Sunday, October 27, 2013

Coffeeneuring #4

I write this with sore knees and a sense of mental & physical burnout. It's been a hectic two weeks. Last week's 30-mile coffeeneuring outing was the only free day I had had in weeks, and I needed to burn off a lot of energy and see lots of pretty things. This weekend, I didn't have a free day, so I decided to build coffeeneuring into my grading and writing flow. Writing this blog post is one also built in there somewhere.

I gave the pre-concert talk for this weekend's Seattle Symphony concerts, so I've been busy there. I showed up to the first one with helmet hair, then got smart and didn't ride my bike on Saturday. Today (Sunday), I rode very slowly, and only from home. I was determined to go coffeeneuring afterwards, despite this terrible knee pain I've been having lately. I think I pushed it too much last week, speeding up and down Eastlake/Fairview between UW and downtown so many times in addition to my normal commute. I've also been playing with seat height, but it hasn't seemed to make anything better. Maybe I'll pop into the shop and ask for advice. If I have time.

Today's trip included a stop at Benaroya Hall for the pre-concert talk, then it took me to 15th on Capitol Hill. Even though it wasn't the best route, I opted to try the Broadway cycle track from Pine through its northern end at Denny. I like cycle tracks. We should have them everywhere. I headed over on Thomas to 15th, and had to walk from 12th. I didn't have the energy to sweat up the hill.

Coffeeneuring details:

The Bagel Deli on Capitol Hill (best bagels in Seattle, fwiw)
Drip coffee
Everything bagel with scrambled egg, cheese, and tomato
My route
My tweet

They played The Velvet Underground and other Lou Reed solo stuff the whole two hours I was there. When I was leaving and I bought some bagels to go, I expressed my appreciation to the cashier, who told me they started the marathon before they knew he died. Eerie.

I went back home the slightly long but very scenic and pretty flat way, through Interlaken Park, across the Burke-Gilman to Fremont and down Westlake. I take Dexter usually twice daily if I'm just going between home and school, but I wasn't in the mood for the hill. I'm so in support of a Westlake cycle track--it's nerve-wracking that the entire route is an active parking lot. I'm still pretty new to biking, and already strangely comfortable riding with cars. But there's no reason why we can't have a more connected infrastructure system for bikes. As this city or any city gets denser, it becomes more difficult to get around by car. Why not encourage people to leave a negligible footprint, save a ton of money, and get some exercise on their journeys across town?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

coffeeneuring #3

Guest Coffeeneuring Blog Post Questions, prompted by Chasing Mailboxes.
1) Where do you live?
Seattle, Washington, on the south slope of Queen Anne.

I cannot ride up the hill to where I live (just above Aloha street), in case you were wondering. Twice, I've ridden up the north slope on 3rd west. Both times, it took everything out of me. The second time, I got passed by a jogger.
2) How did you decide to coffeeneur?
I saw it posted by the Seattle Bike Blog, and thought it would be a great thing to do to combine activities I already do and love. 
3) What bike are you using as your coffeeneuring bike? What makes it a good coffeeneuring bike?

My coffeeneuring bike is my only bike. It's a Kona Hoo-Ha that people who know about bikes give me lots of compliments on. That's a good sign, I suppose. I bought it at Recycled Cycles in May, and I love it. The poor thing tried to kill me a few times, but we're over it. I think. Like its human, my bike is a feminist machine.

4) Where did you choose to coffeeneur for this coffeeneuring trip?

I went to Great Harvest Bread Company in Lake Forest Park, Washington.

5) Is the coffee shop beautiful and the coffee delicious? Tell us a little about your coffeeneuring locale.

It's more of a bakery than a coffee shop--my coffee was drip, out of one of those press-down carafes. It was pretty good for something like that! Some of my coffeeneuring trips are for the coffee, and some are for the ride. I really didn't plan on going here, I just took the Burke-Gilman from Seattle to the West Sammamish River Trail until I got to the Redmond library, and then over to the transit hub (approx. 30 miles from my home, see map here), and stopped when I got hungry and there were businesses around. I got lucky and ran into the Lake Forest Park farmer's market, where I ate some samples, and bought a salted caramel macaron and an amazing pink lady apple.

6) What other types of riding do you do besides coffeeneuring?
Almost all of my riding is commuting. It makes me like my day a whole lot more, and feel better about having to be stuck sitting still for most of the time that I'm at my destination. Over the summer, I did a bunch of fun, casual rides with friends. Now that school's in session, it's harder to find time.
7) What else did I forget to ask you that you want to share?
I coffeeneur in jeans. Usually. This time, I wore padded shorts, and threw on a pair of cotton H&M tights over the shorts--it worked perfectly!

I also got my first and second flat tires this week. Here's what happened for the first one. When I replaced the tube (on my own, thank you, internet), I messed up and put the tube back on the rim, not into the tire, so the tube folded over on itself. Two and a half days of commuting later, I got a pop/hiss flat, which I later patched, and it has been holding up well.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Coffeeneuring #2

I had to combine coffeeneuring with errands & going to work, and I didn't want to go on too much of an adventure this weekend. I have longer trips planned for weekends when there's more time & energy.

My second trip was to Caffè Umbria in Pioneer Square. I'd been once before, and it was amazing. It was a classy joint, so I knew to dress to impress (by which I mean "no clothing with words"). The weekend crowd was a lot more relaxed--lots of folks stopping by on their way to the Seahawks game. Also saw a Seattle by Foot group finish their tour with some espresso.

This is the delicious soy latte I drank while knocking out not nearly enough on my to-do list.

I tweeted to make my presence known, and I mapped it (with the detours to Uwajimaya and work included).

If anybody in the Seattle area is linked here from Chasing Mailboxes, I'd love to coordinate some trips!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Coffeeneuring, trip 1

This long-silent music/academia blog might be morphing into a bike blog. It will for the next seven weeks, and we'll see what happens later.

Coffeeneuring is the next big thing for figuring-it-all-out cyclists like me, especially those of us (me again) who live in the coffee capital of north America.

I got back from an awesome weekend in Vancouver, which meant spending most of today on a Greyhound bus. I got back and needed to move, so searched for a coffee shop open past 6 on a Sunday. Found one in Belltown just over a mile from me, and decided to take a nice sweep through the Elliott Bay Trail before landing there. I ended up in Magnolia, and decided to forget about Belltown. There's pretty much nothing commercial in Magnolia, so I ended up at Starbucks in Magnolia Center. I ordered a grande passion iced tea (unsweetened, duh), and caught up on email. Here's the route I took, here's twitter proof, and here's photographic proof.
33rd & W McGraw