Monday, November 16, 2015

Coffeeneuring Ride 7--final weekend Sunday November 15, 2015

A final trip for 2015, and an errand run too!

First things first, Avery had to get in a ride that she missed, so on Saturday Jen was able to ride with her in the cold and wind, to the local Circle K for some Sweet Tea.  Now I know that Jen's Strava only is showing 1.6 miles but Avery actually doesn't have a strava on her phone, so being that Jen was cold she rode straight home, while Avery rode by herself around the 'circle' a half mile (you can measure it on Google earth-also viewable on Jen's Strava) on the way back to actually push her total to 2.1 miles for this round trip.  Scouts Honor--promise!  She's ridden with us on all other trips with the exception of one, so that's gotta count for her too!

Final Ride--Sunday, November 15--
Every year since 2012, I've used my beater bike or whatever bike is available to ride to the local Publix grocery store because they seem to have the best deals on Turkey.  I have a Winn Dixie close by but they just can't beat the price of Publix, and I like to get a fall ride in--usually in November it FINALLY starts to get a little chilly and windy, so, I don't know, I just like to ride in the wind and carry a turkey home on my back, in a backpack.  A few years ago, back when a good friend of mine's child was about 8 years old, I had the backpack in the store and a turkey in the other hand.  Kid asked me if I was gonna steal the turkey.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud--even at that age, a dude with a backpack in a store is stealing something.  Funny.  I didn't steal the turkey but made sure he saw me in line paying for it.  Another great thing is that the original year I did it, there was an accident near the house and traffic was backed up for miles. One of my friends was stuck in traffic, and saw me blow by her car that was standing still.  I got a text on the way back stating she hated sitting in traffic and noticed I was carrying a turkey so she ask what I was doing--being a nerd taking a bird?  The Nerd with the bird ride begun that day.  So, to this day, every year I do a 'nerd with a bird' ride to bring 'cranksgiving' turkey home to cook.  I decided to incorporate that into this year's final coffeeneuring ride--yet another 'theme within a theme' :)

bad in-action selfie

donut up.  Glazed with chocolate covered and sprinkles

Joe spilled some of his black coffee

nerd with a bird cranksgiving 2015

So, after church we rode easily, with the 15-20 mile winds to Publix to do just that.  It would have been our cheapest coffeeneuring ride, but coupled with donuts and buying a turkey, I'd probably have to say it was the most expensive.  Needless to say, all of us made this final trip, for free black coffee while we shopped for turkey, allowing Avery to nab her Sweet Leaf tea.  Those 20 mile/hour winds on the way back were not fun, especially with a turkey strapped to my back.  I had Amber on the back of the tandem as my stoker this time, and she did well.  (Jen and Avery had to work a function at the church before riding back, so there were a couple of errands in there for three of us!)
stat not shown: windspeed

So, another wonderful coffeeneuring season comes to a close.  We plan on trying to do at least a bi-weekly ride with our neighbors (when Joe can get off that is, or when our days off coincide) to keep this going, because the social good times and exercise usually can't be beat.  Long live Tandemneuring and Coffeeneuring!  Reppin 5 folk from La Condesa St in Gulf Breeze Fl, Peace Out 2015!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Coffeeneuring ride 6--Saturday November 7, 2015

A Get things done shorty ride kinda day

So, I have been watching the weather.  It's supposed to rain all day Sunday.  My son has a playoff football game today at 12:30 and has to be 20 miles away an hour early, so, we decided against riding to the Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival in Pensacola after the football game, because it gets dark around what seems like 2PM here with the stupid time change.  My daughter is taking a Marine Science class for school online and needed pics and documentation of an area waterway, which is basically a mile behind our house in distance.  Solution?  Ride to the Pensacola Bay, get her pics and documentation, and stop at McDonalds on the way for two Frappes and a Caramel Mocha Cappuccino.  In 84 degree weather with the humidity looming at about 85 percent.  I probably would have been better off with a cold frappuccino, but the Caramel Mocha Cappuccino was excellent.

