Most of my riding is solitary. Even on organized brevets, I ride mostly alone. I rode mostly alone among 5000 other riders from Paris to Brest and back, with a few hours of socializing now and again. I'm fine with that. I enjoy solitude. But this year I'm going to try a little harder at sharing coffeeneuring with others. We'll see how it goes.
Coffeeneuring 1, October 4, Sunday
|Blue Heron beside the path|
When I arrived at Coffee Plant, I saw that there was a big anti-EMX sign in their lot. (For non-Eugeneans, EMX is a bus rapid transit system, and it's broadly popular among Eugeneans but intensely unpopular among some business owners along a planned route.) Before ordering, I asked whether the Coffee Plant was behind the sign. "Oh yeah." OK then, thanks, I'll find coffee somewhere else. I was polite, no arguing with their position, but I just wasn't willing to let any part of my coffee money go toward that cause.
|Another Blue Heron|
Sue taught me how to disassemble and reassemble my bike for travel. She's an excellent mechanic and a wonderful, warm person who established a bicycle shop next to campus because she enjoys working with students. Inspiration: I can make this a social coffeeneuring outing after all, easy peasy, by bringing Sue a coffee, which I obtained from Espresso Roma just down the street. Each time a customer entered, I perused the bicycle parts and tools and accessories while she took care of the customer. In between, we drank and talked about randonneuring and about the advent of electric bicycles. The coffee was so-so. The company was great.
Beverage: regular coffee from Espresso Roma, to go, with a chocolate biscotto.
Round trip: ~10 rambling miles.
Coffeeneuring 2, October 10, Saturday
|Another blue heron ... might be a motif|
|Bike bridge from the park to downtown|
|Hideaway Bakery booth at the market|
My plan was to get coffee with Virginia after the Gears club Saturday ride. Problem: Virginia is fast. I have no idea how far behind her I reached the finish, but far enough that she was gone. Nonetheless I will declare my "more social" goal accomplished in riding with old and new Gears friends.
There is a nice farmers' market in Eugene on Saturday, and Hideaway Bakery brings their wonderful breads and pastries and also makes pour-over coffee. I had a potato donut, which was delicious, and a nice strong cup of coffee. On the way home, I happened upon Lesli walking Chaz, so again more social component to my coffeeneuring, even if the coffee itself was drunk alone.
|Hideaway making coffee|
Coffeeneuring 3: October 17, Saturday: Disaster Relief Trials
Once again I failed to arrange a meet-up in advance, but I thought I might still have a chance to be a bit social in my coffeeneuring, or at least be around people, by being a spectator at the Disaster Relief Trials.
|Earth and its remarkably large moon|
|'Responder class' contestant checking in|
|Not an approved coffeeneuring beverage|
|Approved and portable beverage|
My commuter bike weighed a lot less than a cargo bike, but it was still strenuous dragging it up on the far side of the canal, and satisfying. It was not what I had planned for my Saturday. It was way cooler than anything I planned or anticipated.
In all, my most rewarding outing in three years of coffeeneuring, and also a reminder of what a great town and community I live in. I'm feeling very lucky.
Distance: ~10 miles
Drink: Java Sunda (home roast) pour-over
Location: Alton Baker Park, Eugene ("coffee shop without walls")
Coffeeneuring 4: North Plains with Lynne, Corey, and Stefanie, October 24, Saturday
Corey Thompson and Stefanie Randolph at Hits the Spot, and briefly also Keith Kohan.
|Lynne, Stefanie, Corey|
|Technically the heron made its appearance after the conclusion of the coffeeneuring, on Susan's K-hound ride.|
Assessment: friendly, bike-friendly service, acceptable coffee
Distance: 2.4 miles
Drink: Coffee (American style)
Location: Hits the Spot, North Plains, Oregon, USA
Coffeeneuring 5: Deschutes Hall, University of Oregon, October 25, Sunday
A hackathon is something like a 400k brevet for software development. Like a 400k, it generally involves slogging through the night, although as far as I know hackathons are nearly all indoors. For ditch naps, substitute naps under tables and desks. For coffee, substitute red bull (but also coffee). For ACP and RUSA trinkets, substitute small stuffed animals to prize winners.
Eugene is Tracktown, hence Hacktown, and 26.2 hours.
Assessment: bike-friendly campus, friendly students having fun and suffering, just like randonneurs
Distance: 10 miles round trip from my home
Drink: A mix of English Breakfast tea and chai
Location: Deschutes Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Coffeeneuring 6: November 1, 2015, Hendricks ParkAchievement unlocked: Meet internet friend face-to-face for coffeeneuring.
I became aware that Sally was a coffeeneur in the greater Eugene area last season, and followed her posts on Facebook, but we had never met face-to-face. We made arrangements to meet in the main shelter at Hendricks Park, with contingency plans to move somewhere else if the forecast rain was horizontal.
What an enjoyable meeting! We talked bikes, we talked PBP, we talked recycling ... Sally works at one of a very small handful of companies that makes the sophisticated machines for separating the materials in recycling. There is a lot of very cool and clever technology involved. I, being lazy, brought my coffee from home in a thermos mug that fits in the bottle holder of my bike. Sally, being resourceful and an experienced touring cyclist, brought equipment for making her coffee on the spot.