Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2013 Coffeeneuring Challenge

My participation in the 2013 Coffeeneuring Challenge is complete! This was my second year for the challenge, but this was the first time I officially completed the competition according to the rules. With my new work schedule (7am to 5:30 pm Mon-Thurs), I really don't have time to make coffee so I sleep until the last possible moment before I have to rise and shine for my 8 mile bike commute to work. Weekends for me are Friday-Sunday, so I picked one of those 3 days for my coffeeneuring day. I used my Koga Miyata Advance commuter bike for all my coffeeneuring trips (which I bought from Larry at College Park/Mt. Airy Cycles in Maryland back in August).
My first trip on October 1st was a multi-modal excursion to Cottage Grove on our LTD transit bus to an obsure little restaurant near where the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway begins: Jack Sprats. I love mochas, but here I only ordered a coffee, since I was also ordering a big breakfast before a 34 mile bike ride.
Jack Sprat's
My next coffeeneuring day was with a new friend, Sally, at The Barn Light in downtown Eugene on the second weekend in October. It's a hipster-type place decorated with old antiques which reminded me a lot of my mother's house. The coffee was good, but it was the breakfast sandwich with bacon that will keep me coming back. It was only a 4 mile ride (round trip) and is just down the street from the Lane Transit station on Willamette Street. Go there! The sandwich is worth it!

The Barn Light

Barry's Bakery Cafe is a little Jewish bakery that I have loved since I first moved to Eugene in 1996. They have relocated quite a bit over the years, but have always remained close to my neighborhood. They make great challah bread and pastries and their mochas are excellent. It's only about 1/2 mile from home, so I made the ride count by making it on the same day as the Eugene Cargo Bike Fair/Disaster Relief Trials  where I "competed" in a 22 mile cache course of fun and adventure around town on October 12th. I came in dead last but had a great time hauling stuff around town on my Burley Nomad bike trailer.

Barry's Cafe
The Quick Fix

The Quick Fix is a tiny drive thru coffee shop that gets the most of my business on weekdays because it opens at 5:30am and is conveniently located on my commute route to work on S. Willamette Street. I think I must have 5 or 6 punch cards that are already full. I stopped there on my Oct. 19th weekend of coffeeneuring on my way to pick up my car share rental. They give you a lot of black coffee for $1.25!! It was a total of only 5 miles of biking.
Another cafĂ© close to home is a small bakery tucked in the back of  Mazzy's Italian restaurant. It used to be a secret spot, but it's gotten quite popular now. It's aptly named the Hideaway Bakery and is only about a mile from my home, so I usually make it by there when I ride the east/west Amazon bike trails or bike lanes/loop just for a good workout. It makes a great circuit ride that you can do over and over and then take a latte break when your mileage is done. I made it about a 6 mile ride that day on October 26th.
Hideaway Bakery

 The Beanery
The Allann Bros Beanery is conveniently located on my route home from work at the end of an 8 mile ride and I sometimes stop there for chai tea. I made a special trip over there on the first weekend of November just so I could include it in the challenge. Their coffee is the best in town, in my opinion, but I sure wish they would add some bike racks!
Last but not least, over the last weekend of  the challenge, was my early evening stop at Vero Espresso cafe. It caters to the student crowd near the university but I wanted to try it since it had such a great patio. There wasn't much bike parking left, so I just pulled up to the wrought iron fence near my table and locked my wheel lock. If anyone wanted to steal my bike, they would have to carry it off in front of everyone seated outside while I was inside ordering. I was both hot and cold at the same time, having finished a 22 mile round trip ride over to Springfield to bike the new bike path around Dorris Ranch. Sitting outside in the cool air was refreshing and the cream cheese bagel was delicious! It was a great place to finish up my coffeeneuring for 2013 and enjoy the sunset. Let's raise a cup to the 2014 Challenge!
Vero Espresso