I have always loved McDonald's coffee.  Still do.  Always a staple whether it be the froo-froo stuff or just a simple cup o blackness.

My Caramel Mocha Cappuccino with the kiddo

MMMM.  Frappuccinos (they're filling)

A short, four miler round trip, but got this completed and Avery got her homework done all the same, so it's a win-win for all of us.  I'll have to update Amber and Joe's ride when they go, as he was working the Pensacola Blue Angels Air show this weekend. Those NAS Police folk definitely work tough shifts, as there were 30,000 folks on base today.

Avery gathering data for class
Sunset on the NAS Blue Angel tarmac

 We had the utter joy of having Joe escort us to the flightline on Friday night for the night show.  Although we usually get to experience the joy of camping in much cooler weather at Ft Pickens and view the show from the beach, this year's activities made us cancel.  However, the show was awesome, especially that Jet truck that did 320 mph on the runway.  A very cool evening to watch the show, and an even cooler escort to get to the VIP spots.  I have to admit, we were looked at a little funny by the folks on base as we weren't a four star general or anything, but for the easy in easy out with a view of the show at night, I surely was not complaining!  And, a big hearty THANK YOU to all Veterans this week for all you do and for your service--this includes you, Joe.

Rob and Jen have completed their sixth tandemneuring coffeeneuring ride.
Avery has completed her fifth, along with Joe and Amber who have yet to ride.  I'll update this when they get their ride in.

Joe and Amber's ride 6 was to Panera Bread in Gulf Breeze.  After working a LOT of hours for the Blue Angel Homecoming show, Joe was pretty tired but was still able to eek out a 12 miler with Amber for a spiced pumpkin latte and some black coffee with a hearty supply of sugared up Hunny buns for the ride back.  Ride 6 in the books for everyone but Avery.  She'll make up her short ride Saturday.

Coffeeneuring Ride 5-Saturday October 31, 2015

Down the 98--ride 5  

I've always wanted to check out this SAIL INN sandwich shop down the highway from our house, and, since we weren't really in the mood for a LONG ride of 20+ miles, we decided on a slightly shorter route.  After all, it was Halloween and I needed an outfit for the party I was about to attend that night. There is a flea market about 6 miles down the 98.  The highway that has been under repaving for the past year and a half.  The highway that is adding a beautiful 8 foot bike lane on both sides, with keyhole lanes and everything being done on the Santa Rosa bike / ped plan using money from the BP oil spill.  Money well spent.  In the past 3-4 years, the road has been made safer by installing LED light posts throughout the county on the highway 98 one about every tenth of a mile--all the way to the county line using mostly existing infrastructure.  There have been a lot of deaths from people just attempting to cross the road, but the casualties have been to both cyclists and pedestrians. I find it sad that this is what it takes to get things done, but glad that it's getting done just the same. I'm pretty sure this project is close to completion, as they're supposed to be done by January 2016 (ish).  

New blacktop is going to be HOT, but is also going to be very nice to ride on--even if only for a little while.  I can remember feeling the heat emanating off the road just sitting in my car at stoplights, so it's gotta be hot on the cyclists, especially during the summer.  BUT, it's SMOOOOOOOTH!

Today's ride took me, Jen and Avery down a beautiful road along the sound to get there--Soundside Dr.  These million dollar homes sitting atop wooded lots, with beautiful views of Santa Rosa sound in the background.  This is probably one of my favorite areas to ride.  Little traffic, beautiful views, and somewhat smooth pavement--no bike lane but on the opposite side of the road we're riding, but at least there is room for cars to pass.  This road took us to the local flea market, in a beautiful back country kind of way. I don't think my fifteen year old daughter was in the mood to ride today by the amount of 'how much further' and 'are we there yet' references. She probably should have had a little more fuel to eat before the ride--her attitude changed after we ate. 

