Monday, November 10, 2014

Coffeeneuring Ride 7: That coffee shop right next to NYC Velo, Gotham West...or is it?

Ride 7: November 8 / Darling Coffee / 17.1 miles / Coffee Black & Chorizo Frittata

It all comes down to this.  The epic 7th ride.  When completed, I can throw my hands in the air, scream at the sky, and declare my domination over NYC because I rode my bike to get coffee seven different times.  No cabs, or terrible weather, or crazy skyscraper wind, or SUVs that don't know how to use mirrors, or salmon in the bike lanes, or marathons, or poor route selections...nothing could stop me.  HAHAHAHA.  Wait...did I just jinx myself?

It was about 11am when I woke up.  I am not what you would call an "early riser."  I also know that the coffeeneuring rules dictate a ride distance of two miles.  I am not ashamed to say that I had saved some pretty low-hanging fruit for my last ride.  There is a bike shop called NYC Velo, and they rock.  They have two locations, one very close to Standings (which my two readers will appreciate), and one that is on my side of town, next to the USS Intrepid (CV-11).  Click here for everything you need to know about the Fighting "I."  I love a good trip to the Intrepid, and the bike shop has a coffee shop right next door.  This is also about 2 miles away from home.  Win-Win.

It was also 42 degrees outside.  Did I mention how I was really excited for a short ride? 
Yeah! Short Ride!
I don't know what happened.  I didn't even get a mile away from home.  I just hopped on the bike, was enjoying the sunny day, the legs felt good, and I needed a longer ride.  So, I did something I've never done before.  I went North.  (That's not exactly true, I've ridden North before, and I've been farther north before.  Lots of my family is from Minnesota. I just don't have a reason to go farther north on Manhattan from my place...ever.)
What I actually did.  Complete with turnaround.
9.0 miles
I was headed to Darling Coffee.  I had heard good things about it.  And it's just about as far north on Manhattan as you can go.  There really isn't a reason to go there unless you live up there.  Also, I had never ridden past the GW Bridge, so I was curious about what the bike path does up there.

More motivated bike riders than myself actually ride over to New Jersey (the left side) and go ride there.
Some of them ride far enough North to ride BACK into NY.  Wrap your brain around that.
It's a car-free path all the way along the river.  There are some spots where the bikes have their own lanes, some where bikes and peds share the path, but it's a very easy ride, and beautiful scenery next to the river.

Crossed under the GW bridge, and there is a very steep hill.  I made it up the first part no problem, but the 2nd part is even steeper, and my bike only has one gear.  52/17 for all the gear nerds out there.  And the 52 is a Biopace chainring.  There was no way I was making it up, so I walked.  Sorry, folks.  I felt even worse when a couple guys in spandex team kits and carbon bikes passed me while walking.  Sure, they were in their granny gear, but it still hurt.

At the top of the steep hill, it keeps going up for a while, and encounters a nice little patio with columns.

Romans love upper Manhattan.
Unfortunately, this picture doesn't do justice to how beautiful the leaves looked on the Palisades.

I kept going and hit a dead end.  Apparently that bridge isn't finished for bike use. But that's ok, it was time to head back onto city streets.


Down a staircase and back onto the streets. 

A very important intersection.
If you don't get it, ask a friend.
A turn here, a turn there, and I was at Darling Coffee.

Outside Darling Coffee

Great shop, bike parking everywhere, right on Broadway.  Not sure if that's a good thing, but lots of foot traffic, so I'm sure it's great for the shop.

Inside is very spacious and open, bright decor, kind of my idea of what would happen if an iPod and a Coffee shop had a business baby.  They also don't allow computers on the weekends during their busy hours, so there was no problem finding seating.  That was pretty awesome.  I didn't really feel like any fancy drink, so I went with a coffee black...and the chorizo frittata.  What can I say? I turned a 4 mile ride into a 17 mile ride. I was hungry.

Just what you need when it's in the 40s outside.

Both delicious.  Really really good.  I then looked at my watch and realized it was 345pm (that's 1545 hours if you were serving on the Fighting "I".)  It also was a bad sign, since it gets dark here at 430pm (1630) these days. 

Back home!  I took the same route home.  I realize I said before how I think that's lame, but the alternate route home this time involved a lot of streets instead of a ride along the river, so I opted for the scenic route, redundant as it was.
The ride home.  8.1 miles.
Going down that steep hill was AWESOME!  The headwind riding back downriver was not.

I rode pretty fast going home trying to beat the dark.  Close to home, the city just added new bike lane markings on the 79th st roundabout; they make getting on the Hudson River Greenway downright easy compared to riding through Riverside Park.  I really do like that addition.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.  Later that night I would go on to watch a CU Buffs game and sing karaoke at a BYOB karaoke bar in K-town.  "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen may or may not have been belted at the top of my lungs.
Karaoke in K-town.
My bocce friends are either extremely excited about the song, extremely mad about something I said...
or both.
Ride 7: check.  Thanks to Mary at ChasingMailboxes for the awesome challenge. 

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