Destination: Lyon Street Cafe, Grand Rapids, MI Drink: Earl Grey Tea & English Breakfast Tea Distance: 2 miles Bikes: All City Big Block & Schwinn World Sport
Here we are on the last day of the challenge without a 7th ride. Unfortunately, an early morning this time of year means low light and bitter cold. In fact, we saw our first snow of the year this weekend. Luckily, none stuck to the streets so we can leave the winter bikes hanging for the moment.
We dug out the cold weather gear and fired up the lights and off we went to the Lyon Street Cafe.
With racks just in front of the building, this is one of the easiest cafes to get to.
Usually, it is quite busy so we actually had a chance to sit down on this quiet Sunday morning.
The cafe popular for pour-over coffees but for the first time this challenge, we made tea the hot drink of choice. They do a great job with teas here. Each cup gets its own timer so each tea steeps appropriately.
So that’s a wrap on our Coffeeneuring 2016 Challenge. As usual, there’s a long list of places we had hoped to visit but didn’t quite make it. There’s always next year.
Destination: Lawrence Village Park, Lawrence, MI Drink: Magnum Coffee Rainforest Blend Distance: 15 miles Bikes: Surly Long Haul Truckers
Our sixth Coffeeneuring ride brought us a bit further south to Lawrence, MI. After closing up the family cottage for the season, we brewed up some Rainforest Blend and loaded up the mugs for a ride.
The first part of the ride took us around some local lakes. We took the gravel roads to the lake public access areas to see Lake Cora and Reynolds Lake up close. It looks like we missed the best fall colors by about a week.
We continued on to our coffee without walls stop in downtown Lawrence. As we rode the the quiet farm roads, we still couldn’t believe we had weather like this in mid-November.
We soon arrived at the Village Park in Lawrence and saw we weren’t the only one enjoying the sun. The park has a great wooden playground area and an impressive red house just across the street. We grabbed a quiet picnic bench to park the bikes and pour the coffee.
Here’s our first attempt at a Coffeeneuring video:
This fall, we discovered Steenstra’s Almond Windmill Cookies at a local store. They go really well with coffee. So well in fact, that I already took a bite out of one before I remembered to snap a picture.
With the sun falling and the temperature dropping, we headed out. Another great fall ride!
Destination: Common Ground Coffee House, Grand Rapids, MI Drink: House Decaf Coffees Distance: 2.5 miles Bikes: All City Big Block & Schwinn World Sport
Our first Coffeeneuring ride at night!
After a day at work, we stopped in for a coffee at our favorite coffee shop in Grand Rapids, Common Ground Coffee House, on the east side. We usually find ourselves here much earlier in the day grabbing a caffeinated drink. We locked the bikes on the rack just outside the door and headed in.
It was pretty quiet tonight but we figured there aren’t too many college students studying on a Friday night.
We grabbed some small decaf coffees and sat down to relax and figure out what to do for dinner.
Destination:Wealthy Street Bakery, Grand Rapids, MI Drink: House Medium and Dark Roast Coffees Distance: 2.2 miles Bikes: Surly Ice Cream Truck & Surly Pugsley
We’ve really put this challenge off to the final weeks this year. Luckily there’s no snow and the sun is still shining this November!
Today’s ride is to a bakery that is so close, that we usually walk. To get the necessary distance we added a short loop through the historic Heritage Hill residential area here in Grand Rapids. Additionally, we grabbed the fat bikes to get a bit more of a workout from the ride.
The Wealthy Street Bakery is our favorite place for bread in Grand Rapids. Depending on our hunger level, we usually grab the 1 or 2 pound bread loaves and they are gone before the coffee. It just happens that it is located just down the eponymous street from last year’s final coffeeneuring ride at the The Sparrows.
For the mid-morning, the bakery was quite busy and we barely found a seat.
We planned to take a walk with the coffees, so we skipped our usual bread loaf and went with a liquid-only stop. We grabbed a table for a short while just for this action coffee shot.
With the coffees finished, we continued on our bike tour of the Heritage Hill area. Despite numerous walks and rides through the Frank Lloyd Wright areas in Oak Park, Illinois growing up, we had yet to locate Grand Rapids’ own Wright designed home. After a bit of aimless riding through the neighborhood south of Wealthy Street, we saw the distinctive Prairie School lines of a Frank Lloyd Wright home.
According to the historic sign out front, the home is now owned and maintained by the Grand Rapids furniture giant, Steelcase. Sadly, we will have to stop by for a tour on a day the home is open.
Destination: Reeds Lake, East Grand Rapids, MI Drink: Magnum Coffee Fogcutter Dark Roast Distance: 5 miles Bikes: Surly Ice Cream Truck & Surly Pugsley
As the warmer days of fall come to a close, we thought we should take advantage of the nice weather and complete a coffee shop without walls ride. Throughout the summer my brother and I have been riding our bikes to a nearby lake to take in the scenery and enjoy a number of “picnics” by Reeds Lake. We enjoy spending time by one of the boardwalks, which offers great views. We awoke early in the morning, brewed a fresh pot of coffee, filled our mugs and pedaled over to the lake. We approached our favorite lake side spot just as the sun rose over the eastern edge of the lake.
After parking the bikes we sat down with our coffees and took in the sunrise.
Reeds Lake offers a great place to take in the natural environment while living in an urban area.