My goal at the flea market was to find an old gas mask from WWII or an older war--I was going to wear it to the party with a fedora, totally covered up--needed to figure in a straw in the mask to drink my beer though, ha.  Finally after finding one, I asked the dude how much.  $100.  Seriously?  "yeah, they still work".  Um. OK.  Guess I'm not dressing up tonight for the party, but at least I have 365 more days to plan for next year. We didn't spend but about 5 minutes at the flea market. 

After that debacle, it was about a two mile ride to Sail Inn.  Jen and Avery had tea, and I opted for yet another Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino.  Since we were famished, Jen and I also ate a recommended Cuban sandwich and my daughter wolfed down a turkey sub.  All the food and coffee was EXCELLENT.  We'll definitely be back, Sail Inn.  Hard to believe one can live in a place so long and never hit a great spot to eat.  That place has been there at least 15 years.  
We get a lot of questions and thumbs up while we ride the Burley Tandem.  Kids love it, and folks like to ask a few questions on it but all in all, we really, really like it.  She's a beautiful machine, and once I get the handlebar stem and extender, my shoulders will like it better too. 

After telling Joe and Amber about it, they went there the next day and gave it great reviews too.  

The ride back was straight blacktop on 'bloody 98', and due to lots of construction there were multiple loose asphalt pebbles everywhere.  I'll be so glad when this is complete.  Gonna be a great ride when done.  

So, Rob and Jen have completed their fifth ride, Joe and Amber their fifth ride and Avery her fourth ride.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Coffeeneuring Ride 4-Sunday October 25, 2015

Windy fronts--Jen catches up to me on ride count

Jen's catch-up ride to Starbucks
We had a lot to do this weekend. October weekends on the coast are always full of places to go and things to do on the panhandle.  Perfect weather, usually in the 70's as highs, with early morning rides hovering around the 60's.  We had no such luck this weekend. Muggy and windy tropical system started to come in and it felt like late August with 80 degree weather.  I hate mid-August weather and humidity.

Jen started the weekend by riding to
Starbucks to 'make up' her first ride.  She was all business on Saturday, riding the dreaded Highway 98 with our daughter.  Just eeked in a 2.4 mile round trip ride to add it to the books and catch up to me with three rides a piece.  She said it was quite the windy ride on the way back, but she and Avery got it done.  They both enjoyed a chocolate chip frappuccino so hopefully, they had plenty of energy to ride the bike back against the wind from the west at about 15 mph.

Sunday's Ride (Bagelheads)

We had a late night on Saturday as my brother-in-law's band played at the Bridgebar, then wifey spent some time on the beach.  I headed home as I was tired from a day of football, drinking, band listening, and overall awesomeness.  11PM gets a little late for me after a long day--Jen went out with her cousin and brother and friends and hung out until about 12:15AM.

The original plan was to ride early to Pensacola as the remnants of Hurricane Patricia were heading our way. We really didn't want to get caught up in any of that stuff but it was a little hard to wake up early on Sunday morning from the prior day's activities.  Needless to say, we got ourselves out of bed, checked the local weather forecast and were able to hop on the tandem for and 'easy' ride to Pensacola.  We met Joe and Amber, along with a late arrival by our daughter--she REALLY likes to sleep in--and headed over.  The trip over was effortless and the weather, although humid wasn't horrible until we got to the three mile bridge.  The wind picked up. I was a little concerned how easy the ride westbound was, because, as all cyclists know--usually when it's a little TOO easy, there usually a helpful windy friend at your back.  My fears were realized once we had to double back in order to get to the Northbound bridge. I think the winds were only blowing about 10 knots but seemed to be getting stronger by the minute.  Oh well. In it to win it, right?

We made it to Bagelheads with no problems.  Ha. 


 The ride back was a different story.  After spending about an hour at bagelheads loading up on black coffee, tea, smoothies and bagels about the size of my head, we headed back.

