Monday, January 29, 2024

Always Be Coffeeneuring.

 Unseasonably warm and dry, and a nice day for an off-season Coffeeneuring ride. Coffee, credit union, grocery. The Peugeot rides smoothly and easily, though there’s a noticeable leap between the third and second freewheel cogs that I may want to address later.

The rain and colder temps return tomorrow. I’m torn between an open mic and Bike Happy Hour on Wednesday night, because I can’t be in two places at once. 

Still, really lovely to ride today.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Testing, one, two: Stanley pour-over coffee maker.

Today’s adventure: testing my #coffeeoutside gear for future outings. 

Happily, the military issue can of sterno that came with the stove was mostly full, and fully functional. 

Water was suitably quite hot in about eight minutes and the Stanley pour over coffee kit worked fine. 

When I take this out for real, I’ll use a different pot and lid to heat the water in. I’ve got a crash-and-dent Stanley coffee pot that should work fine on the road. I will need to find a better, smaller solution to put out the flame, maybe a tin jar lid with a small handle attached or something. The handles on the side of the stove are helpful for opening and closing, though to open it while the flame is going I’ll probably use some small needle nose pliers or similar to pull back the latch.

As for the coffee maker, the pour-over setup works efficiently, and the metal filter means an end to having to use paper filters. I bought mine at a discount as “new, open box,” which means it did not include instructions. So it took a minute to figure out that the filter was there to keep the grounds OUT of the coffee, NOT to hold them. The steel construction seems durable and it’s easy to clean afterwards. If I’m being really fussy, I wish the handle was shaped with more comfort in mind, but that’s a minor quibble, and if I want I can always add a little padding myself. (If you have a favorite mug that will work, you can buy the pour-over part separately.)

I’ll want to adjust how much ground coffee I need for a perfect cup but this is an excellent start.

Someone gave me a cheap, simple stainless steel hand-crank grinder, but I think to start I’ll just bring some pre-ground coffee in a little jar from home for awhile, and see if I want to complicate things further later on.

I feel confident about my next coffee outing. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.



Thursday, January 25, 2024

Coffee Outside, finally

 For off-season and other Coffeeneuring, going forward:

I’ve scored a robust Sterno stove and this new pour-over system so I can finally make my own #coffeeoutside in 2024!

I plan to test it at home but don’t want to waste too much coffee, water or fuel. I figure I’ll measure out the water needed for a large cup of coffee, then time how long it takes to boil that amount of water. Or do I want to stop just shy of actually boiling?

Feel free to suggest a better pot for boiling, this is just what the stove came with. (Except Sweetie won’t let me take our very nice stainless Farberware pot with me.)

Who wants to geek out with me?


Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Every bike ride these days is a challenge, but worth it.

I’d planned to take in another Bike Happy Hour today, but errands and other chores early in the day took a lot out of me. But it was dry outside, a window between storms that I had to take advantage of. So I did some minor fiddling with my Peugeot and took it out for a little local spin.

The air was crisp and the temperature falling, but the sun peeked through thick clouds and the trees swayed in a light breeze, and I enjoyed myself despite the cold. 

I also enjoyed the handling and ease of the Peugeot since it’s regearing. The sectioned chain gave me no trouble, not even a tiny hitch, and confirmed my position that adding pieces of off-brand chain in the exact same size to expand the length should pose no problem if all the links are properly loosened. There were no issues.

Along the way I ran into a former co-owner from my Citybikes days. It was lovely to see him. He’s embroiled in very difficult, ugly legal proceedings wherein the three other remaining co-owners want to close Citybikes down and liquidate everything, including two buildings and lots of inventory, to divide amongst themselves. N, the fourth co-owner and the only one left from my time there, wants to keep the business going. Three weeks ago, the three news co-owners changed the locks without warning and barred Noel from the shop, a completely illegal move that will make things even messier.

Meanwhile, a group of former owners continues to meet periodically, in hopes of helping to reclaim and revitalize the shop as the cooperative it once was. I am not part of that effort at all, owing to both my ongoing illness and my desire to avoid all things Citybikes (except my happier memories). Still, it was lovely to run into N and I hope he’ll be okay in the end. As for the resurrection of the business, I want no part of it. I am done with all that and happy to be on the sidelines.

I rode home after less than half an hour outside because of the cold, but was glad to ride even a little bit.

Much colder temps are due here by Friday, along with a strong probability of freezing rain and icy roads. So other than a possible short ride again tomorrow, the bike is up on its hook for the next several days.

if you DO a go outside in the coming cold snap, remember to protect your extremities and don’t overdo.

Happy riding.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

When riding your bicycle becomes a noun rather than a verb.

Ugh. Two colors of my palette are running together and making uncomfortable colors.

As always, the comments are the worst part.


Can’t I just ride my damned bike?