Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Coffeeneuring 2017 - Second Cup at Texaco Beach

On Sunday the weather is still sublime, sunny and in the 60's. I pack up my new toy bicycle - it's hard to take the Dahon seriously - but I'm tickled that my coffeeneuring basket fits well with ample clearance for my heels. I pressed an old versatile Eastsport pack into service as a handle bar bag.

Texaco Beach is easily accessed from the waterfront trail. A wide, sandy beach invites one and all. Two people with bikes made tracks in the sand and are huddled against rocks and trees in their own private oasis.

The wind howls from the south, but I've found an inviting clump of trees to hide behind. Sunshine. Warmth.

I fire up my 20 year old Coleman stove. It hisses.

I make herbal tea. yet again, because I didn't venture on my bike until mid-afternoon. One of these days coffee will be welcome.

For now, I sit on the log, sipping tea, admiring the lake. That's what I've come for. Calm. Water views. Foliage.

The Place: Texaco Beach
Date: Sunday, October 15.
Drink: Celestial Seasoning's Red Zinger Tea
Observation: The warm weather won't last and soon I'll be brewing coffee! 
Total Miles: 13

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Coffeeneuring 2017 - First Cup on the Long Trail Bridge

View from Long Trail Bridge above the Winooski River.

My husband challenged me to expand my Coffee Shop Without Walls horizons this year to include tributaries to Lake Champlain. For two years I've brewed coffee and tea on the shores of our beautiful lake, which has been great fun and is close to home, should I need to keep brew ups short and sweet on a frigid morning. I have a few more scenic spots in mind. My husband, however, is bored with my usual coffeeneuring routine and he wants to accompany me on more outings further afield, which, I am over-the-moon about, plus I will have a built in photographer, making documentation easier.

Or should make photography easier...except I made a coffeeneur's faux pas: at the car park as we assembled our bikes, I realized I'd left my camera and phone at home!

So, readers, use your imagination. Here's Miss Clementine loaded with my usual basket of goodies: camp stove, cup, tea, table cloth, chair, water bottle, and lock.

A coffeeneaur's bike set up reenactment, sans bungee cord tie downs. I collected the bunch of red clover on the return to the car as treats for our animals!

I snagged these photos the following day, returning with our family as part of a driving foliage tour.
Our boys are walking on the bridge.
Two years ago the Green Mountain Club built a suspension bridge over the Winooski River to aid Long Trail through hikers over a major river in their quest to hike the length of Vermont. It's easy to access each end of the bridge either by car or bicycle.

In fact, we rolled our bicycles onto the bridge where I brewed tea while observing spectacular water views. Rivaling a momentous Ethan Allen Tower adventure, the Long Trail Bridge brew up was my husband's idea as our first coffeeneuring stop. Way to go husband!

The Place: Long Trail Bridge
Date: Saturday, October 14.
Drink: Celestial Seasoning's Wild Berry Zinger Tea
Observation: Epic fail, forgetting a camera or phone, but we recovered by returning later to take photos and introduced our boys to the bridge.
Total Miles: 14

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dahon Boardwalk 6-Speed - An Opportune Purchase

Adding a Dahon Boardwalk to my bicycle quiver.
A folding bicycle has been on my radar for sometime, not because I need one, but because I've long admired their simplicity, lightness, and of course their utility. I'm the last person who could benefit from owning a folder: I fly infrequently, have ample workplace parking, sport bike racks on both our vehicles or otherwise have a specific need for folder, but I've been intrigued by the design. And, I freely admit, I think folding bicycles are cute!

When two multi-speed Dahons were advertised on Craigslist for 75.00 each, I followed up, test rode one of the 6 speeds, impressed with their impeccable condition, despite their 15 year old age, and bought it. My only prerequisites for a folder were multiple gears, 20" wheels, a reputable brand, and inexpensive cost. That the Boardwalk model came with fenders and a rack, a clean drive-train, and came with Dahon canvas bag and documentation, was like cream in my coffee! How could I pass up this opportunity? Interestingly, after talking with the owners, I'd seen their bikes before (scroll to end of post).

Of course, when my husband saw what I'd done, he rolled his eyes!

There are worse habits I countered...and he followed up with wondering if it would fit inside his Miata's trunk...

I test rode the bike on a Queen City Bicycle Club ride, a perfect low key stroll around the city. I'm impressed at the comfortable ride, low enough gearing, and frankly, how well the wheels roll!

What happens next?

Longterm, I'm unsure how this bicycle will fit in my life, though I'm  currently dreaming of taking it on Amtrak for an overnight, or pedal around New York City, or Montreal, etc. Then there's hauling gear, which poses it's own set of challenges, which when I think about it, why not pay the extra baggage fee to bring a normal sized bike?

For now, it's an unforeseen but welcome addition to our varied fleet and takes up little space in our garage. If the novelty wears off, I can easily sell it.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Looking Forward to Coffeeneuring!

Stellar views from Railyard Park.
As I cruised by a small lakefront parklet at sunrise this morning, I thought of past Coffee Without Walls spots - of which Railyard Park was one - and how I have accumulated a list of 7+ waterside brew up locations ahead of me - without repeating the past 2 years of coffee outings!

Nancy has pledged a similar theme, but with tea.

Rock on, coffeeneurs! Let the challenge begin...

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Good Bye Ross Mount Saint Helens

I've said so long to the Ross Mt. Saint Helens. Between stripping her of fenders, racks, and a front wheel to build the Peugeot into my current commuter, there wasn't much left. However, I've saved the rear wheel, seat, and seat post for spare parts, but replaced the distinctive green handlebars back on the Ross for it's next recipient.

I donated what's left to Bike Recycle, leaving the frame hooked on their outside rack, because the shop wasn't open. Coincidentally, our youngest son happened to volunteer his time with a friend, repairing flat tires, etc. in their work space and saw someone working on the Ross.

I haven't been emotionally invested in this bike like my others, but because this was my first step through, and one I've ridden throughout the winter, the Ross has been instrumental in expanding my cycling horizons. It's time for this bike to help other folks less fortunate experience what it's like to ride a stable, strong commuter bike.