Monday, October 31, 2016

Coffeeneuring 2016: #5, Lionheart Coffee

#5 Lionheart Coffee

Date: October 30
DestinationLionheart Coffee, Beaverton, OR
Beverage: Mocha
Bike Friendliness: wave rack, but I didn't use it
Bicycle: Rivendell Bleriot
Total mileage: 10.85 miles

Another new coffee shop for me.  I also needed some more knitting needles (I know, you look at my stash of needles and wonder how I could need more...), and there was a yarn shop close by, plus the library had a book for me.  The weather was grey, and drizzly.

The most expedient way south to the main part of the Fanno Creek Trail is through the Fred Meyer.  I didn't really want to go through the Freddie's parking lot on a Sunday afternoon, so I headed south on 106th (past the alpacas), crossed Canyon on to 107th, thence to SW 5th, and turned right to pick up the route through the neighborhoods to the terminus of the trail on Denney Rd.

I was hoping there would be good fall color on the trail, but as it is all native vegetation, that isn't as flamboyant as the imports.

Heron.  It was having a good day.

It had been raining, and Fanno Creek was starting to fill up.  The trail does flood, but fortunately, I wasn't riding through any of the known flood spots.  There was this one:

Fortunately, I wasn't riding that way.

I hadn't been to this yarn store, and was pleased to see they had an excellent selection of knitting needles, and exactly the ones I needed.  If I'd had more time, there would have been some browsing, and possibly some more yarn acquisition, so it was a good thing there wasn't more time.

First stop was a knitting store

From there, I rode west a block to Lionheart Coffee.  Like most coffee shops in the burbs, it is also in a strip mall, but a strip mall with direct access to the Fanno Creek Trail, and a wave rack.  Not that I used the rack; I am getting tired of going through the whole "lock up the bike" ritual, so I helmet locked it, and bungied it to a chair right outside where I could keep an eye on it.

Super nice staff; I ordered a mocha, and sat down to work on my knitting project, knitting from a way too long circular needle onto my new 12" circular needle.

transferring from a super long circular needle to a short one

One of the staff inquired about my fenders - he needs some, and really liked mine.  Honjos, making friends everywhere.

Art on the Fanno Creek Trail

After finishing the mocha, I returned north, on to the Beaverton Library.  Sadly, I did have to lock my bike there; the missionaries who lurk outside (and watch my bike) were not there this day in the rain.

Stopped at the library on the way home

After getting my book, I came out to find a guy working on a bike on the repair stand.  I asked if he needed anything.  After a bit of conversation, he asked if I had any misdemeanors.  Nope, fresh out.  By this point, I figured his grasp on reality was a bit tenuous.

From here I returned home, to the best fall foliage on the route:

Our Japanese Maple

Coffeeneuring 2016, #4: Home Coffee Shop

Ride: 4

#4: Home Coffee Shop at Susan's

Date: October 29
Destination: Susan's house
Beverage: Coffee mit Schlag and Pumpkin Pie, also mit Schlag
Bike Friendliness: garage
Bicycle: Rivendell Bleriot
Total mileage: 20+ miles

Susan baked a pumpkin pie and opened up a Home Coffee Shop so she'd have help eating it.  I was the only one to show; more pie for meeeeeeeeeee!

Riding to Susan's is fairly straightforward; most of the route was my commute for a year or so.  The only challenge was that I won't ride on Evergreen through the shopping center, and had to cut north from Cornell, but not too late, or I'd miss the turnoff on the Rock Creek Trail.

While cloudy, it did not rain.  Susan, Jeff and I sat around, visited and ate a lot of pie.  She also sent me home with a piece for Fitz.

Pretty fall colors.

#4: Home Coffee Shop at Susan's

#4: Home Coffee Shop at Susan's

#4: Home Coffee Shop at Susan's

#4: Home Coffee Shop at Susan's

Coffeeneuring 2016, Rides 1-3

First question, do I have a theme?  I'll just say I have one in mind, and am choosing my destinations accordingly.  But it is sort of like an R-12 or P-12, where you don't out yourself, until it is well underway :-)

So, rides 1-3:

Ride: 1

Coffeeneur #1

Date: October 7
Destination: Solace Coffee, Beaverton, OR
Beverage: Peppermint Mocha
Bike Friendliness: wave rack
Bicycle: Rivendell Bleriot
Total mileage: 3.2 miles
I had never been there, so I thought I'd check it out.  It is in a strip mall with many expedient food eateries, and right across the parking lot from the Beaverton Police Department.  I still locked my bike. :-)  There are many chairs and tables, books, magazines and toys trains.

Ride: 2

Coffeeneur #2: hanging at the weaving studio

#3: Grand Central Bakery

Date: October 18
Destination: Grand Central Bakery, Multnomah Village, Portland, OR
Beverage/Food: Coffee and a chocolate croissant
Bike Friendliness: wave rack
Bicycle: Rivendell Bleriot
Total mileage: 13+ miles

I have a Beginning Floor Loom Weaving class in Multnomah Village every Thursday morning.  I arrived with coffee, and threaded the heddles and the reed (this is part of "dressing" the loom before doing any actual weaving).  After class I dropped down the hill and paused at Grand Central Bakery for coffee and a croissant.  While I have been there via bicycle several times (our Solstice Perm started there), I have never coffeeneured there.  While I had only a croissant this time, their sandwiches are quite good.

The route from my house is rather fun - after dropping down my hill and crossing a couple of major streets, I ride quieter streets and the eastern section of the Fanno Creek Trail all the way to Garden Home, then ride up Multnomah Blvd, finishing with a one block steep pitch up to Capitol Hwy to the Arts Center.  Grand Central is just below the Arts Center on Multnomah.

