Monday, October 26, 2015

Coffeeneuring, Now With More Social!

Ride: 6
Date: Saturday, October 24

Distance: 2.42 miles
Bike: Sweetpea 
Beverage: Coffee
Bike Friendliness: just lean it outside somewhere, don't block the door.

Many of us were gathering for a friend's Big Milestone Ride this past Saturday.  Our out-of-town guest wondered if we could work in a coffeeneur expedition.  Sure, there were a couple of options.

We got ourselves to the start about a half hour early, and unloaded the bikes.  As we were doing so, Corey and Stefanie (both all the way from Olympia) drove up.  We told them where we were ending up; they thought they'd take the 1.5 block route :-)

First, Lynne and Michal had to coffeeneur

I led Michal on a circumnavigation of North Plains, ending up at Hits the Spot Cafe, a popular permanent finish location.

Evidence of coffeeneuring

Corey and Stefanie were already there, eating breakfast.  We got coffee.  Ray wandered through, but elected to skip the coffee this time.

me, Stefanie, and Corey.  Pic by Michal Young

I knitted a bit.

Coffeeneuring theme - Fibers

Then we all adjourned to the start, 1.5 blocks down the street.

Finished up the sock later, so on to the next sock project, which, with a better contrasting second yarn, is now off the back burner.  Stay tuned.

Thuja socks finished

Wow! Thanks, Everybody!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Coffeeneuring: Dive Run to Ava Roasteria

Ride: 5?
Date: Sunday, Oct 18
Distance: 4.8 miles
Bike: Rivendell
Beverage: Pumpkin Spice Latte

The library sent me a "book ready" notice, and, as I had two books to return, and hadn't coffeeneured yet this week, I thought I'd combine the two.  Grabbed the sock I am knitting, and headed out.

The library closes at 5 on Sunday, and I zipped in just under the wire.  Books managed, I coasted over the couple blocks to Ava.  As I noted last year, it is open 24/7 (good if, say, someone is finishing a permanent in the middle of the night), and appears to be very popular with the "I want to study in a coffeeshop with my textbooks and laptop" crowd.

Bleriot parked at Ava Roasteria

So popular that I locked up in the rack, ordered a pumpkin spice latte, and found an open table outside.

Pumpkin spice latte and knitting. Bleriot lurks in the background.

Careful examination of the sock revealed that I only needed 1.5" more knitting before I could start the toe, so I interspersed knitting, drinking, and people-watching.  Got to where I could start the toe decreases, and headed home, because toes are easier to knit with double point needles, or a long cable circular needle, and I did not have either with me.

Sadly, looking at the bag I use on the porteur rack, I am again feeling the need to make a somewhat larger and more esthetically pleasing bag.  I have the materials, just need to come up with a design and get to it.

Coffeeneuring: Coffee with Beth

Ride: 4
Date: Friday, Oct 16
Distance: 28.47 mi
Vertical feet: 2000
Location: Saint Cupcake SW,  1138 SW Morrison St
Bike Friendliness: Adorable whisk bike rack.  See the picture.
Beverage: Americano
Food: a Lemon dot and an Chocolate Hazelnut dot (mini cupcakes)

Beth and I have been promising ourselves that we'd get together for coffee for much too long.  We finally pulled it off.

Our meetup place was Saint Cupcake, which, while not the original Saint Cupcake, still makes a very nice array of cupcakes, both standard and mini sizes.

My route into Portland includes going over Sylvan summit, then coasting to the Zoo, up a bit to Kingston Rd, then downhill through Washington Park and SW Portland.

Saint Cupcake has an adorable bike rack.

Bike rack, St Cupcake

Beth arrived as I was locking up.  We got ourselves coffee, and in my case, a couple of exceptionally tasty dots (mini cupcakes).

Beth, our coffees, my pastries and The Knitting

In my case there was some knitting on a sock, and we spent a fair amount of time catching up.

Me, ditto.  Someday I will open my eyes

My other agenda for day was to ride over the shiny new Tillikum Bridge, and stop in at Rivelo on the other side, to buy some leather/crochet cycling gloves.  We rode down to the Willamette RIver, then started working our way south to the bridge.  Eventually, we just took ourselves to where the endless stream of cyclists was riding from.

Tillikum Bridge, Beth, streetcar, bicyclists

Tillikum Bridge, cables

The views from the bridge are wonderful.

Tillikum Bridge

Tillikum Bridge

Looking north at the Marquam Bridge and downtown

Now, I could fill this post up with a stupid number of pictures of the bridge, but you could just view them here.

As well as mission accomplished at Rivelo, we met another Google Riv lister, and visited with John.  He walked us out to meet our bikes.

Bike accessories and hatchets

All we need is a cracker barrel.  Or penny candy.

