Destination: Shop Rite at the Festival (coffee bean exception ride)
Date: Sunday, 11/17
Drink: Zeke’s Gunpowder Espresso Roast: For years, Zeke’s has been my ‘go-to’ for local beans and was the first company that produced espresso I liked enough that I didn’t feel I had to roast my own. The first 2 shots I pulled gushed out so fast that I knew they’d be garbage. By #3 I had the grind and tamp dialed in well enough that I’d have a good drink. In comparison to the Espresso roast from CoffeeCoffee, this was a lighter roast with less oily beans that required a finer grind. Much less crema but still a smooth, drinkable shot with a hint of a nutty or caramel taste in the finish and just a touch of bitterness. You never know with purchased beans how fresh they are but these tasted ok. I put a little sweetened creamer in shot 3 for something different.
Distance: 3.8 mi.
The Ride: I was up REALLY late last night and being awake was a miracle in itself. There is one more place I want to try in Bel Air but all I wanted for today was to sit around, brew some espresso and listen to some music. The air was as thick with moisture as I’ve ever seen it this morning and I had to stash my glasses not 1/4 mile into the ride. Beads of water were dripping off my helmet within mile 1. It’s good to have some bright lights for days like this.
small sackville bag fits 1lb of coffee perfectly. COINCEDENCE?
Destination: ONE MORE Dunkin Donuts
Date: Saturday, 11/16
Drink: Small Black Coffee.
Distance: 24ish mi.
The Ride: I rolled over twice this morning before I found the energy to get up. There were some showers overnight so the road was wet but nothing terrible. I still had the #5 route to run and given the contest deadline and my schedule today was the day. I wasn’t really feeling it, but I skipped breakfast to get back closer to schedule and rolled out only about 1/2 hour late. I started out with a little jog along Singer Rd. I picked up Atkisson and Stockton Rd. to run a few miles of Charm and Grace in reverse. I climbed up towards Mountain Rd. where my only option for shorting the ride presented itself. I was still in sleepy mode, but somehow found the strength to blow off the shortcut and go for the full route. I took Jerusalem Rd. south to Kingsville and looped back home via Sunshine Ave. Unbeknownst to me I’d be treated to several stretches of gravel and a few single lane bridges along the way. (not the gravel below, but a good representation of the quiet back-roads nonetheless)
One of 4 bridges…
I missed a turn and got lost on one of the gravel roads. The rains were just enough to muddy up the road and at one point I started to bog down. The rando was out of its element but pulled me through. Mud was putting on quite a show sloughing up and through the front fender top. There were quite a few tough ascents and descents to the route and I ended up with about 2k climbing for a 24 mile ride. The descents were all slow and controlled as I didn’t trust the roads any farther than I could throw them. I climbed back out of the valley and connected with MD152 for a few miles of easy, smooth, shoulder riding. I had a mental picture of the Dunkin Donuts I wanted to visit but it turned out to be a different one on a different corner for an extra 2 miles of riding. I ended up having to ride in a crappy part of rte. 1 for a couple hundred yards to get there so it definitely wasn’t worth it. What we’ll do for a cup of joe…
Got some beans too…
There was no actual donut purchased, I just liked naming the ride ‘donut interception’ as a nod to Bob’s pancake interception which I rode last week. I was getting deja-vu climbing quiet back roads on the second half. I sat down and relaxed for a few minutes while I drank my beverage. After I was finished, I bungied the coffee to the front bag and took off. The ride home was a little more trafficky than I thought it would be but there were no altercations–just more cars than I thought there’d be for back roads. That’s why I like early mornings so much…
Fenders kept most of the mud off the frame. Brakes were pretty gunked up though…
Close to closing off the challenge, this ride was exactly what I started the coffeeneur for. It was a chance to get out, try some new roads and get acclimated to my new environment. Better late than never!