The wind was needless to say--hell.  Luckily it was straight out of the east so, although the bridge wasn't extremely hard, the rain chance of 50% made an appearance.  At the top of the bridge.  Although it wasn't a pelting rain, riding in rain is never fun, especially when riding on the front of a tandem with carbon handlebars and no wrap or grip.  Bad decision.  VERY luckily, it only lasted about a half mile, however the vast expanse of water opened up to definite heavy rains from the east.  I really didn't know what we were in for as our home was another six miles to the east.  Luckily it never rained on us again.

We had to stop on the bridge as soon as the rain stopped, due to my daughter's problem knees and,  riding Jen's bike, not being able to keep up with us.  Since I wanted to be home before midnight, I decided to let her be my stoker and Jen hopped back on her bike for the rest of the trip. Not sure it was the best decision as the new stoker wasn't able to push the pedals too hard. She held her own though so I was happy with that.

Everything was going fine until we headed completely eastbound into the monster. The wind was blowing at about 25 knots right at us now and it felt like I was holding on to the rear brake.  Just awful, but an experience nonetheless. The final mile and a half was a final ha-ha by God on our end of trip.  The rains started about an hour later, I guess--I wouldn't know when they started, as I pulled out my power napping ability, after about 32 oz of coffee, i'm not sure it worked, but it sure tasted good.
Everyone is caught up on rides now at 4.  Jen, Rob, Joe and Amber. Go us!
Avery has an honorable mention right now with 3.  Maybe she'll be able to catch up to us.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Coffeeneuring ride 3--Sunday October 18, 2015


When your 11 year old child plays football in far-away places on Saturday, it makes it a little hard to try and knock out two trips in a weekend.  It was also my beautiful mother's 70th birthday, so Saturday was a no-go.  Perfect weather, no wind, all sun.  Just a perfect day and we had to do some football travelling--not that there's anything wrong with that!

The cold front kicked in that day and the temps went from 79 degrees w/low humidity to 53 degrees with no humidity.  The wind was kicking on Sunday but Jen and I went through with our plan to make our first 'tandemneuring coffeeneuring' trip to Pensacola.  Right out of the gate we were cruising, then realized that the wind was coming out of the northeast.  Yay. I'll take a steady low cross-wind over a headwind anyday--bonus, the trip back will be much easier than the trip there!

Because my child is on a middle school sports team, and also in chorus, we always buy those ticket books.  This year we had one for Fosko's Coffee Barre downtown Pensacola.  By the time we got there it was about noon on Sunday--a perfect time to try out a cappuccino and Jen decided on a Cheesecake Frappuccino.  The frappe was very good, but the whip cream was something that needed to be worked on. She left that in cup! The weather warmed up and it was sunny and the wind died down.  A perfect day on the big-blue Burley.

Not long after, and since we were downtown, we decided to hang out right next door at one of our favorite spots for beer--Hopjacks Pizza kitchen, with 112 beers on tap.  Needed a little energy other than the Cappuccino so wifey and I filled up on some duck battered french fries and a few select half-price beers after meeting up with some friends.  In keeping with the theme, I was sure to have a Stone Coffee Milk Stout.

Three hours later, the sun started to descend and it was time for us to hit the road back as we were ill-equipped for nighttime lighting or riding.  Jen's sciatica was acting up a little too so it's a constant change of seat height for her.  Need to work on the fore-aft positioning also until we can get these shakedown rides dialed in.

The straight bee-line home via Hwy 98 and some accompanying bike trails had us home, albeit exhausted from not working our legs much this summer. As previously posted, the bike lane on bloody 98 will be extremely nice when it's done.  Problem is, does construction ever get 'done'?

My ride 3 and Jen's ride 2 are in the books.  No kids on the ride today (Sunday)--also no neighbors as Joe's shift has changed and he'll be getting he and Amber's coffeeneuring rides in on weekdays.