Casting about for what to do next, I suggested we ride on the Springwater Corridor Trail.  it was clear and sunny as we rode along the Willamette River.  And then we found ourselves in Sellwood, it was after 1pm, and we wanted some lunch.

Beth on the Springwater Corridor Trail

A burger place was located, and we sat down to some yummy burgers and fries.  And more catching up.

Mike's Burgers in Sellwood

Then Beth had to get home, so we headed our separate ways.  I got to ride over the Tillikum Bridge (oooh! more pictures!).  I followed the other cyclists to see where I'd end up, which turned out to be Portland State University.  So, four blocks north, and I was on Jefferson, headed back up to Washington Park, and then home.

The elevation profile

Coffeeneuring with Beth - Elevation profile

Coffeeneuring 2015: Delivering the Yarn

Ride: 3
Destination: Nike West Campus, Edo Building coffee cart, Beaverton, OR (just across SW Walker from the THRPD ball fields)
Date: Thursday, Oct 15
Beverage: Mocha
Bike friendliness: When I worked there, I was used to wheeling my bike into any building and leaving it unlocked in the lobby, or in a corner, or under some stairs.  This day, I locked it outside.
Total mileage: 11.59 miles

Back in the summer of 2012, I finished a contract at Nike.  While I was there, I got my eggs from Scott.  He also had pet sheep, and a few weeks after I left, he called to tell me I could have all four fleeces, with the condition that he get some yarn back for his daughter.  The whole fleece story is here.  So, anyway, three years later (I am so ashamed), I finally had yarn.  And, a few email exchanges later, we had a coffee date, at normal working-people hours.  As in, I'd be riding over through the morning commute.

Worked my way up through the elementary school and unexpected construction, before enjoying the drop down Park Way.  And then, when I tried to ride in the regular way, I found yet more construction.  Gack.  I knew where the building was, but finding the front door took a bit of time.  And, finally, there was Scott, and we wandered upstairs to the coffee cart.

Bleriot parked outside Nike Edo

I got a mocha, and we settled down for yarn handoff and catching up.  Lots of catching up.

Yarn delivery and coffee

Eventually Scott remembered he had to get back to work, and I headed back home.  

I thought I'd try to find a cut-through between 150th and Meadow, and you'd think there'd be one, but no.  Learning: there was a SIGN, saying there would be a through road eventually, but no estimated date, and a big fence and vegetation obscuring the pass through.  (Oh, wait, Google Maps says there is a path down the one road I didn't take!  Good to know for next time!) I hadn't ridden through there hardly at all since retiring, so I got to admire all the new infill housing.  Did remember to ride around the neighborhood construction on the return :-)

Other Learning: I now know where out in the boonies he lives, and will wave as I cycle by on any route which follows Stag Hollow Rd.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pink Flamingo for Lunch!

Friend Susan is inching closer and closer to her RUSA K-Hound award.  I wanted to ride a 200k this past weekend, so I asked if she wanted to play along and ride the Mill City Coffee Run permanent.  She had already made plans to ride the exact same route with Corey and Stefanie, so I was invited to join them.

We converged at the start in the predawn dimness, and had about 30 minutes for paperwork and coffee.

Bike for the day was Sweetpea - while I have been riding my Lemond more this year than in the last 3 years put together, it isn't up to riding in the dark/fog.  And the Sweetpea is still more comfortable for the longer distances.

Corey and Stefanie are adept at porta-potty spotting, and we had an off-road (ballast-sized rock) expedition at the Marion Ag Service near Broadacres.

It was chilly and foggy.  Very foggy.  So we didn't see much for the first 35 miles or so, until the fog abruptly left us around Shaw.

Corey and Stefanie on the tandem, and Susan O up ahead in the fog

I met Corey on my first 600k, and had met Stefanie online.  This was fun.  They were riding their tandem, so I had a guaranteed rear wheel to hang on to.

We made it to the first control in Stayton in about 3.5 hours.  I bought a banana and some Gatorade.  Topped off my electrolyte bottle with the Gatorade, and drank the rest.  Ate the banana, ate half of my pbj.  Corey had an extra piece of sushi from the deli counter (wait, what, they have SUSHI?), so I helped him with that.  Good to know.

From there, just under 20 miles to Rosie's Mountain Coffee House on the far side of Mill City.  This is a very scenic and very quiet stretch of road, lots of social riding.  So nice to ride this stretch with company.



When we pass the mills, we are almost there.

Freres (or Frank) Mill, just about to Mill City

We arrived at Rosie's just ahead of a big crowd.  Rather than the turkey croissant I usually order, I noticed a "Pink Flamingo" item on their menu.  Yes, lox and bagel, one of my favorite ride foods (tasty! caloric! salty!) when I can get it.  Susan was ahead of me in line, and got the last sesame bagel, so I had to be content with an oat bagel.  Being somewhat of a bagel purist, I was pleasantly surprised.

