A Coffeeneuring Meander with Cindy C. in North Carolina

Cindy C. of North Carolina participated in the Coffeeneuring Challenge for the first time last year. The descriptive recounts of her rides, diverse beverage consumption, and her conclusion that bicycling might be the cure for the common cold make for excellent pre-coffeeneuring reading.

Enjoy, and thank you, Cindy for the guest post!

Trip #1
Date: Sunday, October 6
Where: Starbucks @ Harris Teeter – Hwy 42 & Buffalo Rd. Clayton, North Carolina 
What I had: Iced Chai Latte & Pumpkin Scone
Total Mileage: 22.28 miles

A very nice trip out and back. It was pretty foggy early this morning but it was lifting by the time I headed out around 9:30. All the spider webs and caterpillar nests were still coated in fog/dew and they looked cool in the trees. With some fog still hanging around it was very appropriate for early Oct. – a little Halloweeny even.

Saw lots of morning glories along the road on the way down. The fog had completely lifted and the sun was starting to come out on the way back. Most of the morning glories were closing up for the day by then. Wildlife count included assorted horses and a couple of dogs that stood in the middle of the road and watched me go by.

I notice the rules do not state the coffee or tea beverage must be hot. It is unseasonably warm for early October in NC. My Garmin reported an average temperature of 78 degrees and I rode from 9:30-11:30.

Too hot for a hot beverage so I went with the iced option. And who can resist a scone – especially a pumpkin one? Although, in the interest of not completely wiping out the calories burned on the ride I only ate half.

Illustration 1: My bike by the pretty flowers
Illustration 1: My bike by the pretty flowers

 

Illustration 2: Iced Chai Latte & Pumpkin Scone
Illustration 2: Iced Chai Latte & Pumpkin Scone

Trip #2
Date: Sunday, October 13
Where: Bean & Barrel – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
What I had: Ginger Twist Tea
Total Mileage: 22.64 miles

This turned out to be a very nice ride with one of my cycling buddies and some new friends. It’s been a dreary and rainy week.

This weekend I was fighting off a cold and felt a little off. But, I’d registered for the NC Tour de Cure and my friend Jenny invited me to join her team.

A group of them were getting together to ride today. I said I’d go and meet them so I dragged myself off the couch and over to Chapel Hill. Everyone was very nice and welcoming to the new girl. We had a great ride around Jordan Lake.

While it was overcast and windy there was no rain. Amazingly I ended up with a very fast average speed for me (16.4 mph). I think the wind was really helping the first half of the ride.

After the ride we hung out at the Bean & Barrel and chatted. I felt really good after the ride – I think cycling may be the cure for the common cold!

Illustration 3: Gnger Twist tea after an overcast and windy ride
Illustration 3: Gnger Twist tea after an overcast and windy ride

Trip #3
Date: Saturday, Oct 26
Where: Aubrey & Peedies Grill – 39 N. Main St. Wendell, North Carolina
What I had: Hot Chocolate & Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Total Mileage: 15 miles

A beautiful fall day for a bike ride. Bright and sunny, a little cool so I waited for it to warm up a bit before heading out. A very nice ride over to Zebulon to check out the Ecclectic Intellectual coffee shop.

But, sadness, it was closed when I arrived around 11:30am. It is supposed to open at 10am on Saturday so not sure what the deal was. I headed back to Wendell and stopped at Aubrey & Peedies.

By then I was hungry so I had a grilled cheese and hot chocolate. All in all a great ride even though Wendell and Zebulon were both built at the top of hills so there was quite a bit of climbing involved.

Illustration 4: Hot Chocolate & Grilled Cheese hit the spot on cool fall day
Illustration 4: Hot Chocolate & Grilled Cheese hit the spot on cool fall day

Trip #4
Date: Sunday, Oct 27
Where: BP gas station & convenience store – Hw 96 & Brown’s Pond Rd
What I had: Hot Chocolate & Oatmeal Pie
Total Mileage: 44 miles

It was a beautiful day – perfect weather for cycling. I planned out a nice long route that would pass 4 different locations for a coffeeneuring stop. I was cruising as I passed the first one (Popeyes), didn’t feel the need to stop yet so headed on to the 2nd.

