Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Sunday, November 13, 2016

2016 Coffeeneuring Challenge 7: Spotted Cow

  • Spotted Cow, Mill Creek WA
  • November 13 (could have been raining ;'-))
  • Sencha Green Tea (Tea Forte)
  • 25 miles
  • Dragon socks

It had rained last night, and continued into the early morning. I checked our rain gauge -- the puddle at the end of our driveway -- at about 9:15 to see that there was no rain at the moment.


No Rain

I put on my dragon socks, packed my rain pants (just in case) and got in the saddle for a ride.


Dragon Socks

I left home at about 10:15 for the ride to Mill Creek. It was gray and cloudy and, after having been riding in 65-70 degree days this past week, the 48 degrees felt rather chilly for my first few pedal strokes. It didn't take long to warm up however, and I had a nice, cool, non-raining ride.


The ducks were feeding in a nearby pond along my route.



I arrived at Spotted Cow where there are no bike racks. I put my bike near the rear entrance, used my poor man's lock and chose a table near the window where I could keep an eye on it. I ordered my fare but was a bit disappointed. I had not been asked if I wanted it for "here" or "to go", so I assumed there was not a choice. After I got served and made my way to my table, I noticed that others had actual plates and cups with saucers.


Mine was served in paper cup and foil wrap. ;'-(

Seeing what looked like a fine assortment of teas, I happily chose Sencha which is my go to tea when I am not familiar with the brand.


I thought "Tea Forte" sounded great.

When I got my cup of tea it appeared to be whole leaf tea that they themselves put into little bags. Even better, I thought. But -- the tea ended up being weak (I left the bag in the cup through the end) and tasteless.

The pastry choices were not only limited, but by this time (11:30), there were even less choices. Since it was approaching lunch time for me, I chose a "savory" scone. It was "OK".



This is not a place I will have on my list of places to come back to as I was left unimpressed. Leaving Spotted Cow, I rode through the back parking lot to appreciate the last of fall colors.


Some of the colorful fall leaves continue to cling to their trees as a last gasp of fall hits.


I took a longer route home and rode through the county airport. This has become my route of choice when riding home from this area. It adds miles to the loop, but if I have time that is what I like. This time I got on the trail after leaving McCollum Park. But first I would make a stop.


I have stopped to see this in the past, and it is the only such memorial I know of.

I didn't take the time to read all the names here, but of those I did read, many were in their mid to late 20's. A sad memorial indeed.

Continuing on, the trail takes me up and over the busy highway.


As I approached the airport, and had less than half an hour to get home, there were just a few sparse raindrops that fell on me. I was at the ready with my rainpants, but never needed them as that (little bit of) rain was gone within no more than 15 minutes,


Museum of Flight plane on display on my route.

A fine morning of riding, and the finish of the 2016 challenge for me as I reach #7 for teaneuruing. Although -- I am now a patch carrying member of "Always Coffeeneuring" so there is no end to it!


Friday, November 11, 2016

2016 Coffeeneuring Challenge 6: Elaine's

  • #6 Elaine's house
  • November 10 (warm and partly sunny)
  • Kirkland Green Tea bag
  • 32 miles
  • Ya Gotta Have Heart socks


I am going to call this #6 in case the weather for this upcoming week does not allow for much teaneuring. We have had some extraordinarily warm and bike friendly days this past week or so. Today six of us had a fine ride from Elaine's house on a warm enough day to be in shorts and light jackets! Photo below is just before peeling off some layers of clothing. Bike parking was great in Elaine's garage with plenty of room for all bikes (including Dan and Elaine's several).


Brenda, our sixth rider, was taking the photo


We had some fine views of Mount Baker as we took a slow ride along the Riverfront Trail.

Elaine led us around and about a new housing development (that has been in the planning for decades) and into Everett on low traffic side streets and roads where we could glimpse some town activity and sights. We arrived at her home to the welcoming fall cooking smells of chicken noodle soup and fresh baked biscuits, reminding me of my mom's home way back. To top that, Elaine brought out her home baked (from a box this time) brownies and chocolate wine! Chocolate Wine!


Kirkland brand green tea is quite good and one of my favorite choices for bagged tea. Several of us had biked to Elaine's from our home. Having the most miles for my return home, I left this warm and wonderful group of friends a little early to beat any potential cold, wet or dark day!

My socks for the day:


Ya Gotta Have Heart


I need to add this comment from Cindy who sent an email reminding us of this incident. As cyclists we are always on the alert and defensive of car drivers, and we expect the worst when one is crawling up behind us: what will they shout at us? Will they throw something at us? What gesture will they throw our way? What curse words will come from the window? We were indivdually steeling ourselves for such a happening while this car was slowly creeping up behind us (we were extra slow due to the hill we were climbing). This is what took place:

"Just to share a fun moment with the others who didn't get to join us yesterday. As we were riding along, we had so many nice comments and shout outs from people along the trail and even a car driver who told us we were great and looked beautiful (I think Elaine heard that one)...and someone asked if we were a club or a family as we were riding along the river and Brenda replied "we are sisters"! Now, how is that for a cherry on the top! "

Our little group of cycling women friends is dubbed the "Swissies". A name given to us by Dan, Elaine's husband who called us the 'Secret Women Society' one day when we arrived at a group ride after our own time over breakfast before the ride. We morphed that title into Swissies, and now, after Brenda's introduction of us to that family as sisters ---- we are the Swissie Sisters. Rather cute I say.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

2016 Coffeeneuring Challenge 5: Piroshky & Crepes

  • #5 Piroshky & Crepes, Everett WA
  • October 29 (Raining)
  • Assam Black Tea
  • 9.5 miles
  • Sunspot socks

The plan was hatched for me to ride my bike to daughter Sarah's house where I would meet up with Susan who would be bringing grandson Etienne there from the ferry. It was raining!