Pink Flamingo!

We took over a sunny picnic table outside, and enjoyed a sit down lunch.

From here, it was all downhill.  Perhaps, with some headwind.  I was hoping that once we got back into the Willamette Valley, we'd be crosswind, but that wasn't likely.

Stefanie stretching.

Santiam River, between Lyons and Mehama

So, back to Stayton, where I had another banana and some leftover birthday cake (our family birthday cake is a dense thing with chocolate, chocolate chips and nuts, no goopy frosting.  Also works for bribing sysadmins :-) ).  Bought a gallon of water, and we all topped up our bottles.  Corey had more sushi, so I got another piece.  Totally must remember this for the next time.

After passing through Aumsville, Corey and Stefanie called out "big bird alert!".  Field of emus on the west side of the Shaw Highway!

We then proceeded north on Howell Prairie Rd, into the headwind.  As I mentioned before, there were good wheels to sit on.  Susan is a very consistent rider, and a delight to draft.

A pause was taken by Corey and Stefanie, but I was saving myself for the portapotty at the gas station on Silverton Rd.  Susan and I got there, and she waited to snag them as they caught up.  And they arrived shortly, and stopped, so I went on; they'd catch me soon enough.

Tree patterns.

The wind started easing off, and I pulled over briefly to add the reflective vest.  It wasn't anywhere near dark, but it was getting to that time of day, and the temperature had dropped a bit.

They caught me right around the turn onto Mt Angel-Gervais Rd, about 8 miles later.  We didn't stop in Gervais.  Stefanie mentioned that she was counting the miles down :-)

Red roof, Butteville Rd

They all stopped in Donald to put on the night gear; as I had done so already, I kept going.

There were some very determined chaser chihuahuas, one black, one white.  Very determined.  Because they were so very small, it was funny.  I kept yelling GO HOME, but they were having none of it.


The sunset was working its way up to being pretty spectacular.  I tried to get a picture of Mt Hood with the alpenglow, but it didn't work out.  There was a full stop on Boones Ferry to catch it in all its glory.

Wow, that was a great sunset.  Boones Ferry Rd

I waited for everyone to catch up before we rode onto I-5 to cross the Willamette River on the Boone Bridge.  The northbound shoulder is so full of debris right now; less fun than usual.

But then, two quick turns, and we were done!  Before the Starbucks closed, even!

Post ride adjournment for dinner at McMenamins across the street.

Aftermath: Corey and Stefanie at McMenamin's

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Coffeeneuring 2015: A Trip to Jim and Patty's Coffee, And Knitting Socks

Ride: 2
Destination: Jim and Patty's Coffee, Beaverton, OR
Date: Saturday, Oct 10
Beverage: Borgia Mocha
Bike friendliness: strip mall has the same crap wheel-breaker bike rack.  Baristas make up for it.
Total mileage: 2.73 miles

As my Theme this year is Fibers, and as I had completed my Elemental Lace Shawl (yay!), I had to start another project, or do something else fiber-related.  I did have a project in mind, and had only to print out the pattern and forage around for a contrast yarn and properly sized needles.  With the depth of my knitting supplies, that didn't take too long.

Weather is a bit sub-optimal

A storm is working its way through, and, as it was going to be another solo outing, I picked my closest favorite coffee shop, Jim and Patty's.  I managed to drop down the hill in between showers.

Same crappy bike rack. My pretty Riv Bleriot.

After locking the bike up in a suboptimal fashion to the wheel-breaker rack, I went inside and had a great chat with the barista - she is looking for a way to commute from the east end of SW Beaverton-Hillsdale to the store, without much riding ON Beaverton Hillsdale.  Sadly, most of the other options involve a some climbing, although investigating does reveal one good possibility.

Ordered a Borgia Mocha (mocha with orange), sat down, cast on a sock, and tried to start knitting on it.

Borgia mocha, Flower Fair Isle Socks.

Learning: the back of the store is too dark for knitting, especially with dark yarn.  I relocated to the front of the store, tinked back half the first row (there was an extra knit in the knit 2 purl 2, and it didn't come out right), and then zipped through 8 rows of ribbing.  The pattern calls for 6, but I am going to do 12, just to get a good ribbing band at the top.  The only thing I am really using the pattern FOR is the design chart for the leg.  I can knit a sock without any pattern at all.

Jim and Patty's used to be Coffee People, and there was a display of CP mugs on the counter.  I amused myself by counting out how many of them I had.  Four, and some may still be in the house.

Mugs of history. At points in time I owned (and used!) mugs (from left) 1, 9, 12, and 13.

