Monday, December 26, 2016

Last Coffeeneuring ride of 2016

I set out on November 20th to try a new route that would be 49 miles on my upcoming 49th birthday.  The temperature was in the 50's but it felt a lot colder.  Since I was testing out a new route, I had my phone mounted on my bike so I could see the map when I needed too, but it was just too cold.  My phone died and I had to warm it up in order to get it to turn back on and finally just gave up and just figure out the best route home.  I was getting pretty cold as well at this point, so I saw a McDonalds and decided that it would just have to be my coffee stop.  Now, I must confess to being one of those people who doesn't really drink coffee.  I mix my coffee in with my soy milk and a variety of sweet flavorings, but since I don't digest milk, and McDonalds doesn't have any alternatives, I just had them put some sugar in my coffee and was happy for the warmth.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually liked it.  I have heard before that McDonalds makes a good cup of coffee, but hadn't really tested it for myself.  I was so grateful for the warmth though, that I may have to try it again and see if it wasn't the circumstances that made it a great cup. I ended up with somewhere over 30 miles, but I'm not completely sure how much since my phone kept shutting off.

Lake Ride

It was a beautiful day on November 13th , a little cold, but it was supposed to hit 60 degrees (F) and the sun was shining.  We had a wonderful, nearly 40 mile ride around three different local lakes.  It was a no-drop ride and we had a new rider on a heavy mountain bike and there were several intense hills.  We took our time and enjoyed the ride at whatever pace was needed.  I love riding with a group of people who appreciate the help to make themselves better. We have a great community of cyclists here.

As we got back into town, we saw that Eurasia Cafe was open on Commercial Street.  This is a spacious coffee shop that allows us to bring our bikes inside while we enjoy a a cup of coffee or breakfast. I just had their warm mocha with soy, but if you are riding your bike on Commercial Street, make sure and stop at Eurasia for a cup.  It was cooling down because the sun was setting, and it was dark by the time we were heading home, but it was a wonderful experience!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Katy Trail

We left my house early Saturday morning (November 5th) for the long drive up to St. Charles, MO to start spend the weekend on the Katy Trail.  We parked at the boat house and had lunch at the Bike Shop Cafe.  It was still pretty chilly out if you weren't standing in the sun so we had to have a lot of layers for the ride.  We headed out and the trail was beautiful. The leaves are at the perfect point of fall colors and the Missouri River was flowing on our left.  You really couldn't ask for a better day.  Our camp was about 28 miles down the trail so we were able to ride at a comfortable pace and enjoy.

Our campsite was AMAZING!  It seemed very secluded because of the bluffs.  There was a family with a dog to one side, on the way to the bathroom, that we couldn't see, but occasionally heard. The nearer campsite was a boys group that was also riding their bikes on the trail.  They were supported and didn't have to carry their gear, but that meant that they had a lot of camping equipment.  They had some extra wood and gave us some so we were able to have a beautiful campfire to warm up before calling it a night.  We really appreciated the firewood because had tried to find some at dinner and were unsuccessful.
We woke up around dawn but were slow to get out of our tents because we could hear water dripping on them.  I really didn't want to get my warm clothes damp, but I finally realized it was moisture dripping off the trees, not rain, and it wasn't going to get any better, so I may as well get up.  A cup of coffee made with the jet boil and a bowl of hot oatmeal warmed me up inside and we eventually got our tents packed up and we were ready to go.   Last stop at the bathroom before starting on day two.  Although the day was a little chilly, the sun was shining and the trail was beautiful!  Just look at the photo below. 

We passed a beautiful winery on top of a hill and Julie wanted to stop, but Donna thought it wasn't open yet.  Julie really wanted to check it out so she road close enough to see the sign with a phone number and called to find out they were indeed open, so we got to take a rest stop at Wine Country Garden in Defiance, Missouri. I had my coffee for my Coffeeneuring Challenge Ride #5 with some fish tacos and some tempura chicken fingers.  The food and the atmosphere was fabulous and we even enjoyed the company of a cute little cat.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fork and Ride: SBC

Sunrise over Battlefield
   Wonderful, cool, fall morning on October 29th with a group of local cyclists, all meeting and riding the trails before dawn.  We got to watch the sun rise while riding and throughout the ride, the mist was still rising off the fields.  It was such a beautiful morning with wonderful friends, many of whom I have not been able to ride with for several months.  It was great to see them and have a chance to visit with everyone while riding this morning.

