Monday, October 15, 2012

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2012 # 2: Fuel Cafe, NE Alberta

Today was another day off, so I combined my need for coffee with a cross-town errand.

Fuel Cafe, which is just over a mile from my house (1.06 miles to be exact) at 1452 NE Alberta St., is a simple, unpretentious coffee shop that offers good, fresh coffee and baked goods right away, and a few small savory items if you can wait longer. I got a very tasty chocolate chip cookie and helped myself to a few squirts from a hot-pot filled with freshly-brewed Columbian. My total spent was less than the single cup of coffee I'd had the previous day at Extracto -- and tasted like it. I'm not being fussy -- I expect to pay more for "serious" coffee than I do for quick, merely good coffee. Each kind of coffee has its uses and I'm glad to be able to have choices.

I had my trailer with me because my errand was responding to a craigslist posting about an old mountain bike for sale at an unbelievably good price. The seller was clear across town, so I figured that two ten-plus mile rides in a row would give me a day (tomorrow) to recover a bit before I had to begin riding for work Wednesday through Friday.

I had considered taking the Surly but the more I contemplate it, the more using a trailer is making sense to me. (It may be a phase and so I am hanging out with the idea for now and not doing anything really rash.)

After "fueling" myself a bit, I rode through a blustery, rainy landscape into southeast Portland. The temps were warm and I didn't mind the downpours as they moved across the road. (My 8-year-old Burley rain jacket, however, is showing its age. By the time I'd gotten halfway to my destination the jacket front had leaked through and my shirt underneath was nearly soaked. I may need to research a newer jacket, finally. Or find a vintage Burley Rain Rider in good shape.)

The bike was everything I'd hoped for, and we negotiated a fair price.
I loaded the bike into the trailer...

...and rode back across town. 

By now the rain had let up a bit; I found myself between passing systems and the sky lightened a little as I headed north again. I stopped to marvel at some beautiful fall colors still hanging on the trees -- many leaves had been blown off or had fallen by now. 

While stopped at an intersection, I looked up and noted nervously that I'd stopped under a large branch that was showing an enormous crack at its base. One really strong gust could bring it crashing down on me, and the wind was picking up again. So I carefully and quickly got out from under the tree and pedaled home.

Total distance: 11.3 miles.

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