November 12, 2012

Coffeeneuring Ride 6, Cup 6

There have been some coffee challenges for me in this coffeeneuring challenge, and so before starting this write-up of rides 6 and (I thought) 7 I reviewed the rules.

But first, the personal challenge: my town has a population of about 550, an area of about 39 square miles, and a population density of about 14 people per square mile. This makes for some very good cycling. But there is not a coffee shop in town. Not a cafe in town. For that matter, there is not a store, gas station, post office, fire station or public school in town. The surrounding towns have some of these things, and all have general stores or convenience stores. One even has a gas station. Not a coffee shop to be found though. We do drink coffee hereabouts, but in our homes, or in our friends homes. Where to go, to find a cup of java to enjoy?

My memory of the rules led me to expect that I would be out of bounds on some of them. Clearly, my rides included a coffee, tea or cider beverage. But were they utility rides? They weren't organized rides, or brevets or centuries. They were pleasure rides that included coffee. The purpose was coffee only because this is such a fun challenge. It's not as if I would ever, otherwise, get on my bike to ride to spend money on a cup of coffee not as good as I get at home. And also, was there a rule that I had to actually enjoy each individual cup of coffee, or just drink it?

And all of my rides involved driving, though I didn't remember any rule forbidding that, it does seem somewhat outside the spirit of the challenge. The gravelled dirt road that leads up the hill to my dirt driveway is far too steep, the gravel too loose for me to ride ... I virtually always drive the 2 miles off the hill before I get on the bicycle. Once I drove to VT, to ride with a friend. More driving than riding, that day, though it was a legitimate coffee shop. Hmmm. So I took a new look at the rules.

Immediately, I saw that I had misremembered rule one. Twice (the second ride was yesterday) I had ridden to an organic market a few towns distant. It is on one of my favorite rides, is a great resource for good fruits and veggies, and provides the closest decent cup of coffee, though the second time I drank excellent hot cider. But,  only chains can be visited twice (and only at different locations.) Yesterday's ride is ruled out. But no matter, that can be remedied: a ride tomorrow, Veteran's Day is permitted. It's a bonus, and a happy one.

Today's ride, Number 6: 19.6 miles, black coffee, at the Becket General Store. A lovely, easy ride, under blue skies, warm temperatures and the barest of breezes. The ice is melting off the swamp, and for a few moments in the morning the water was alive with twinkles, the ice turning to slush behind it. Wood ducks use the boxes in the summertime.

Tomorrow I will take my bike to work with me, and leave after lunchtime for a short ride to get a cup of coffee, a good cup of coffee, that I will enjoy, at an actual coffee shop ... what a concept! The ride that might not have happened may turn into the ride most in the spirit of coffeeneuring. And take me out of work on what promises to be the most beautiful day of the autumn. Glad I looked at the rules.

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