Enjoyed the Borgia mocha, and headed home.  There was another period of non-rain, at least for the first quarter mile or so.  Luckily, it was a warm rain.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Coffeeneuring 2015: Coffee Outside

Ride: 1
Destination: Council Crest Park, Portland, OR
Date: Sunday, Oct 4
Beverage: coffee brewed right at my picnic table, with milk and sweetner
Bike friendliness: picnic tables under shady trees.  Pretty nice!
Total mileage: 15.75 miles

Coffee to drink, and the knitting

Coffeeneuring 2015 is underway, with its delightful collection of rules.  Given the traffic on the Coffeeneuring facebook group yesterday, it looks like participation has exploded this year.  There are postings from Kyiv (Ukraine), and somewhere in the Central Asian Steppe!

Rule 2 allows for Coffee Shop Without Walls (Coffee Outside).  At its simplest, one procures coffee, rides somewhere, and drinks it.  More elaborate undertakings include collecting all the equipment needed to grind and brew coffee in the Great Outdoors, and doing that.

Every year I have said to myself "gonna do Coffee Outside!", and then I don't locate the needed equipment, and it doesn't happen.

Part of the plan was to do this with the gear already at the house.  I used to backpack, and had certainly made coffee outside!

This year, I rummaged in the shed, went through my backpack twice; no Svea 123 stove...  More shed rummaging (this includes climbing over the riding mower, and balancing on a few things to reach the upper shelves, without inside lighting, so it is kind of dim), and I finally spotted my Sigg Tourist cookset, which I knew contained the stove.

The stove has not been used for a couple of decades.  It had some fuel, and right next to the cookset was my old fuel bottle, which had more fuel.  Filled up the stove, and it fired right up.

Next up was to get a mug and a drip thingie.  Mugs are easy.  For that matter, so was the drip thingie.  I had a choice of the cone, or a Bodum Solo.  Grabbed the Bodum Solo, just because I hadn't used it before.  I think it, and the mug, came into the house many years before as part of a Drum Corps Auction.

My destination was Council Crest Park, one of the two high points in the Portland area, and a popular destination for cyclists wanting a climb.  From my house to the summit is about 6 miles and 800 vertical feet.

Got to the park, and as usual, rode to the very top, to enjoy the view.  Another cyclist started a conversation by admiring my bike :-) and we went on from there.

Sweetpea and Mt Hood at the Council Crest summit

SW view from Council Crest Park

Then I prospected for a spot to set up.  There are some picnic tables under some tall trees down below - no path, and a steep embankment, so I had them all to myself.

Heating the water with my trusty Svea 123

I had ground the coffee at home (blend of Mocha Java and Espresso Decaf), so had only to heat up the water and brew away.

Coffee brewing in the Bodum Solo

Pulled out my knitting while the water was heating, and worked away on my lace Elemental Shawl.  Now in the final 8 rows, but each row is 855 stitches.  Won't finish quickly!

So I'd knit 50 stitches, and then sip some coffee.  Coffee was ok; maybe I'll use the drip cone next time.  Or more coffee.

Coffee consumption complete, 2/3 of a row complete, and the stove cooled down, I packed everything up to finish the ride.  Tradition dictates that one circumnavigate Council Crest on Fairmount Blvd before returning, so that's what I did.

It was SUCH a nice afternoon that there were many cyclists out on Fairmount, and even more on Hewett Blvd on the return.

Hewett Rd

North Plains Banks Vernonia Redux

Yeah, I'll probably ride this route multiple times in a month.  It is good any time, as long as there is not ice.

Ray and I set out on Oct 1, early, because he had to get to work.  It was cool, and, in a seasonal first for me, foggy.

Early morning fog at the lumber mill, Vadis Rd

Also, starting at 7:30am gets us school traffic.  Now, granted, one is a parochial school out in the country, and the others are on the main drag in Banks.  But, as we are used to no other road occupants at all, it was certainly noticeable.

The trail was wonderful, as usual.  We are still detouring to the control at Lake Vernonia.  Given that I was on my skinny-tired road bike, we took the trail to Hwy 47 through town to the lake.  There was excellent fog at the lake.

Abandoned mill building in the fog, Lake Vernonia
(hmm.  Not sure how I like this result of the app I used to process the picture...)

Ray and his Saluki, Lake Vernonia

We rode back over a bit of hardpack, up a steep (paved) grade, and then back into town for our regularly-scheduled coffee and sweet roll stop.

Ray: "I'll have one of those."
Staff: "Heated?"
Me: "You wanted the butter on top, right?"
Ray: "They taste even better that way!"

(same order for me :-) )


The sun came out for our return.  At one point, something flew into my helmet, and I called for a halt to let it go.  Ray: "Is it buzzing?"  Well, not yet.  Good thing I was wearing a cap; I had picked up a yellowjacket!

Sun on the return, Banks-Vernonia Trail

Fields south of Pongratz Rd

What with school now in process, the return from Banks to North Plains was again low-traffic.

My favorite view on Wilkesboro Rd