Saturday, October 25, 2014

Coffeeneuring Ride 4: Sit & Wonder

Ride 4: October 25 / Sit & Wonder / 22.3 miles / Red Eye (large coffee w/ two shots espresso)

So, I got around to reading some other Coffeeneuring reports.  I am such a wuss.  Seriously.  Go on, read them. I'll wait.

I don't know about all of them, but there are people doing 68 mile bike rides for coffee.  68 MILES!  Did you know that Frisco, CO to my friend's house in Denver, CO is about 68 miles?  Even going downhill the whole way, I cannot fathom that distance on a bike.  That is probably why I am not a very good bike rider. 

Anyhow, I wanted to start making my rides tougher.  I'm a healthy-ish guy in my 30s, I used to play the sports, I ski patrolled for double digit rides each way seem reasonable...right?

Of course they do.  Just shut-up, Dan, and Brooklyn (again), to Sit & Wonder.

10.9 miles from Home to Sit & Wonder
I am doing this ride on Saturday, because this weekend in NYC is gorgeous.  Temps in the 60F range and sunny.  Bike riding weather in late October rocks.

As per my usual, I was part of the "crack of Noon" club getting started on this ride.  I, of course, did not eat breakfast, because I can always get a quality sandwich once I get to Brooklyn.  They must have a deli there.  (remember this paragraph)

All two of you that regularly read and love my blog will be wondering "when does he go to Midtown and ruin his ride?"  HA!  I'm not as dumb as I look.  Hudson River, baby.  I even stopped along the way and took a picture from one of the piers because it was such a beautiful day.

Beautiful day.

Took the Hudson River path all the way until it was time to work across Manhattan towards the Manhattan Bridge.  I ignored every sign that was placed to help me with directions, and figured I could work it out on my own.  Then I got lost.  I'm not proud, but I had succumbed to the "Midtown Route" so many times, I had never ridden this route the clever way.  Long story short, I made some bad decisions, rode some cobblestone streets, and was WAY too close to the entrance to the Holland Tunnel before I found the beautiful green bike lane on Grand St. 

Getting Lost. Laugh it up.

So, Grand St. East towards the Manhattan Bridge.  Car traffic lanes approaching the bridge in ChinaTown were closed, so that part of the ride was pretty miserable, but eventually I made it to the bridge entrance and powered over into Brooklyn.

See that bridge in the distance?  Spoiler: I'll be there later.
Brooklyn has tons of bike lanes in very sensible spots, and I was able to be in some kind of bike lane all the way through Brooklyn until I arrived at Sit & Wonder.

Nice little coffee shop, good menu, but there was something called a Red Eye on there that I hadn't seen at a coffee shop before.  I asked about it and found out that it consisted of a large coffee with two shots of espresso in it.  Yup.  I also wanted a scone, since I was hungry.

I didn't have my wallet.

(let that sink in)
So, I was double digit miles away from my house, with no money and no coffee or scone.  My dreams of a sandwich (remember, I'm hungry) were crushed.  There is no pain worse than realizing you're not getting a sandwich when you think you'll have a sandwich.

Then, the guy behind the counter did something that reminds you that people are good deep down on the inside: he gave me the Red Eye anyway.  And then he wished me luck finding my wallet, and hoped I hadn't dropped it along the way.  If you ever get a chance, read the 'Where is Baer' blog posted on the right.  That guy is nuts, but he has also been to some amazing places and people treated him, and his traveling companions, with such compassion and warmth.  While my "coffee mission" is the smallest of small-potatoes compared to every other problem out there, it was still amazing. 

Thank You, Sit & Wonder.

I brought my coffee to their patio in the back and settled into finishing a book on my Kindle.  Yeah, I hauled my Kindle to Brooklyn, but not my wallet.  Winner.
The lazy cows belie how much caffeine is in this cup.
Coffee, check.  Faith in humanity restored, check.  Sandwich..............I need to get home.

I think riding back the same way you came is generally lame, so I chose slightly different route home.
Route to Sandwich-town: 11.4 miles
I did get to ride by the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and I am a huge WWII nut.  Even though it is now used to store your vehicle that got towed when you made the mistake of driving into, and parking in, Manhattan, it used to churn out battleships and aircraft carriers, and I am always in awe thinking about the history of such places.

I like bridge pictures.
Across the Williamsburg Bridge, and then across Manhattan to the Hudson River.  SOHO was crowded, but no one yelled at me for being in the bike lane, just angry looks.  I still call that a win.

Back up the Hudson bike path to home. 

I know what you're all thinking:  "What about that sandwich?"

Sandwich: Tuna fish with sprouts on wheat bread x2  Beer: Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin'

Ride 4: Check.

The wallet was on my pants, on my bed, right next to where my keys were before I left.

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