Distance: 4.5 miles
Saturday, October 3rd
After a busy week, we were looking forward to the Coffeeneuring Challenge and decided to combine our first trip with an errand. We went to the hardware store on Phinney Ridge and then Theo and I stopped over at Ken’s Market Café and both had a latte made with Zoka coffee beans with a blueberry muffin and an almond bear claw. The bear claw was a win with the latte. They have a rack for bike parking in front, as well as a few patio chairs outside, where we enjoyed sitting on this lovely afternoon. There’s a little family-friendly pizza place next door, so we didn’t move far for dinner. And by family-friendly we mean that the adults were seriously out numbered! Not sure we’ll be back, but good to know good coffee can be had on the run in a pinch.
Distance: 5.2 miles
Sunday, October 4th
I had a cortado and Theo had a pour-over coffee, both made with Olympia Coffee Roasters beans. The cortado was delicious, but Theo’s pour-over didn’t quite compare to times he had enjoyed the coffee direct from the roaster. Perhaps an issue with the brewing temperature? We split a bread pudding French toast, which was delightful with its apples and yogurt sauce. This place had tons of rock star bike parking with 4 racks that are buffered from cars on the road. We also bumped into several friends in this walk-friendly neighborhood.
Distance: 3.3 miles
Saturday, October 10th
Since we had a busy day with errands and chores, we opted to end the day with coffeeneuring for hot chocolate instead of coffee. I had a salted caramel hot chocolate and Theo had a dark hot chocolate (72% cacao).
We shared a toasted almond croissant with chocolate sauce drizzled over it. This thing was ridiculously good! #chocolatewasted I guess with a name like Chocolati there is an expectation to live up to, and they did not disappoint! Bike parking was good with a rack right in front.
Distance: ~2.4 miles
Sunday, October 18th
The Seattle International Randonneurs had their annual meeting on Saturday so we decided to do a bit of coffeeneuring on Sunday. Sleeping late, brunch in pajamas, a few beers and a movie led to a lazy day. Instead of being total schlubs, we decided to ride to the Greenlake location of Chocolati since we had had such a wonderful experience at the Greenwood café last week.
Bike parking is severely lacking, so we sandwiched around a support cable for a telephone pole. We probably could have found something else, but would have required walking a block or so. This location is much smaller, but the barista was just as friendly and made what little space he had work just as well. I had a peanut butter hot chocolate and Theo had a cayenne hot chocolate, both of which were super tasty!
Due to the cozy space, they had a smaller selection of pastries compared to the other location, but we still splurged on a cream cheese brownie. I think this location is ok if you happen to be in that neighborhood and want a quick beverage to grab from the walk up to go window but I’d rather go a little further to the Greenwood location in the future.
And just for fun because we are sooooo those people…
Distance: 8 miles?
Sunday, November 1st
Theo and I headed down south for a relaxing, yet adventure packed, weekend in Olympia, visiting our friends Corey and Stefanie, who graciously hosted us and filled us with lots of delicious food and drinks. The month of November is notorious for being the wettest month of the year, here in the Pacific NorthWET, and it did not wait to start living up to its reputation. We wanted to get our ride in on Saturday, but a serious storm passed through, leaving bike lanes flooded, along with tons of fallen leaves and tree branches, so we opted for mushroom hunting instead. (Stefanie LOVES chanterelles and REALLLLLYYYYYY wanted to find some).
All dressed up and ready to hunt for some shrooms!
The four of us geared up with pocket knives, brushes, bags, and rain gear, but after almost as much searching for the secret spot as the mushrooms themselves, we ended up soggy and empty handed.
Sunday morning we decided to try again for coffeeneuring since the rain was more of a drizzle.
After enjoying Corey’s dutch baby hot out of the oven, we watched the skies clear and the sun (FINALLY) grace us. This was quite encouraging for heading out to get coffee, so off we went. Fortunately, we were able to borrow some extra bikes from Corey and Stefanie and they rode their tandem. The first few miles were clear, but then the rain returned.
We biked the scenic route around the lake into downtown Olympia, which was a nice way to see the city since we had only been driving due to the extreme rain. The coffee roaster had ample bike parking in front and to the side of the building, so I would definitely say they are high on bike friendliness.
(Photo by Stefanie Randolph)
Once inside, we had pour over coffee that was delightful (Theo had the Kiunyu AA from Kenya and I got the El Socorro from Guatemala) and fun to watch the pour over machine swirling around, pouring water over the grounds. We also shared an apricot pastry.
Now officially caffeinated drowned rats (obviously better than non caffeinated, right?), we decided to head back the short way, past the capitol building. This route was quiet and led through some great neighborhoods that one could dream of living in… one day, perhaps. Definitely fun to point at the cute houses and discuss yays and nays. My Garmin decided the cloud cover was too thick to connect to the satellites, but the way there was almost 5 miles and about 3 miles back to Tumwater.
Distance: 5+ miles
Saturday, November 14th
Theo and I begrudgingly headed out into the rain since this was our final chance to complete the challenge. All day Friday I couldn’t help but look at the weekend forecast and wish I hadn’t been so sore after riding my first 200k SIR permanent the previous weekend to ride a few miles. It honestly probably would have been good for my muscles, but alas, we did not. To be fair, we did move some bookcases and unpacked boxes so the day was not completely unproductive. The lure of house made eggnog lattes was enough to sway us to Coyle’s for coffee and pastries (carrot cake with walnuts and mascarpone and an apple tart) which were delicious although a little too sweet for Theo’s palate.
The ambiance with a chandelier over the pastry display and another fun globe light within a globe in the rear were nice touches.
Bike parking is practically non-existent so we wrapped around a stop sign. Total mileage was just over 5 miles since we had a small errand we were able to take care of while out.
Distance: ~3.2 miles
Sunday, November 15th
Ok, seriously, the fact that these two locations are right across the street from each other is just perfect. It’s the little things in life that make it oh-so-perfect. Upon arrival, we locked up (great bike parking spots in front of both destinations) and debated which shop to pop into first. We opted for coffee to start so Theo had a Gibraltar and I chose to have an eggnog latte for comparison to Coyle’s from the day before. I definitely prefer Coyle’s version, todays was just a little too sweet and you could tell it was fairly processed. Since the coffee shop was quite crowded, we ordered our drinks to go and hop, skipped, and jumped our way over to Mighty-O for a donut treat.
The lemon poppy is my favorite, but they were all out (insert sad panda face), so we got a Devil’s Playground and a Cocoloco and sat outside where we could see the bikes and enjoy the brisk but clear weather and contemplate how much fun (and delicious!) coffeeneuring has been.
If you have made it this far I hope you have enjoyed reading about our adventures. I hope to continue writing about my adventures in randonneuring and life, so stay tuned for more adventures!