Ride to seven coffee shops in four weeks. It was a challenge this die-hard rando-coffee freak could not pass up and I'm pleased to say that I made it and just in the nick of time.
With temperatures hovering around the freezing mark this morning and an unprecedented October snow storm on the way, I got up early, dung some winter gear (wool hat, toe covers, full-finger gloves, winter tights, etc.) out of the deep recesses of my cycling drawer, drank a quick cup of hot coffee and I was off.
My house sits right on the edge of some of the world's most incredible cycling. The Shawangunk Ridge and the Catskill Mountains are reachable in minutes. The only trouble is, I need to cross the freight line that runs up the east side of the Hudson River from NYC to Albany to get there and, every now and then, I need to wait for a mile-long train to pass before getting on my way. Today was one of those days.
My destination this morning was New Paltz, site of my first coffeeneuring ride, to pay a visit to The Bakery - one of my favorite Hudson Valley coffee shops. When I arrived, the owner (a friend of mine who also serves on the board of the Walkway Over the Hudson) was busy working with his staff to prepare for the annual "Night of 100 Pumpkins" which thrills community members of all ages with a pumpkin contest and party on Halloween night.
After a quick cup of coffee and a scone I was back on the road to make it home before the first snow flakes fell. With climate change wreaking havoc on the local weather, I think it's time to buy some studded snow tires if I'm ever going to complete this R-12 goal of mine this year. Peter White Cycles seems to have a pretty good selection.
Thanks MG, for establishing a great challenge. It sure was a lot of fun!
24 miles, black coffee and a blueberry scone, done!