27 October 2014

Coffeeneuring - riding a long way for coffee

The day I rode 62 miles for an iced coffee

Last Saturday I woke up excited to be free to ride my bike, it was coffeeneuring day. I knew there was a big cyclocross race happening north of Denver someplace, but I was so happy knowing that I would instead be out riding my own bike. I felt carefree, not having an exact plan, the point was to ride and enjoy. I headed south and east out of Denver deciding to hook up with the Plate River bike path. Maybe I would stop in Littleton, maybe ride to Chatfield Reservoir, Deer Creek, or maybe Highlands Ranch. I knew the locations of a couple coffee shops on route.

Then I ran into a friend.

He was biking in the completely opposite direction. So I turned around and followed him all the way back into and across the city and out to Nebraska. Okay, it wasn't actually to Nebraska, but it sure as heck felt like it, we rode out in Parker/The Pinery someplace. I rode 62-miles. I had brought one bottle of water with me and one Gu packet (which just happened to be resting in my helmet from a previous ride when I got dressed that morning, thank goodness I stuck it in my jersey pocket). I thought I was headed to a coffee shop, I wasn't prepared for such spontaneity. Somewhere out near Nebraska I spotted a convenience store and begged Bob (who never stops) if I could get some water. Two bottles and 62 miles of riding is exactly how NOT to ride a bike. Wow was I hungry and dehydrated when I got home.

But it showed me what I am capable of doing when I set my mind to go mode.

This friend I happened upon on Saturday is the very same friend that I had written about this summer in Cycling Injures. Bob had suffered a broken back, pelvis and ribs when he was struck by a truck while cycling in June 2014. Here he was out riding his bike. I was so excited when I first saw him, I actually got off my bike and started running back toward him yelling his name. Bob is a bit like me on a bike: he doesn't talk much while riding, which I really like; he is quite capable; and he never stops, which I really like except, of course, when I have no water. But there was no way I was going to complain to Bob about anything.

Then he dropped me, twice.

I can honestly say it was the best 62-mile bike ride I ever completed, only to get coffee 2-miles from my home. Limping back toward home after saying goodbye to Bob, I realized, "I guess I need to go get some coffee, somewhere." So I stopped into Stella's on Old South Pearl Street. Not the best coffee, but a nice location (one I was saving in case a snowy day happened within my coffeeneuring challenge). Stella's is in a very cool neighborhood block of restaurants and shops which sort of rivals Old South Gaylord Street near my home.

After a long warm ride, I ordered an iced coffee with a bit of honey. It came in a plastic cup and was gone in four minutes. Then I rode home for real food.

Adventure #4
Coffee Shop: Stella's
Website: www.stellascoffee.com/
Address: 1476 South Pearl Street
City: Denver
Neighborhood: Washington Park
Date visited: 10/25/14
Bike ridden: road bike, dressed in the most unbecoming lycra
Miles ridden: 62 miles
Coffee enjoyed: iced coffee with honey
Eats: nothing, I needed a real meal
Comments: being spontaneous is fun!

My iced coffee blending in with the fall leaves

Good thing I carried my small camera for those 62 miles so I could snap these photos. I didn't get any of the ride because ... we didn't stop long enough!

The next day, on Sunday morning, I met up with two friends (Julie and AG) to ride city bikes through the parks to the Denver Botanic Gardens. We toured through the Chihuly glass exhibit at the gardens and sat for a coffee at the cafe in the gardens. It was lovely. A very relaxing morning before heading off to a pumpkin carving party. Halloween is this Friday.

Adventure #5
Coffee Shop: Cafe at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Website: www.botanicgardens.org
Address: 1007 York St.
City: Denver
Neighborhood: Congress Park
Date visited: 10/26/14
Bike ridden: B-cycles and cruiser bike (https://www.bcycle.com/)
Miles ridden: 7 miles
Coffee enjoyed: Cafe Latte
Eats: a rice krispie treat
Comments: Beautiful day in the gardens with friends

Rice Krispie treats are gluten free, but not calorie free

Chihuly glass in the Botanic Gardens