Seattle Coffeeneuring with Coffeeneur Conceptualizer and Randonneur Joe Platzner

While the beginning of this guest post may sound more like a medical diary than a coffeeneur tale, I assure you it is not.

Joe Platzer, the Seattle randonneur behind the concept of coffeeneuring, provided me a convincing doctor’s note about why he was starting the challenge late, and I gave him a small extension to complete the challenge.

The stories of his trips follow, and include photos of  a few Pacific Northwest randonneur all-stars as well as pictures of Joe’s beautiful self-built (is that a word?) Platzner bicycle. He even coffeeneured once via tandem (see trip 6)! Thank you for being part of the challenge this year, Joe, and for your guest post.

At first I didn’t think I’d make this. In March, I was in New Jersey for high school reunions, and I went for a little ride with Ron Anderson (a New Jersey and PA Randonneur).  At some point I felt like my Sidi was rubbing on my ankle.  It got really sore, and I thought perhaps I had banged my leg into something. The problem was, however, I didn’t recall banging my leg. After the ride, I took off my sock and discovered a big marble-sized lump that was kind of like a blood clot.

It turns out that the varicose veins I’ve had my whole life were finally causing problems. It wasn’t anything urgent, but I needed to get them worked on. So in early October I had the surgery.

I was moping around complaining to Mark Thomas about how long recovery was taking when rando legend Vinnie — a surgeon when he’s not riding — said something to Mark along the lines of, “Of course he’s complaining. Have you seen that surgery? It’s disgusting!”

Anyway, a whole lots of whining and pain meds later, Mark and I headed out for coffeeneuring

1. We rode to Starbucks in Issaquah (9.6 Miles RT) on October 18.

I had a grande nonfat latte. Mark probably had a straight up four-shot espresso. He doesn’t mess around. We ran into distance cycling and blogosphering legend Kent “Mountain Turtle” Peterson. Good times were had by all.

2. “Hipster Coffee”

The next day, October 19th, I drove to Seattle to visit Andy “the Frenemy” Spier because he has Italian cutting tools and offered to give an “Italian Face Job” to the bottom bracket of a Merckx I had repaired. Yeah, he’s strange that way.

Andy is a pain in the ass to ride with, and then he gives you a sandwich. I brought my Brompton and when we were done with the Merckx, we rode about 4 miles round trip to a fancy pants hipster coffee shop in Freemont (the center of the universe). I don’t know the name of the place, but let’s call it Hipster Coffee.

The barista was not unattractive and had a tattoo of a bike across her chest. I tried not to stare. Andy, always the gentleman, asked if he could see the rest of it. Amazingly, she said “no.” I had a tall nonfat latte, and Andy had hot chocolate.

3. Starbucks on Lakemont Boulevard

For coffeeneuring number three, I stayed close to home. My closest Starbuck’s is on Lakemont Boulevard.  Only 4.4 miles round trip on Oct 25. I would not have gone for a ride if not for the desire to complete the challenge. I had a tall Americano with room.

4. Trip number four, on November 2, was to the Tully’s in Factoria for a total of 3.5 miles.

You know, the Tully’s near the Toyota dealer over the pedestrian bridge. Yeah, that one.

Funny, but for a minute I thought I copied the same picture twice. I’m pretty sure that’s a medium nonfat latte. The pumpkin bread was flowing too.

5. Peet’s Coffee, Redmond, Washington

Finally able to go more than a few miles, I ventured up the gravel trail to Peet’s in Redmond for trip 5.  20.8 miles on Nov 8. 2012 Anno Domini. This large nonfat latte in a real mug was clearly the winner of my set.

Believe it or not, I like Starbuck’s, but Peet’s is just, well, a whole other level. Peet had a hand in the original Starbuck’s and I think they own the small chain now. Plus, this particular Peet’s puts up with us at crazy hours and can be seen in the famous Winter Solstice Ride video. Oh, and the gravel felt really bad on my post operative legs. A bit too far.

6. Coffeeneuring with Munchkinhead and Bun Bun at the Starbucks in Factoria near the Toyota dealer

For the penultimate coffeeneuring run of the series, on November 9, I wanted to stay close to home. Even though I’m in the ‘burbs, there is an endless supply of coffee stops in the 5-mile window.

This is yet another Starbucks in Factoria near the Toyota dealer. 3.8 miles total with Munchkinhead on the tandem. I had a short americano, and munchkin had a vanilla creme even though she is a short americano. That was our first try with a “vanilla cream” instead of a “kid’s vanilla cream.” You get 2 more ounces, and the price goes from $1.00 to $3.05.

We decided to go back to “kid’s vanilla creams” from now on seeing as Munchkinhead is a kid. Oh, and her bunny, creatively named “Bun Bun,” came along in the bar bag for fresh air. A good time was had by all.

7. Starbucks in Factoria, Washington, near QFC

Lastly, today, November 15, was a quick run to yet another Starbucks in Factoria. I know! This is the one near QFC that we often use for the start of permanents. I’m surprised they didn’t ask if I wanted a receipt, as they are wise in the way of the rando. Just a total of 6 miles, but the hill home makes it count.

I had a tall Americano with room. It was a cold but sunny day in the Pacific Northwest, and it is going to rain for as long as the forecast shows, so I’m glad I got out.

Well done, Joe. Congratulations again on completing this year’s Coffeeneuring Challenge (especially after ending up on the Honorable Mention list last year) and thank you for coming up with the idea in the first place!


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