Sunday, September 18, 2016

Coffee, Pumpkin, & Bicycle Stuff

A random conglomeration of quick thoughts for today.

Coffeeneuring is close to starting. I attempt this every year and always concede half way through because, 1) I really can't have much caffeine in my day or I'm even crazier (and shakier) than usual; 2) I don't like to take every trip alone. So, if you're local and you have also wanted to try coffeeneuring, get in touch and perhaps we can meet up as a small group who'd like to explore local (or semi-local) coffee shops via bike through October and November. I have no stops particularly in mind, but there are many to choose from just in our local downtown area, or we could look at traveling a bit farther out of town too. I'm open - just get in touch and we can work out details.
We have a lot of pumpkin coming up in the garden (or at least, it's a lot to me having planted only one small seedling) and I'm curious if anyone has pumpkin recipes that you'd be willing to share?  I have a fantastic pumpkin pie recipe, but that's about where my use of pumpkin ends. I'm actually considering freezing it and using small amounts in dog food over winter, but it would be nice to use a bit more for us human-folk as well.
A couple of weeks ago I tweeted a photo of my bicycle basket with garden vegetables and melon that I was taking to friends around the city (I was about half way through when I took the above photo).
A word of caution to anyone else who may be transporting delicate fruits/vegetables by bike: If you use zip ties to attach your basket, you may want to line it with some type of protection before laying food on the bottom. I ended up with some decent sized chunks missing from the rind of the honeydew melon.  Fortunately, my garden-loving associates didn't mind the missing portion.

One might also note that I still have not done much to update the Campeur since it's build more than a year and a half ago (sans getting the correct rack, adding the enormous basket, as well as the quite handy panniers). Though I have been lazy with facilitating changes to make this poor bike less orphan-looking, I still think it is one of the best "inexpensive" bikes I have ever purchased. It's so utilitarian, functional, and easy to ride that I sometimes wonder how I ever lived without it. I am reminded that a good bike is a good bike, regardless of what it looks like.

Sam recently went and raced the Leadville series Barn Burner 104 in Flagstaff, Arizona in an attempt to qualify for next year's Leadville 100 MTB. Unfortunately, I couldn't make the trip with him this time, but he is in the process of writing up his thoughts on the race and how things went, so that will be shared here soon. Spoiler alert: He did fantastic, improving nearly an hour and a half from his last run at the Barn Burner. And, he did it this year on a single speed, so I'm even more impressed.

Working in the bike shop continues to be entertaining. I think I changed more tubes over the weekend than I have over the course of my entire life. I'll be an expert at ripping and replacing them in seconds before long, I have no doubt. I haven't decided if working in a shop is a blessing or a curse quite yet, but I am never lacking for entertainment. Customers are highly amusing and humorous, and several seem to want to steal my bikes (which I take as a compliment, certainly).

I hope your late summer riding has been enjoyable. I'm looking forward to some slightly cooler weather as we begin the count to the end of the year. Happy riding!


  1. I had meant to give you my thoughts on working in a bike shop, but I couldn't quite formulate what I meant to goes...Some aspects I'd like, perhaps encouraging folks to ride, etc., I could handle minor repairs, changing tubes, however, dealing with personalities is not my strong point so I'm not sure how I'd handle that.

    I hope your weather cools off. I thought we were starting to cool, but rats!, heat and humidity still is ungodly in late September, certainly not normall for this time of year...but we're getting there, trees are changing, so beautiful.

    1. The weather has been warmer than I'd have thought for this time of year, but (at least here) we can have years during which the warmth sticks around into October. I won't complain because I know once the really cold weather starts I'll be wishing to have this back. :)

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on working in a bike shop. I think any time mass numbers of humans are involved, there's always the potential for clashing personalities or those few who are just unreasonable. I've been pretty fortunate thus far and have only encountered one who became quickly annoyed with my inability to do exactly when and what he wanted. Even still, we managed to make it through without too much drama. In the past, I was told that I do well in tough situations with customers, but it's been a very long time since I've dealt with anything retail-wise and I think my years of life have taken a bit of the patience I used to pride myself on.

  2. I did coffeenenuring for the first time last year. I don't drink coffee and am not a big caffeine fan, so I had plenty of herbal tea. It turns out that I was the first person from Tennessee to complete the challenge. This year, I'm trying to get a group from the co-op to join me.

    It's so good to see the Campeur again and to know that it gets regular use. I think it is a gorgeous bike. My Bianchi is about to get a little makeover. I've decided to install Rivendell Albastache handlebars. If this works as well as I am hoping, it might solve my little fit issue and give me the ability to add a mini-rack on front with a rando bag or Wald basket. Fenders are next. This was supposed to be my go-fast bike, but I can't seem to resist turning it into a transportation beast!

    1. I think I'm going to be following your lead with decaffeinated choices this year, and hopefully, I will actually complete the challenge this year instead of giving up. I think recruiting other locals to join you is a fantastic thought. I think I have a couple of people I can con into at least one or two coffeeneur rides, but I suppose time will tell.

      I believe the Campeur has seen more miles than any other bike I own over the last year. The poor thing has been the go-to in most instances, and adding the large front basket makes it easy to carry a lot of items around (I even delivered art with it just a couple of days ago). I'll do an update post on it soon (or at least some time over the winter).

      I am super excited to hear that you're exploring options with your Bianchi. If it helps, My Hillborne was supposed to be my road bike too and it's been shifted into entirely different set ups, depending on needs. I use it occasionally for road rides, but I can't resist adding bags and racks to it, so I've just given in and let it be whatever I need it to be in the moment. I think it's easy for me to want to change everything into a bike that can carry stuff because inevitably, whatever bike I'm on, I want to be able to take something with me and/or pick something up.

      When you get your new set up, I'd love to know how it works for you [and pictures are always welcomed too :)].


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