Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ride no. 5 - Oct. 26
Needing to attend a meeting in town, so I chose to ride my bike (only one-way this time) and stop for a coffee beforehand.

My choice:  Mediterranean Delights.  This establishment is a hidden (yes, literally) gem.  Its main focus is Middle Eastern "fast food" takeout (Fallaffel,  Shuwarma, etc)  they make an authentic Turkish Coffee and have a few sweets (Baklava, Date Cookies) available.

Getting there by bicycle can be a tad of a challenge.  If one is coming from the Oak-Ridge East-to-West "official" bike route.  Then one has to "loop around" the hospital and then cross  Oak Ridge Turnpike, an extremely bicycle hostile thoroughfare.  Riders arriving from points South (i.e. Emory Valley area / the community college will find a slightly better situation with relatively quiet streets, but again, absolutely no bike lanes or paths anywhere near.

I regret that I forgot to snap a picture when my coffee and cookie arrived (I was in the middle of a phone call, and mindlessly proceeded to devour my goodies).  Hope that the photo of the mostly empty cup and the empty tray will suffice for coffeeneuring requirements.  If not, I'll go back in a heartbeat.

Total miles - about six.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ride no. 4 - actually took place last Wed. Oct. 19th

Perhaps not in the spirit of coffeeneuring, but hopefully following the letter of the rules... Had to run several errands in town (about 20 miles or so), and stopped for an iced-tea at Razzleberry's, and viola - a coffeeneuring run...

Ruzzleberries is a wonderful little eclectic establishment.  They serve breakfast some days (including Saturday Mornings, which coincides with the farmer's market across the street).  Lunch is serves almost every day, and dinner one or two nights per week.  They also have wonderful ice-cream selection, and a nice little deli, with all sorts of interesting European items.  Coffee is available at breakfast time, and I'm assuming at lunch as well.

The location is very convenient to the "official"  "cross-Oak-Ride" bicycle route (see my previous comments about that route on Oct. 18).  While there are no bicycle lanes or paths anywhere nearby, the streets around there are relatively low on traffic with relatively low speed limits, and the climbs are not all that bad...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Oct. 18 Ride no. 3

Back home to Oak Ridge from family visit in Md.

My friend Robin (in the picture) joined me on this coffeeneuring ride to Hot Bagels - a wonderful eatery in the city-center.

The "city center" of Oak Ridge is an "L" shape region encompassing two major roads.  Both roads, sadly, are quite bicycle hostile.  The town has a plan (from  2011) to add bicycle lanes (a poor choice, I know, but it's at least something), but little has been done to make that happen.

IMHO that area should be avoided by all but the most experienced road cyclists, and should not be attempted during times of heavy traffic, bad weather, or poor visibility.

There is an official "East to West" bicycle route that parallels one of the legs of the "L" - but again,  that route should only be attempted by the most-experienced road cyclists, as it has a number of design flaws (not to mention poor pavement and the ever-popular acute-angle rail crossing) - making that route fairly dangerous for cyclists.  Sadly a large percentage of retailers and service providers, including our destination,  are fairly inconvenient to this route.

Having said that - the owners of this shop are very much "bicycle people", so a stop over there is a must, assuming you can do so safely.  Until recently it was one of only two eateries in town (at least as far as I noticed) that had bothered with a bicycle rack. Today the rack was missing...

Their bagels are on-par with New York City's best (I used to work at Zaro's in The Bronx).  The coffee is good, and the espresso is excellent.  

We rode about 12 miles (round trip).

Here's a photo from a month ago with (the now missing) bike rack.

See this location plus others world-wide on the Shared Map.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Oct. 11, 2016 - Coffeeneuring ride no. 2

Decided to explore areas north of Pasadena along the B&A Trail.  Now, it seems the whole world knows about The Big Bean - which is a great place to stop right along the trail, and which has been visited by at least one coffeeneuerer in the past (per the communal map)

So, I decided to do something different - namely ride for about 15 minutes north on the trail and see what I might notice.  As I was starting to approach the 15 min. mark, I noticed a nice, and fairly safe connection from the train to the Marley Station Mall so I decided to give that a try.  There is a nice bicycle rack on the trail itself, plus another rack in the parking lot near the food court entrance.  Sadly, I did not bring a lock (stupid of me, I know), so I decided to just walk the bike inside the mall (the automatic doors provided additional invitation).  The food court can be best described as sad.  It's dim, claustrophobic,  and can be best described as "deep fryer alley".  No Starbucks (which, frankly, was what I was hoping for).  I settled on ordering a cappuccino from the Cafe Marley, and took it outside to drink.  This $3.00 drink was awful.  It tasted like a "fine" mixture of two parts heavy corn syrup, one part liquefied shortening - just absolutely disgusting.  What was I thinking?

I guess the thing about exploring is that sometimes you find a gem, and sometimes, not so much...

Rode a total of about 11 miles from my parents' house in Pasadena.

Monday, October 10, 2016

2016 Coffeeneuring no. 1

Visiting my parents in Pasadena Md. - agreeably one of the most bicycle hostile communities in the state.  Ironically, what is arguably one of the best  bicycle trails in the nation runs north-south about 150 yards from Pasadena's west-border.

Instead of doing what most cyclists do in this community - namely - heading wet to the trail, I decided to head southeast towards Maggoty Beach Plaza - in search of a wonderful little bakery I visited once... Sadly, all that's left of the bakery is the sign on the street...

Saddened and disappointed I rode to nearby Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and a donut, thus meeting the letter if not the spirit of Coffeeneuring Rules.

Total distance - about seven miles (including a riding up and down the plaza twice trying to find the bakery).

Suitability of cyclists - absolutely not - streets have no shoulders nor bike lanes, and many drivers appear to be very hostile towards cyclists (including one person who found my presence so annoying they actually accelerated towards me, passing me within two feet while blaring their horn).