Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Coffeeneuring Challenge, Day #1

I decided to jump on the coffeeneuring bandwagon a little late in the game, as I tend to resist that which is popular and Cascade Bike Club (the largest membership in the US) has been posting a coffee ride every weekend due largely in part that the originator of the coffee/bike concept, Joe Platzner, is on their Board. Regardless of how many people are already doing it, I love my coffee and also love getting out and about, especially on my bike.

For my first Coffeeneuring ride, I did my research and found a most unlikely spot for a coffee shop – in a church. While the business end of the cafe has no connection to the church, the actual location is within their walls, with double doors connecting the cafe to the church lobby. Now, I'm no church goer, but I am a believer in Stumptown Coffee in that they roast a fine bean which leads to a smooth latte in the cup.

But first, I had to consult the weather radar whose images showed a mass of rain headed straight for North Seattle. Then, the wind picked up outside and as soon as I saw some streaks of rain on my south-facing windows, I said to myself, "yup, here it comes!". But the rain stopped and the wind took a break and the kids across the street in the playground continued to run and scream. That happened a few more times, until I figured that I would be waiting all day for the weather to clear while all along the weather was clear. So, despite the big, green blob that looked like it was headed straight for me, I headed out on my bike and up to the Interurban Trail. Whether it was going to rain or not was a mystery, but I had a sweet tailwind at my back, hurrying me to my destination. From a block away, I saw the white cross on top; yes, a church, it's in a church. I don't know how many times I had ridden by this church and never knew there was a Stumptown-serving cafe in there – a revelation in the making. I found bike parking on the side of the building, U-locking to a solid post beneath an awning; not exactly bike parking, but it was secure and could be seen from inside.

Inside, it was a comfy coffee shop, with upholstered chairs, a couch, cafe chairs and soft lighting, games and books and a community notices board. These are all good qualities in a coffee shop, though the best is... the coffee. The barista was very friendly, but not in an "I'm paid to be friendly" kind of way, just honestly friendly. The name of the cafe, The Bridge, was meant as a bridge to the community of Haller Lake and beyond. And now, the coffee – I ordered an Almond Milk Latte which made my tummy very happy and my tastebuds, too. It was strong espresso without being bitter and the almond milk was foamed expertly. I sat and read my book for about an hour, during which time it did not rain. When I left, I made the ride into a nice loop by going south around Green Lake and up Linden Ave, again with a tailwind and no rain.
coffee: Stumptown
cost: $3.75
distance from home: 3 miles

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