Cycling and coffee
Cycling and coffee is a perfect combination. For bonus marks, throw cake into the mix! To celebrate this, why don’t you organise a monthly Coffee Ride?
What’s a Coffee Ride?
Simple – it’s a ride to somewhere, just to have a coffee. Let’s not get too hung up on rules, but whenever reasonably possible, you should be brewing the coffee yourself when you get to your chosen destination.
You want me to make my own coffee?
Ideally, yes. You see, if simply cycling to the same cafés all the time, you will miss out on enjoying a coffee in wilder places.
Nobody will criticise you, or tell you that you’re doing your Coffee Ride “wrong” in some way. Just try to have your coffee in unusual places. That could be that Audax hotel in the middle of nowhere, or a clearing in the woods nobody else knows about. It could be on the beach, or even in a park.
Find somewhere unusual, and do try to rotate where you go.
Variety is the spice of life
Imagine having exactly the same meal, three times per day, every day. That will rapidly get very boring. Cycling routes, and indeed the places you stop to enjoy your coffee, are no different. Mix things up a bit!
How to organise a coffee ride
Oh, this is the easy part! Simply scout the area that falls within the distance you can comfortably ride for a nice spot. Perhaps by that small, medieval bridge over the stream? Next, design a pleasant route from a central starting point. The best routes are loops, but sometimes we have no choice but ride a there-and-back.
I find RideWithGPS to be the best tool to design routes.
Finally, invite some others along, but do make it clear that they’ll need to carry coffee-making kit with them, or perhaps carry coffee in a hot flask. After all, you want to avoid a disappointed crowd if you fail to tell them, and they expect to stop at a café to buy coffee!
But how do I make coffee in the middle of nowhere?
That’s easier than you think! Obviously, you’ll need a camping stove of some sort. Mine’s a Vango gas stove, but I also have a copy of a Trangia.
I use an AeroPress Go, as it allows me to make really good coffee practically anywhere, but of course that’s not your only option. You could use a small cafetiere, a mocha pot, coffee bags, or even instant coffee at a push.
Leave No Trace
The most important rule when camping, hiking, or just stopping to make coffee is just this: Leave No Trace. That absolutely includes the coffee grounds that result from your coffee making. Whatever you carry there, you also carry away with you.
Go on a Coffee Ride!
Put in the effort. Just a single ride per month. It can be as long, or as short as you want. You can ride with others, or on your own.
Just go for a Coffee Ride!