OK, well I am planning to do the 'November Ride in the Rain Challenge', so this would be a good practice day for that. And a perfect time for me to stop on the way for tea at one of my very few favorite tea spots.


Clouds drip rain

I actually rather enjoyed my ride in the rain. The rain was gentle and falling straight down on me rather than blowing into my face; there was no wind; and it was not cold. Add to this that I was totally covered in ALL my rain gear, so was well protected. I had started out without rain pants on as I seldom wear them. Within just a few short blocks I realized that this was real rain, so turned around for home to get those pants. I arrived at Sarah's wet on the outside but dry and warm on the inside.


Is it any wonder that I love this place? Raindrops on my gloves evidence my rainy ride.

Now that I was weathered to the rain, I changed my original plan to take the most direct, shortest route to the house and added just a couple more miles to enjoy being in the saddle. Thus proving that I CAN ride in the rain and actually like it.


My bike stayed outside but very near me.


Socks of the Day


Monday, October 24, 2016

2106 Coffeeneuring Challenge 4: Henry's Donut

  • #4 Henry's Donuts Mukilteo WA
  • October 24, 2016
  • Farmer Brothers Black Tea
  • 20 miles
  • Bumble Bee Socks

Henry's Donuts is a small local, well, donut shop nearby. Leaving from home for a ride around my neighborhood, I rode 20 miles round trip, but Henry's is about a mile and a half from my house. I wore my bright bumble bee sox to lighten up this cloudy, somewhat gloomy day. No place to really park the bike, but easily left outside the window and using my "poor man's lock" system. Not much room to do that should several bikes arrive. Farmer Brothers Black Tea -- the brand that many restaurants are supplied with, kinda like Lipton but oh well. It is not always about the tea. I think my theme within a theme next year will be "the best of the worst". With tea choices what they often are, this theme should not be too much of a challenge ;'-).

Bonus is the lingering fall color. Just fantastically gorgeous. I have included photos of some of it in #3 post. Today I had some fun Halloween yard "art" to enjoy.


If I return to Henry's, I must remember to bring my mug as they serve in styrofoam cups only.


My socks helping to brighten the gloomy day


Lots of donut choices.


I chose the buttermilk donut


The baker at work





Coffeeneuring Challenge 3: L'Artisan French Bakery

  • #3 L'Artisan French Bakery, Mill Creek WA
  • October 22, 2016
  • Matcha Super Green Tea (high caffeine!)]
  • 19 Miles
  • Emu Socks

L'Artisan French Bakery in Mill Creek WA is a regular stop for our bike club rides. This time I rode with my friend Bette-Ann who was kind enough to take a photo of my emu socks.

19 mille ride in beautiful fall weather and color. This bakery is VERY bike friendly as it is a regular bike club stop almost every week and they take care of us well. Add to that some fine bakery goods, good sandwiches and good tea (and I will guess good coffee) and we have a perfect place to stop on this chilly and beautiful






2016 Coffeeneuring Challenge 2: Flying Apron

  • #2 Flying Apron, Redmond WA
  • October 20, 2016
  • 27 miles
  • Golden Monkey Tea
  • Cats with Umbrellas socks

A small group of us took advantage of dry pavement (after a week of rain) for a ride along the Sammamish Trail with a stop at the Flying Apron in Redmond WA. Parked bikes outside the window and we could watch them, or onto the bike rack near the door.

Great loose leaf tea (I had Golden Monkey black tea), and coffee drinkers say they have great coffee. Pastries are of course delightful!! And the servers are gracious and accommodating. 27 miles round trip. We will be back to this spot.

Kitties with umbrellas on socks in case of rain. ;'-)

YES! Lots of loose leaf tea choices!

Yummy goodies!

Coyote sighting on the return trip.

2016 Coffeeneuring Challenge 1: Little Bee's

Still in Michigan, we took the Leelanau Trail and found Little Bee's.

  • #1 Little Bee's An "official" teaneuring stop ;'-).
  • October 11, 2016
  • Twining Green Tea
  • Sutton's Bay, Michigan
  • 33 miles
  • Whale Socks

We rode the Lenanau Trail from Traverse City to Sutton Bay where I found my tea stop. Parking along the fence in this very narrow walkway would not be possible during the summer season, but worked for us today.

Twining Green Tea was my only choice.

Friendly and cute place even if tea choices are minimal. Vickie had a decent latte however.