The 2nd opportunity was Shoeheel Grocery. Looks like it is under new management now as Gonzales Taco, Grill & Grocery. Not open on Sunday though (to be fair I don’t know if it was open on Sunday before the change either).

Took a quick stop to get off the bike and stretch a bit. Then headed on to option number 3 – a convenience store at 96 where Brown’s Pond Rd turns into Little Divine Rd. I needed to refill my water bottle by then and they had Hot Chocolate so viola! a coffeeneuring stop.

From there it was a slight change from my original plan. I had planned to head up 96 back to Popeye’s but the road was closed for bridge repair (something I’d noticed earlier as I passed Popeyes). It was down Little Divine and up Buffalo Rd. to the Grocery Bag and it’s Almost Famous Hot Dog.

Not in the mood for hot dogs but I did get some ice cream and took a break before the last 10 miles home. All in all a great ride through the traditional Selma Cyclepaths home turf.

Illustration 5: Hot Chocolate & Oatmeal Creme Pie - Yumm!
Illustration 5: Hot Chocolate & Oatmeal Creme Pie – Yumm!
Illustration 6: Ice Ceam-a-neuring anyone?
Illustration 6: Ice Ceam-a-neuring anyone?

Trip #5
Date: Saturday, November 2
Where: McDonalds – Wendell Boulevard, Wendell, NC
What I had: Pumpkin Spice Latte
Total Mileage: 7.2 miles

Today started off overcast and dreary but the sun started coming out as I was leaving. By the time I arrived at McDonald’s the clouds were gone and it was a bright sunny day. McD’s was the backup destination for today’s ride.

I was going to check out the bakery/cafe in downtown Wendell. But, it doesn’t open unitl 1pm on Saturday. Bummer, because I had to be home by 12 in order to shower, change, and get to my woodwind quintet rehearsal in Cary. I’ll put the bakery on the plan for next weekend.

Today I took the mountain bike out. I don’t ride it much since I got my road bike but it’s great for casual rides through town. In the spirit of coffeeneuring I had a coffee beverage.

A Pumpkin Spice Latte sounded good. I’m not a coffee drinker – love the smell but not the taste. This was OK – almost masked the coffee taste enough but not enough to convert me.

On the way home I stopped briefly to check out the Lake Myra Christmas lights. Looks like they are getting close to having everything set up. The lights sparkle in the sunshine. I tried taking a picture but the sparkle didn’t show up very well.

Illustration 7: Pumpkin spice latte and my mountain bike
Illustration 7: Pumpkin spice latte and my mountain bike
Illustration 8: Lake Myra Christmas Lights
Illustration 8: Lake Myra Christmas Lights

Trip #6
Date: Sunday November 3
Where: The Grocery Bag – Hw 42 & Buffaloe Rd, Clayton, North Carolina
What I had: Hot Chocolate
Total Mileage: 25.3 miles

For this coffeeneuring ride I met up with my friend Jenny. Her coach had given her an assignement to ride some hills so we set off in search of hills. It was bright and sunny although quite windy so she should have gotten extra credit for riding hills into the wind.

We had fun riding along and making up the route as we went. We added a coffeeneuring stop at the Grocery Bag (home of the almost famous hot dog). I had hot chocolate which hit the spot.

Later that afternoon Jenny and I met up again at the BikeMS awards party. Our team, the Selma Cyclepaths, took 1st place in the fundraising competition!!

Illustration 9: Hot Chocolate at the Grocery Bag
Illustration 9: Hot Chocolate at the Grocery Bag

Trip #7
Date: Saturday November 9
Where: Eclectic International – 120 North Arendell Ave, Zebulon, North Carolina
What I had: Lemon Ginger Tea
Total Mileage: 14.5 miles

This ride completes the 2013 coffeeneuring challenge! I repeated an earlier route but this time the coffee shop in Zebulon was open.

I had a lemon ginger tea and a nice chat with the gentleman working at the shop. He was telling me about the open mic and live music they have on Saturday evenings.

I will have to go back sometime and check that out.

Illustration 10: Hot Tea and my helmet
Illustration 10: Hot Tea and my helmet

Congratulations, Cindy, on completing last year’s Coffeeneuring Challenge and thank you again for the lovely coffeeneuring narrative!

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