Trails and Lakeside Coffee

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I was concentrating intently and slowly picking my way down a steep slope, through rocks and exposed roots, when I heard Eric’s comment that stayed with me all day. I can’t remember the exact words, but it was something like, “It’s pretty neat that the only sound we can hear is the rattle of our coffee kits in our saddle bags.”

Profoundly true.

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We started out in a light breeze, 50 degrees, and a heavy fog. We pedaled out to the lake and watched the visibility improve gradually as we went.

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After arriving at the State Park, it was still a little chilly and we headed straight to the trails. I pointed out a few of my favorite camp spots along the way.

IMG_3875Then we spent an hour or so weaving between trees and picking lines through rocks and roots. We learned that Eric is a better trail navigator than I am. When I led, I had us riding the wrong way on a one way trail.

IMG_3879I think going the wrong way might have generated the odd looks on other riders faces when they passed by. Eric opined that they thought we looked ridiculous riding trails on “road” bikes. Yeah, he could be right. We didn’t look like them at all.

IMG_3881As usual with photos like this, it is much steeper than it looks. If I would have held the camera level to help the perspective, you wouldn’t have been able to see Eric.

IMG_3882 IMG_3883 IMG_3886I told him to make sure he gets the part when my front wheel jams into a rock and I catapult over the bars. Since that didn’t happen, this is as exciting as it gets.

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About the time we made it out of the woods, the sun burst brightly into the sky. It was time to take a look at the lake, and it was time for a brew up.

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Eric brought his famous Pushing Steel cold brew coffee for himself. He offered to share, but I decided to demo the aeropress.

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My aeropress is simple and makes very good coffee, but his cold brew is a step above.

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After some lakeside lollygagging and enjoying the warm sunshine, we turned our attention to returning home for a late lunch.

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High temperature in Sanger today…83 degrees. I’ve got a little pink on the back of my neck and on my forearms. It was hard to imagine sunburn when we left this morning, and its hard to imagine what the weather is going to do to us tomorrow. The forecast for Monday morning…19 degrees. Winter is not giving up without a fight.

IMG_3918My Saturday excursions into the north Texas countryside are always good. But when friends make the long drive up here to join me, they are amazing good. Thanks, Eric, please come again.

 

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19 thoughts on “Trails and Lakeside Coffee

  1. Chris,

    Great write up…83 degrees eh? Sounds good but the mercury swinging 64 degrees in 48 hours whew that’s wild stuff. What is Eric riding? Love those quite times when all you hear is a little bike rattle and hummm. And it’s refreshing to look different from the usual suspects. Lastly, are trails really one way? Were there TDPT Texas Department of Transportation signs posted 😉

    ~Hugh

  2. I thought about a brew up this morning. I’ve never actually done one, and I have been getting the equipment Johnny Cash style- one piece at a time. But the snow was still falling, and the thermometer is on 7, so I’m giving it a pass today. There will be other days. Anticipation is to be savored, but I can’t help but feel a little envious.

  3. Again, thanks for the solitude of Texas roads. Brings back memories of our pedaling across Texas; unfortunately it was in June,1985 and we didn’t have great coffee interludes.

  4. I get some of the same looks when I’m on dirt too. They’re called road bikes, not “asphalt” bikes! My daughter has my stove, so I have to hold off on coffee rides. BTW, she made it all the way to New Orleans, and I hear she may continue to Florida!

    • There’s plenty of cold brew videos on YouTube, but Eric has really developed a fine process and distributes his concentrate to a bunch of local folk. So smooth, rich, and sweet. I’m considering trying to make a batch with my French Press.

  5. It looks like you had a fine time. I wish I could remember what it’s like to ride with fewer than four layers of clothes. It was -24 when I got up this morning. Much colder than normal. But you are aware that I love winter riding. But it is a bit cold for a stop to brew coffee.

    • I’m feeling for you folks up north. It’s been a bugger of a winter. At least we get a break now and then. Just a light coating of ice today…

  6. I must say I’m very glad to have discovered this site. A few years ago from bike web surfing I discovered this old English tradition of bicycling “brew ups”. At last a way to combine cycling and playing around with my various camping stoves. In my youth I would have never broken up a ride with such a relaxing tradition. One of the few positive aspects of getting older is that it’s become more about the riding experience rather training for some racing goal. Anyway I love this posts and great photos and the realization I’m not alone. In fact I’m hoping for my first brew up ride in 2014 this weekend as they are predicting 50 degree temps in the mountains east of here. Will have to contend with 40 mph winds and snow but this is Wyoming. Thanks again

    • No, you are not alone. Geography aside, it sounds like I’m right where you are. And we have a lot of friends who share the same perspectives.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  7. Chris, For some reason I like the picture of you guys packing up and on the picnic table are the phones. A juxtaposition of the relaxed good life of riding a bike and stopping for coffee but staying in touch with this busy world we live in. I share your perspective of reasons to ride bikes, enjoy the ride, the company, the countryside, heck just the mechanical genius of the bike itself.
    I would like to start on this coffee making habit as a stop plan you have. My stops lately are for book reading although sometimes it is hard to tear myself away from the book to get back to riding.
    Good Post.
    Jim Bangs

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