Joe and Amber were able to get their ride in today (Tuesday)--another perfect day trip to a beach breakfast joint!  Well Done Joe and Amber--y'all got three rides in the books now!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Coffeeneuring Ride 2--Sunday October 11, 2015


Yesterday was slow-ride Saturday.  Local bike shops in the Pensacola hold a slow ride at their location.  This is to inform the community about bicycle safety and riding in groups.  The Bike Pensacola facebook page is really blowing up and it seems we have about 60-70 folks showing up for each slow ride.  No spandex required.  Folks stopping for us, etc.  Great times.

This was the first decent 6+ mile ride for Jen and I on the Burley.  We did alright and got plenty of kudos and thumb's up from fellow riders.  We SO love this bike.  It'll be even better after I dress her with some planet bike fenders and a new Brooks.  Enjoyed the ride.  We were going to stop for coffee before leaving but had to check the rule book.  Decided not to stop as we don't want any violations from the coffeeneuring police, ha :).

Sunday we decided to ride with our neighbors on a perfect morning.  Amber and Joe rode all of them a couple of years ago, but we never added them to our rides.  The rules changed last year so i'm going to be making sure they get creds this year for their rides.  They rode Saturday for Starbucks as their starting ride and rode again with us on Sunday to my favorite spot for coffee--Drowsy Poet overlooking Little Sabine on the intercoastal waterway side of Pensacola Beach.

If I could ride this ride every weekend, I certainly would as we're both sold on this place. We usually end up buying an item in the surf shop after our coffee anyway--I blame the weather. A perfectly beautiful morning with no wind, a chance to break in the tandem a little more and, bonus, my daughter decided to ride along too!  Love me some White Chocolate Mocha as did my wifey.  Perfect day to coffeeneur.  Love this time of year!

Joe and Amber's Saturday Ride                                                           Sunday Coffee Ride w/neighbors

Daughter checking out 'pirate ship'
Jen's White Chocolate Mocha

Joe is concentrating on the cappuccino. Not gonna drink itself

Rob's White Chocolate Mocha

A breather after the climb to enjoy the views
The happy ride back 

Overall, a great time was had with neighbors and kiddo today.  Rides like these make me wanna just stay in the saddle!
Only regret was the sonnyboy didn't go with us. 
Some ride tallies--Rob 2, Jen 1, Avery 1, Amber 2, Joe 2 Garrett 1

Coffeeneuing Ride 1 Sunday Oct 4, 2015


Well, now that I told you in detail about my new tandem, it was time to test it out.  The original theme was to ride the bike with wifey to all coffeeneuring destinations this year, however, on ride one Sunday, it just so happened there were shoe sales in town, so wifey and daughter went shopping instead.  Being that my day doesn't fare too well when I 'wait' for my coffee in the morning, I decided to stop prolonging my agony of the need for caffeine, and asked my son if he felt like riding to the local Starbucks for a frappy.  He was more than excited.  I have to say I was too--as he did great on the rear of the bike.

It didn't take long to find a rhythm, however, I figured I needed a new front derailleur as the darn thing would no shift in the smaller ring on the 'hills'.  That's OK.  I'll take what I can get on the first ride.  We rode through the golfing community and got a few stares, but mostly it just felt good going against the wind and having a little help pushing the pedals.  Great first ride and some great Starbucks coffee to boot!  Jen will have to catch up and maybe do a ride with the daughter on the tandem twice in a weekend.  I hope to have her in the saddle with me for the next trip, though, as this is OUR thing! Sonnyboy did great on our first long trip.  I'll need to make some adjustments to handlebar height.  Been looking at changing out the front bars too--maybe some Nitto Albatross or, better yet, Jones loop bars--just gotta find the way to justify the expense.

I'm going to try and keep track of everyone that rides so hopefully we'll all be able to earn our patches.

Ride 1 = SUCCESS!  Rob 1, Garrett 1, Jen 0, Avery 0 Neighbor Joe 0, Neighbor Amber 0