Seems like only 10 months ago it was a cold and wet morning when we were prepping for this very ride. The Pancake Interception is one of my favorites and I could run it any time. I left the house in the morning an hour ahead of schedule and thought to myself that if there was nobody there when I got to the Starbucks I’d just take off early again. As I was getting my coffee Dave #1 came in and we spent that 45 minutes hanging out instead of getting a head start–time well spent. Dave’s been training all summer for the half-triathalon he completed about a month ago (congrats!) so he was kicking ass all day today. Guess if I want to ride with him now I’ve got a little training to do myself…
We left on time and the trip out of the city was uneventful. The group split up with regular precision, but they were still in Sykesville when we got there…
10 minutes later I left Sykesville at the back of the pack with Charlie. We rode along for a while until he started to pull ahead about the same time we caught up with new rambler Dan. Charlie kept accelerating and I stayed steady with Dan until we hit the lunch break–chipping away at the miles and taking a few pictures here and there…
Goofing off on Sam’s Creek Rd…
The northwesterly wind that was forecast for all day didn’t really start to kick up until 10 or so. By then we were nearly to lunch. Around 11:30 Dan and I crested the last hill and pulled into Union Bridge.
Lunch was the standard fare. Breakfast–and a pretty good one at that… We were only inside for about 25 minutes before we had to hit the road again.
Guys get ready to roll after lunch while the wind kicks the flags around
Leaving lunch, we were a group for about 2 miles before the main pack pulled ahead again. I was looking behind and ahead simultaneously. Looking behind and I lost Dan and I wasn’t sure if he’d decided on the route or short-cut. About the same time, I made visual contact with Charlie ahead at an intersection and flagged him down. We waited for 5-10 minutes before deciding to push forward. After the fact I found out Dan had a flat directly after leaving lunch, patched it, took the short-cut and made it home safely with 90+ for the day. Hope to see you out again soon.
Charlie and I plodded on together for the remainder of the afternoon. He said he was tired, but was still pulling ahead of me on every climb. He’d get a 200 yard lead on me and I’d reel him back in by getting in my most aero tuck for the descents. Skinnier tires were my only salvation and after 2 months of sketchy gravel roads I was all for a few 35-40mph descents.
Charlie takes 5 at John Owings and Bachman Valley Rd.
I felt ok riding, and having the wind at our back for the most part after mile 54 or so was a plus, but I was ready to be off the bike by the time I was 2/3 around the loop. Having done the Pancake ride a few times and spent many an hour staring at my eTrex I was caught up in what I’ve come to refer to as the ‘M of Death’ between mile 58 and 68…
the M of Death
Constant pressure was applied to the pedals and we both made it through unscathed. After a few more miles we were back on the main roads and checking in from the 75 mile High’s rest stop. I had a can of coke, shared a bottle of water with Charlie and ate some of the food I’d been carrying around in my bag for most of the day. Sitting still outside we got cold REALLY quick and it wasn’t 10 minutes before we were both ready to get moving again. We both felt better after the break and took advantage of our first true tailwind of the day to push us back into town.
coming through horse country…
Back in familiar territory I resolved to burn off what energy I had left and enjoyed the trip across Hillside and up Falls immensely. We got in just after dusk, packed up, and met the guys for some beers at Alonzo’s
It’s good to be back.
Here’s some pictures. | Here’s a garmin track.
Distance: 95.63mi | time: 9:31:36 | avg: 10.0 | mv avg: 12.0 | elev: 7413′
Destination: Yet another Dunkin Donuts
Date: Saturday, 11/9
Drink: XL Black Coffee.
Distance: 3.6 mi.
The Ride: Just a quick ride out to the coffee shop inbetween chores and to make sure all the nuts and bolts were tightened up properly on the rando. No time for anything real involved because I had to be busy all day Saturday to compensate for the fact that I wanted to be gone all day Sunday for a longer ride. Kind of funny how I got all my scheduled large projects done 3 weeks ago and there’s been enough little stuff to keep me busy 24-7.