The fields were beautiful as we passed them and I couldn't help but pull out the phone for a wonderful shot. 

 We even got to ride through the "haunted forest"!  There were a lot of scary monsters and villains along the path.  Hang on to your bike and keep pedaling! We made it through and didn't lose a single friend, although we started to wonder when a couple of them took longer to get through the "forest".  It turned out that they were expecting one of us to jump out behind every obstacle, so they were riding super slow.  This was actually a detour from the originally planned ride, but worth the extra time, although my stomach was really ready for food by the time we got to our breakfast destination.

As you can see we had to get this great big table to fit all of us together for breakfast at Springfield Brewing Company.  I had a simple breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast, but others had the bacon and sausage pancakes. I also didn't have any coffee with my breakfast, so I invited everyone to join me afterwards for Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Coffee at my house to fulfill my Coffeeneuring challenge #4 for 2016!  By the time we go to my house it was just Juana, David, Michael and me, but we had a great cup of coffee and they got to say hi to Tsuki, who had to catch the Frisbee a few times for our guests. All in all it was a GREAT morning!
Coffee at my house!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ride 3

I am a little late (a full week) late posting this, but it has been a busy week.  I posted in our local Facebook riding group that I would be riding this route slowly with Tsuki and stopping for coffee if anyone wanted to join me.  Gene thought it would be a great way to get back on his bike after his mini rest since his return from touring for six weeks.  Wow, I love to hear about the touring stories of others, and can't wait to get some more of my own.  Tsuki ran like the wind this time.  We ended up riding 18 miles but she ran nearly half of it this time!  She knows this route so well, and has stopped here so often, that she didn't even complain about being left outside, as long as she could see me.  The weather was perfect my Sweet Emotion coffee was perfect, and I even had great company.  This is what coffeeneuring is all about!  Oh, and Gene hadn't been on several of my trails before, so he got to learn a new route around town.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Midweek Coffeeneuring Ride!

What a Wednesday today was!  I actually was ready early this morning so I decided to stop at Panera on my way to work.  My Panera Rewards card is giving me a free bagel every day in October, so I am trying to stop by every chance I get.  I also had received a $25 gift card so I decided to get my Jenny (my co-teacher) a coffee as well.  I try to bike commute every day on my lovely Kapua and the Panera is only about a mile away from work, but as I was approaching the store, I realized, I only had one cupholder and wasn't sure how I would make a second cup work.  I started looking at my bike to find a solution and thought, I can just stick it in the handlebar bag.  That should make it safe......

As I was ordering my drinks, I realized that I could count it as a coffeeneuring ride as well, so I would need to remember to take a photo once I got my drinks.  Of course, when that moment arrived, I completely forgot.  There were too many other things on my mind, like getting these drinks safely to work, on bumpy old roads.  I unlocked my bike from the bike rake around back put the cups on the handlebars and headed off.  When I had to stop at the red light, I remembered my need for a photo and quickly got it taken before the light turned green.  I am pretty proud of my ability to get all the important elements included in the quickly snapped photo.

The drinks made it to work safely, even though there was a lot of coffee splashed onto the lids.  Jenny was happy to see me with a lovely drink, and the day started quiet well!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Coffeeneuring 2016

Setting out on our first coffee-neuring ride of the new season.  Tsuki has spent the summer resting because she tore her ACL in the spring and was ordered by the vet to avoid running, jumping and playing for 6 weeks.  I have also had a busy summer and have only taken her out on a couple of short runs.  She is doing much better so I decided to have her join me on the first ride. I decided to take her out to the new trail that opened up this summer that connects Southcreek trail and Wilson's Creek, which provide even more trail and less road time to my 17 mile loop.

It is a beautiful morning.  The temperature is in the 70's and the sun is shinning.  It rained really well a couple of days ago and the trees are starting to change color. There is nothing more to ask for to make it better.  

I decided I would just make my own coffee and find a good spot for us to sit and enjoy it  and the new gazebo and the new trailhead was a great spot to stop.  Tsuki had already run a couple of miles at this point and was needing a break so we enjoyed the gazebo while I drank my coffee and she had some water.  

Once we started back and got on the new section we had to pass the gate that kept the cows in their pasture.  

Tsuki was a little nervous about the cows being so close, but she stayed and the trail and didn't make eye contact with them and they watched her carefully as she ran by.  They seemed to be as cautious of her as she was of them, halfway through this portion of the trail, she really started to slow down so she spent most of the rest of the ride on the back of Kapua.