Ride: 3

The ride start, and Coffeeneur #3

Date: October 24
DestinationFix Coffeehouse, Green Lake, Seattle
Beverage/Food: Coffee and a breakfast sandwich
Bike Friendliness: staple rack
Bicycle: Sweetpea
Total mileage: 2.1 miles

This one snuck up on me.  I was in Seattle to participate in the Dart Populaire, and stayed at a friend's house near our route start.  I had planned to arrive early enough to get breakfast and coffee before the ride, which I did.  That breakfast sandwich kept me going for quite some time.  I didn't realize I had coffeeneured until that evening!

Monday, October 24, 2016

An Unlikely Dart Populaire Team

Hares and Tortoise.  I was wanting to ride the Seattle Randonneurs Dart Populaire, which was going to be held the day after the annual meeting.  As I am in Portland and don't know the Seattle area well, I was hoping to get on a team formed up there.  Theo (the organizer) and I chatted, and he said he'd check around.

A week later I received an email asking if I wanted to join him and James.  He promised minimal distance and as few vertical feet as he could route to make it work.  I was in.

Then there were the Logistics - the route started in Green Lake and finished in Kirkland - 20 miles and a big lake in the middle.  The annual meeting was in Issaquah.  A kind randonneur who lives near Theo (and Green Lake) offered up a bed for the night, and Theo and I planned to drive over to Kirkland, leave my car parked by Mark's house (two blocks from the finish location), and ride over to Green Lake.

It was originally going to rain, and I packed for that.  After the car was loaded, Susan O shared an updated forecast with practically no rain.  I figured I'd check before leaving the car, and remove any superfluous rain gear before riding off east.  Theo also suggested I bring a u-lock.  I have one.  It must weigh at least two pounds.  But I brought it along.

After a delightful annual meeting (so nice to see everyone!), it got even better - Shan offered to drive Theo and me back into Seattle!

bikes on Shan's car

Theo and I arrived at Noel's house and let ourselves in, saying hi to the very large, very friendly dog.  We then hiked over a few blocks to get some dinner.  Thai, world's noisiest restaurant.  Food was good but there wasn't quite as much as I could have eaten.  I heard Theo had pizza with James later :-)  Theo pointed out the way I'd ride the next morning - I was under the impression that I'd just head down the hill, but I really needed to ride up a couple blocks and then down, so I'd end up in Green Lake and not Ballard.

Visited with Noel a bit and then conked out.  Up the next morning, organized, and out the door, but not before Noel told me to take a banana.  Fun ride up and over, and on the trail around Green Lake, where I quickly arrived at Fix Coffeehouse.

Our team had grown by one more - Audunn joined us.  Nice!

James at the start

The ride start, and Coffeeneur #3

We set out shortly after 8am.  While I had the cue sheet and the route loaded on my phone, I was just going to follow Theo.  Surface streets for a bit, then through Ravenna Park, which was firm pea gravel.  Theo: "homage to Ken M".  We then got onto the Burke-Gilman trail, familiar to me from several years of riding RSVP.  Susan O's team passed us, riding south.

I think we missed a turn somewhere :-( and had about 3 bonus miles added to fix that.  Then we were on the Bothell-Everett Highway for a good long while - strip malls and lots of traffic.  Better than some heavily-traveled suburban roads I ride here, but we were all happy to get to the end of that!  Lowell Larimer Road was a delight.  Peaceful and quiet.

Our first info control was at the corner of Lowell Larimer and Lenora roads, involving a house with a totem pole in the yard.

Heading toward Snohomish; photo by Theo Roffe

We then turned east towards Snohomish and the delights of the Snohomish Bakery.  Food service was slow, so we all bought pastries and coffee.  Theo got a cheese bread thing the size of his head.

Theo at the Snohomish Bakery.

From there we headed north to Lake Stevens, by way of the Centennial Trail.  I am pleased to report that the Bollards of Death have been replaced with more standard bollards.  We saw both John Pearch and Ward Beebe out riding.  Arrived at the coffee stand in Lake Stevens.  Given that I was the slowest rider, I got my card signed and headed back; they'd catch up soon enough.

We headed back through Snohomish, and onto the part of the route that I recognized as RSVP in reverse.  So, up that hill on Springhetti, up Broadway (does this hill have a top?), arriving at the 6 hour control in Cathcart, perhaps a little past 6 hours :-)  Doesn't matter, you just can't LEAVE the 6 hour control before 6 hours.  There was another team sitting outside, snacking.

Bought a banana and some more water, and we headed out.  More miserably steep pitches (I never met a hill I couldn't walk up), and we finally arrived at the corner of Woodinville-Duval Road.  I was totally looking forward to the descent, but first offloaded my u-lock on Theo ("ooh!  More weight for the descent!  Yay!").  Oh that was fun!

We arrived in Wilmot Park, where there was discussion about the route, and how it wouldn't get us across the river and...  So, we went a slightly different way with a breathtaking wall which seemingly had no end.  I had to walk the whole thing, just couldn't ride up it.  I am still not sure which way we went.

Our 120km point was just as we got on the Kirkland Connector Trail, which we made by 7:50 elapsed.  So we rode on for another 10 minutes, then took pictures and signed each other's cards at the 8 hour point.

120km. Audunn, Theo, Lynne, and James

From there we had a leisurely cruise to the finish in Kirkland, at the Chainline Brewery.  I sat and drank a soda for awhile, and eventually scraped up the energy to get some tasty fries from the food truck.

Riders at the finish; Chainline Brewing in Kirkland

This was my first calendared RUSA ride since last November, and the most challenging ride I have done this year.  What with bonus miles and all, bike computer reports 79.6 miles, and 3154 vertical feet.