Destination: Panera @ the Festival in Bel Air
Date: Sunday, 11/3
Drink: L Black Coffee.
Distance: 15.1 mi.
The Ride: I re-learned a valuable lesson today about beer and it’s ability to suck my motivation the next day. I was out by Duclaw last night and had a few of these. Back at the house I was mulling my options for a ride and had gone so far as to load a 55ish mile trip up to Havre De Grace. I got to bed a little late and even with the extra hour of sleep I found myself struggling to get out of the house–forgetting one thing after the other. On the bike I felt OK, but not really in the mood to be gone for 4 or 5 hours. I started my route but ended up cutting it short when I got to Abingdon Rd. Nothing more attractive had presented itself by the time I was back near home so I stopped in Panera for a cup of coffee.
Destination: Dunkin Donuts on Emmorton Rd. @ Singer
Date: Saturday, 11/2
Official Drink: XL Black Coffee to get me through some morning yardwork.
UNOfficial Drink: 3 incredible double shots of Espresso Milano back at the house.
Distance: 8.5 mi.
The Ride: I rolled out the garage 7:30 this morning not really having any idea where I was going to go. Should I head southeast towards Edgewood? around the back of Harford Glen? across 24 towards Churchville? Saturday is still my “get stuff done” day while Sunday is going to be devoted to longer excursions so I didn’t want to stray too far.
I started looping around the neighborhood with the intent of going 1 way and ended up going a completely different route for an out and back. What I REALLY wanted was 1/4lb of espresso beans from COFFEECOFFEE and to fire up the Sylvia for the first time in twenty fortnights. Unfortunately for me I spent my first Coffeeneur there so I couldn’t make it my official destination. I crossed 24 and rode up Emmorton Rd. to the Dunkin Donuts, picked up a cup of coffee, tossed it in one of my stainless water bottles and headed home. On the way I pulled in to the Festival and got 1/4lb of Espresso Milano beans. Back at the house I turned on the machine and let it warm up for 45 minutes while I raked some leaves out front. After a little grinder cleaning/maintenance everything was ready to go!
Straight from the tap it had about 1/3″ of crema. It diminished to a still-respectable 1/4″ by the time I snapped a picture. More importantly it tasted great. From the biking perspective it wasn’t the most inspired ride in the world, but I’m starting to build a routine where I actually am ON a bike which in itself is a good thing.
Destination: Starbucks on Constant Friendship Boulevard in Abingdon, MD
Date: Saturday, 10/27
Drink: Hazelnut Macchiato – also had a piece of chocolate chip coffee cake.
eh, it was ok. This one was more about the ride.
The Ride: My goal right now is to see what I can see of the new neighborhood. I polished off my weekend work early and had some free time on Sunday. A few weekends ago (like 3 months) I was scanning gps data and saw a short trail along Winters Run…
I took fattest tired bike I could find and headed out looking for the entrance. I had to ride in and out of a few neighborhoods before I found the one with the dead-end that let me dive in. There were a few super-steep parts that dropped down to the level of the stream. Some of it was rideable, and some was barely walkable. I usually don’t risk life and limb too much when I go into the woods alone. Once along the main trail, it was pretty easy going aside from the few parts that were still muddy from the rains last week. I get the feeling it’s not an official trail, but more of a fire road. Nonetheless, it made for a fun ride with a few stream crossings and a few climbs which were just manageable enough to be fun rather than deadly. I was going to ride back the same way I came until I realized I put on my ‘good’ Merrell’s back at the house. Luckily I crossed all the streams and mud pits without putting a foot down but I wasn’t going to tempt fate twice.
Distance: 8.8 mi – a good bit of which was aimless wandering.
blurry shot of pugsley frolicking in the woods – didn’t get muddy for a few 100 yards.
Still have enough time to finish off the set if I ‘double-down’ on nearly every weekend.