Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Last Coffeeneuring Trip of 2015

Well, the last in the official challenge anyway. On November 8th, Sunday, we set out for the final coffeeneuring trip for the challenge. For the last of the funky socks I picked a pair my family gave me before I left Alaska:

     The weather had cleared so I didn't bother wearing my galoshes, but I still wore my cape since it makes a rather nice wind breaker. The trip there was only 4.5 miles (a round trip total of 9 miles), and while it had been raining earlier, the late afternoon glow gave the air a magical quality. We opted to take the south bound 1st Ave over Meridian Ave as it is a more direct path to the 3rd Ave drop to 116th, which, of course, leads to Roosevelt Way. You would think with a retirement complex, two parks, two churches, & two schools, 1st Ave would be a very calm street. And you would be hilariously wrong. In spite of #VisionZero signage, such as "20 is Plenty" and evidence of residential structures it is consistently treated like a speedway.
     After a Handy Andy truck nearly ran me down (the driver decided if he stopped at the stop sign he wouldn't be able to pass me on the bridge, which was very important since he might have to go slower so I could make the turn, for like maybe two whole minutes), I had thought he was going to stop like I had, as he was not at the sign when I had begun my way across, but, haha, nope. Looking back if I had run the stop sign I probably wouldn't have had such a close call. Maybe not, maybe he wouldn't have seen me at all. In any case, my husband and I made it across the treacherous 1st ave cross. It was the same route we used to go to Bark Espresso, only this time we kept going down Roosevelt.
      The new cycle path had been installed, and south bound it was quite nice, then evaporates at about 103rd st., whereupon you end up back in the dooring zone. I've described what its like to climb Mt. Roosevelt before as part of my commute, this time we went all the way up to the Maple Leaf area to Cloud City Coffee . At first we thought there was no bike rack, but lo and behold, once you got around the crammed parking lot, there was a railing.  

    We went inside and was warm and well lit, though the tables were a little too close together for me. I got us both eggnog steamers since it seemed the perfect drink to go with my socks

    Sadly, my husband didn't realize steamers were caffeine and would later fall asleep ridiculously early in the evening. I saw a Bike Benefits sticker by the register, which I though odd for a place that just had one railing. We enjoyed our drinks, and the fading day light. I was sad to have the challenge come to an end, but this year was a successes in that I found a truly local coffee shop with a bike rack. As we unlocked to leave we noticed a sticker which made me smile

      Riding back down Roosevelt was a treat, for the north bound side the protected cycle track doesn't begin until the bottom of the hill and there's on street parking just before it, making maneuvering into it awkward, and a little nerve racking as you wonder if you're about to get doored. We stopped at the grocery store on the way back, and honestly the protected cycleway makes it difficult to turn left.
    Fortunately, I won't have to keep describing this all to you anymore. I'll be able to show you with actual video. You see, I usually spend my Saturday nights after Ben falls asleep, debating different cameras. I have been, for some months, doing this pretty consistently, and have finally bit the bullet and purchased one. Now, it will be some time before I upload anything, (mostly because I haven't ordered it, and partly because this is the first time I'm giving into the impulse to record and upload anything), but I doubt it will be anything like a real channel for some months yet. Ben suggested I run an assassination counter on my rides like a CinemaSins movie counter, but I haven't decided if that's more depressing than funny yet.
     Well my friends, another challenge complete. If you haven't checked out this year's patch, you'll be freshly impressed, if you've already seen it, you can admire it again. This year, Doug, also a cofeeneuring rider, designed the patch, and I can't wait to put on my kit. 
    I had a lot of fun with my funky sock theme, and plan on brainstorming a new theme for next year, maybe coffee stands only, or one flavor across a lot of different kinds of drinks. If you haven't completed the challenge, this weekend is your last shot, good luck! 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Coffeeneuring Ride 6

     The final rides are upon us Coffeeneuring riders, and while I'd hoped to squeeze in a trip on Halloween, I just wasn't able to do it and all the other Halloween stuff going on. However, I went on Sunday, still wearing the socks I'd planned. 

     October is National Bat Appreciation Month, and yes, that's a thing. Bats are very cool, and in spite of an awesome book series and cartoon , still very under-appreciated. Snug in my socks we set off for the Richmond Beach Coffee Co, only 3 miles and a bit, away. It was a cloudy day, with rain on and off. However, in my Cleverhood cape I didn't have a care for the soggy weather. The path we chose had bike lanes, but they were unprotected and very unkempt, and ending in car heavy two lane traffic. Not ideal. The rain had tapered off by the time we arrived, creating a dramatic sun splashed moment worthy of its discovery, for I had found a locally owned coffee shop with a bike rack! For real.

pics or it didn't happen
     Right there, in Shoreline, a coffee shop, with a bike rack. The interior was pleasant, and the staff friendly. I had a Mighty Leaf African Nectar tea and bagel while Ben had the coffee. When I posted about it on social media, a fellow local rider let me know that it was probably a new improvement by the new owners. So awesome.

     I was feeling elated on the ride back, however an incident happened which I've honestly debated writing about. You see, we got pulled over for not wearing helmets. Its the law here because in spite of a lot of evidence that I've written about before, King County operates under antiqued laws. Shoreline doesn't specifically have laws about it, but because its in King County those laws apply. Now we didn't get ticketed, but here's the thing, if I hadn't been with my husband I might've actually tried to engage the cops in a discussion of the laws they were enforcing because they are the non-violent and nanny state oriented kind of law that is worth discussing. 

I didn't. 

First, it wouldn't have changed any minds that day, and second, the other things said make me furious enough that I don't feel its right to put this incident under a coffeeneuring post. I will say thanks to certain sidewalk comments I will probably be voting for whoever runs opposing for King County Sheriff, since this department has time to do this, but not get back the four bikes that have been stolen from me. Also, the cop made it sound like we had biked SUPER far from home and

    We rode the rest of the way home together exchanging sarcastic quips. The whole ride was 6 miles and some change, but the experience is just another reminder that we're a very different kind of people. We're bike people.

Bike party!

     Those not native to Seattle might not know of The Bikery, but in the short time its been around its become a fixture to its local community, and an inspiration to others. On October 24th there was a huge fundraising bash to help build a better Bikery, and with an unofficial Critical Lass ride to get there I was totally down for this bike party.
     We started at the Freemont Brewing Co., which is one of those super bike friendly businesses

    One of my fellow riders recognized my coffeeneuring patch, and we got to chatting about our own trips around town. The ride itself was quite lovely, and I took advantage of the flat and downward nature of the bridge to do one of my longest dragonfly stands on Scamper. Riding under the I-5 was a real treat for myself and Ben as we usually take the Freemont to Dexter than the Eastlake way toward downtown. We promised each other we'd come back and explore it. 
    The party itself was a blast, and if you check out the photo booth pics, you might see a cyclist you recognize. The track stand contest was a hilarious good time, and each bike parked there was clearly loved by its rider. 
    Right now there's just six days left to help the Bikery reach its fundraising goal. While the party helped it obviously couldn't go all the way, so if you can, kick a little something toward something great, well, by the basic laws of exchange that would make you great. 

Next up is the 6th coffeeneuring write up, its getting close to the end of this year's challenge, but it looks like I really will be finish again, and I know just the funky socks for the finish.