Sunday, October 26, 2014

Coffeeneuring trip #5 and even more Shoreline events!

     After last night's raging windstorm and rolling black outs I'm not too surprised there's been few coffeeneuring posts today. It seems many cyclists are ducking for cover, and who can blame them with the wind calming to a 40mph. However, upon checking my planned coffeeneuring spots I discovered the Starbucks I planned on visiting was just one of those grocery outlet sort of shops. Nice, but not really what I had hoped to focus on for my first coffeeneuring tour. With a little help from my partner we realized that we could hit Cafe Aroma instead, though its only 1.6 miles there, the return would make it more than the requisite 2. I decided that I was also going to try a bike fashion trick.
     I had heard that a "penny in your pants" would turn a skirt into another bikeable outfit, and I'm a big believer in the whole, your-own-wardrobe-is-your-cycling-wardrobe.
Now here's what the video misses. The longer the skirt the bigger the coin you will need, and there is no guarantee when the skirt is longer than your actual legs. However, the theory is absolutely sound otherwise, it made a very cute button in my skirt, but next time I think I'll use a 50 cent piece for the skirts I have that reach beyond my feet Otherwise, as long as you secure the coin at knee-height it totally works.
       By the way, if you're wearing pants and sick of getting the cuff caught the cheap and easy solution is a handkerchief. Seriously. I just fold one into a triangle and wrap the pants using the kerchief. I wrap both legs in a matching set since a kerchief will only set you back about a buck and nine cents. You don't need fancy velcro and you don't need clips. Just a handkerchief. If you're really dedicated I suppose you can always match the kerchiefs to your outfit, but I just use a rotating set of whichever is clean.
     The wind set our pace back a bit setting out, we took a similar route to the one I took yesterday, down Meridian, up 155th, but then turned on 6th. The lanes were littered with debris, but cars seemed to expect we'd want to take the lane. We had to give up on the lane in several spots due to down branches. Now, the reason for turning on 6th instead of 5th has to do with the incline. You can go up 5th, but its rather steep, whereas 6th is residential and a little more flat. I'd been to this particular corner of 5th and 165th before to visit the Crest Theater. I have to admit I kinda like the Crest, sure the seats are dreadfully uncomfortable, but bike parking is secure and the prices for tickets and drinks are more amendable than the big chains.
     Cafe Aroma sits diagonally to the Crest, featuring a drive through, and a patio. We noticed the sign said 'no walkers' through the drive-through and speculated they probably would be okay with bikes driving through. Still, with the weather we wanted to go inside. We circled around and, nope, no bike rack. two lots for cars, but not a single rack. Oh, and only one car ever showed up in the lot.
Bike parking the way you'd tie up your dog, not park your vehicle
    Ben chose to lock up on the wooden fence. I don't like doing that myself, wood is fairly breakable. The sign outside said, 'Under New Management' which told me any previous reviews might not be accurate. The inside was nice, clean, and decorated for Halloween. A faux fireplace, fairly large screen, and a separate play room for kids (seemed very small girl oriented from what I saw). Three of the walls rolled up in good weather, and otherwise made for a very cozy little shop in damp weather. The kid behind the counter seemed fresh to customer service, but the lady working there seemed a bit more savvy. I had a pumpkin spice latte and a spinach artichoke pretzel wrap, while Ben went for a vanilla latte and bagel dog. 

behold your reward for facing the wind! 
     Sadly, with my head-cold I could barely taste the food, but I did taste broccoli which I like. The bulletin board had the line of flyers you'll see on every board across Shoreline, but this one was probably the most family oriented one. The bookshelves were an odd mixture of out-of-date computing books and Beowulf. I'd recommend the place if you have small kids, but on the whole this is another place I doubt I'll return to, nice, but with the customer service and the parking situation I'd just give the place three out of five. Cafe Aroma's facebook page
     The ride back we took 5th, which was for the best considering we had to fight to go downhill. The wind was absolutely unforgiving as we pushed. We should've taken 6th back because 5th doesn't have a bike lane, or sharrow markings (that we saw) and, the hallmark of Shoreline, car parking on both sides of the street. With the parking lane full of debris from last night's storm we had to take the lane and cars on 5th were not at all happy about this. Still we made it to the 155th turn intact, but found we had to get out the bike lane at several points as the debris created dangerous wipe-out zones. The difference is on 155th cars expected us to need to leave the bike lane, and expected our presence, so there was a lot less angst. Overall the trip was about 3 miles (1.6 each way, so roughly, given the way there is longer than the way back).
     On the way back up Meridian we kept getting separated, and I wish someone would make a remote button light system. You'd press a button on your handlebars and a light flashes on the handlebars of other cyclists in the group. Alas, I am not an inventor.
    I only have two coffeeneuring trips left, and with Starbucks off the list and Seattle Gourmet Coffee under debate due to the route, future trips are TBA. I will try to sort out the where and when for the last two in the coming week.

   News and Events! As you know November 8th is going to be huge, but what about Halloween? Well since there's no ride I know of, why not ride to something fabulous? There's a family event at the Lake Forrest Park Commons that is more treat than trick. Special thanks to the KCLS for giving this Halloween a bit of flavor, find more info about An evening of candy, music, and fun! in the hyperlink. There's lots of events listed in the Stranger for those of the more footloose persuasion Seattle's Halloween Events.
    Personally, I have been seriously bummed by the lack of trick or treaters in my neighborhood. In the past three years we've gotten a total of five. I don't get it, its a good neighborhood, and I know lots of kids live in the area, but I've talked to my neighbors and they get the same amount of kids. I guess I'll have plenty of candy for the Kidicle Mass Candy Buy Back, but... *sigh*
  This year we're going as Frank & Sadie Doyle from the Thrilling Adventure Hour, and I'm pleased the penny-makes-your-pants trick will allow me to ride in evening dress for Halloween, oh and to the WAbikes Gala that I will not shut up about.
    Oh! Speaking of cool events, why not make a sculpture for the Solstice Stroll? Free! Pick up the material before Halloween and submit it by December 14th, more info here: Solstice Sculpture (did I already say free?).
    And just for fun, what about all this coffee and biking eh? Its not just your imagination, you are going faster after that cup

And with that, Cheers!

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