   This is one of my favorite places for coffee on the west side, but I rarely get over there.  It was a chilly ride over, but dry.

Poppa's Haven must be doing well, because they've expanded their seating area into the next space.   Much roomier now!   Asta ordered a pumpkin latte, so I decided to try one too.  Good choice.  It was amazing.   Best coffee of the entire coffeeneuring adventure, so ending on a high note was great!

After coffee we rode back to my house.  Our weather luck ran out, and it drizzled the entire way.    We were also running late, and by the time I got home, showered, and got to Liam's house, I was 15 minutes late and Liam was bouncing off the walls with excitement.   He was thrilled with the cake, which made all the long hours spent working on it totally worth it.   I love that kid.  :-)

Bike:  The Troublemaker
Companions: Asta
Drink: Pumpkin Latte
Bike facilities:  None.   We leaned our bikes up against a table.
Mileage: 12 miles round trip.

Poppa's Haven has expanded.
Asta loves having her photo taken.   Not.

Best pumpkin latte EVER.
In my belly.

Me and the birthday boy

Bonus#8: South Store Cafe, Scholls OR, Saturday November 16th

I was *supposed* to be riding a 300K with Keith and friends in Seattle.   But I've been battling a chest cold and despite being a little stir crazy I resisted the urge to ride an inappropriate distance, especially give our extremely cold weather this week.  

I have another new bike (new to me, anyway) and decided to take it on it's maiden journey.   As always, my faithful coffee companion Asta came along for the ride as well.  She has a new bike as well, and other than a brief coffee ride, it too would be getting it's first real road adventure.

We headed out into the very crisp day to South Store.   They make really excellent home made backed goods as well as excellent coffee.    We both had pumpkin spice lattes and shared an incredibly flaky apple turnover.

After leaving South Store we headed back towards my place, but decided to head to a local brewpub near my house for beer and happy hour food.  Good choice.   We managed to snag a table in the bar before it got totally crazy in there!

We heard from the guys later that we'd made the right choice.   They were popsicles on the ride, and not everyone finished.   We still missed them, though.

Bike:  Specialized Tr-Cross
Companion: Asta
Drink: Pumpkin Spice Latte
Bike facilities:  None.   We leaned our bikes up against the outside of the cafe.
Mileage: 3 miles round trip, including the short side excursion for beer-neuring

Maiden voyage for these babies!

Me. Photo by Asta.

After coffee comes beer

Me.  Photo by Asta.

Many many thanks to Mary for organizing another wonderful year of coffeeneuring.   After a long rando season, it's a wonderful thing to ride off the clock at a casual pace, with such wonderful friends.

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