Coffeeneuring is back! Not that it really went anywhere, since I almost always stop for a coffee on my rides. But the official chasing mailboxes 3rd annual coffeeneuring challenge, with rules and all, runs from October 5th to November 17th. All I have to do is ride to 7 different local coffee shops over 7 weekends. Sounds easy until you consider the vagaries of weather in these parts. Riding in the rain when it is hovering around freezing, even with the promise of a hot coffee half way through, is not the most pleasant of pastimes. Cold is fine, cold and wet is a bone chilling challenge. Maybe that’s the point 😉 Add snow and it becomes life threatening unless equipped with appropriate tires. Anyway, for me to successfully complete this challenge, I have to hope for a lack of precipitation on my appointed coffeeneuring days. As a retired guy with no employer making demands on my time, I can invoke Rule 3b and pick any 2 consecutive days as my “weekend”. But I think I will stick to the same Saturday/Sunday option that the working class have to abide by. Now to hope the weather cooperates and I don’t have to do my final ride through 35 cm of snow, like last year. Or any ride. Are you listening, weather gods?? Yeah – didn’t think so.
I did my initial ride of the challenge today and I made use of Rule 2, i.e. the Coffee Shop Without Walls rule. As my regular route to Big Lake passes by the Saturday Farmer’s Market in St. Albert, I thought that I would stop by the Molly’s Eats food truck and pick up a hot chocolate on my return home. The ride comes first though!
Although it was an overcast day, the temp was warm (10C) and there was no wind. The colours have certainly changed over the past 2 weeks. We have had a few hard frosts and the leaves are more yellow and red than green, the ones that are still on the trees anyway. Leaves are building up on the paths, the geese are leaving in honking droves and the trail walkers have started to trade tee-shirts and ball caps for toques and gloves. The kids are still out playing baseball and football, although I think the baseball season is pretty well over. The hardass football players, though, will play well into the snows of November.
After my ride out to Big Lake, I stopped by the Farmer’s Market to pick up my reward. Since the day was so nice, it was obvious that the reward fairy figured that I didn’t deserve one, since as soon as I picked up my hot chocolate I proceeded to dump half of it down the front of my jacket (some people you can’t take out. With me, it’s safer if I am out). An auspicious start to the challenge!
Date: Saturday, October 5, 2013
Place: Molly’s Eats food truck, St. Albert Farmer’s Market
What: Hot chocolate (half of one, anyway)
Distance: 18.8 km
Details: A trip to Big Lake along leafy trails, followed by a stop at the second to last St. Albert Farmer’s Market of the summer for broccoli, kale, granola bars and a partial hot chocolate.