October 27, 2013

Coffeeneuring Rides 2 and 3

The thermometer told me 40 degrees. The forecast told me mostly sunny, but the sky showed me shades of greys. The forecast told me winds gusting to 23 mph. When I left this morning it was still.

Didn't quite know where, or how far, I was going to ride. After all, my only real aim was to get a cup of coffee. This was cofeeneuring Ride#3.

I dressed, best as I could remember, for cold weather. It's been too long to actually remember. That wasn't a complaint. Coldweather tights. Wind proof base layer, long sleeves. Wool jersey. My beloved don't-hit-me red jacket. Oh yes, under that one layer-too-many. A thin, but quilted vest.

Quick, quick a bit of sun, take a photo

I left home with the sun peeking in and out. It mostly stayed in. It was cold on the road. Rarely enough sun for a shadow. Still, every time I had a choice, I opted for a bit further. There's not much of the riding season left, so I slipped some more miles in today.

Coffee was in the Blandford Country Store. Adequate. You can't expect to find better than adequate with this set-up, brewed mass produced coffee, left to sit in a thermos for the duration. Economics dictates the possibilities for good coffee.

The coffee is welcome and I am glad the store is there. Too many of these little general stores fold up.

Pinarello, me, and the open Blandford Country Store

The last remaining leaves were blowing hard, horizontally across the road. I turned onto a road I know to be pretty, small, rural, but with a lousy surface, holes, fissures, loose gravel, bad repairs. Also, it is the small road, not the highway, that goes in my direction.

A resurfaced road, and color left in the trees.

Ahh,hah! A good distance of the road had been resurfaced since I last travelled there, with a decent mix, not the nasty ground stone. The road plunged downhill, steep for around here, and fun.

The road is about to drop down into the valley you can imagine behind the barn.

It led me to the detested Wade Inn Road, which today was... not so bad. It too has been resurfaced, this time with The Miserable Mix. For reasons probably driven by cost, local roads are being repaved with a cycling unfriendly material made up of ground stone. It makes a bumpy surface, and sheds grit that accumulates at the edges of roads.Tiny gravel. Not really gravel, though it is stone, but the consistency of coarse sand. It is slick. Riding uphill it slows me down and annoys me, but isn't tormenting.

Arriving home, I had been ... warm, the entire route. Today's 40 miles felt harder, and I was more tired, than last week's 55-plus miles. The cold temperature does that, saps out energy, even when I don't feel freezing. But soon enough the snow will fly, not the leaves. This is not the season to miss the opportunity for a road ride.

Coffeeneuring No. 3: 39.67 miles, 3839 feet climb, Pinarello
Coffeeneuring No. 2: 5.8 miles, virtually flat. Papillon

Didn't tell you about #2, did I? 5.5 miles, to my general store to have a cup while also picking up a few groceries last Sunday. Nice enough ride. Adequate coffee. Fun visit with my friend Linda who was in the village with her camera.

Last Sunday's coffee at Becket General Store


  1. I enjoyed this report. Really conveyed the trip.

    1. Thanks! Glad you are still reading, it's good to hear from you.

  2. A lot of the roads round here were surfaced in the way you describe and it means jolting along for years afterwards so I share your pain. I'm glad that you found a few smooth miles on your way.

    1. Ugh, I'm sorry to hear you have it too ... who knew, an international nuisance.

  3. "My beloved don't-hit-me red jacket." LOL that cracked me up. I think the same thing every time I strap on my back and front lights, which I never used to ride with, but now won't ride without in dull winter light.

  4. Ellen, hi! Me too, dull light, on are my lights. My jacket is also that bright. I think.

    So good to hear from you. It also reminded me to go back to your site (it's been a little while) where I found ...... your Alps trip! Hooray! Can't wait to read carefully.


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