These photos are not adequate to tell the story. In my typical solo outings, I can think about photo opportunities, and take my time trying to get a decent shot, to help communicate the event. I learned, however, that being surrounded by friends is as distracting and it is delightful. So this post has only a few images from a gathering of the Sunrise Coffee Club, and nothing from the gathering at Velo Cult the evening before.
Following up on some casual conversation at the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour, I met up with Shawn Granton of the Urban Adventure League. He guided me to Velo Cult Bike Shop, where he had made prior arrangements for me to meet some of the locals. I could have spent hours gawking at their collection of bicycles. I even tried to take a few photos of their bikes, and the bikes of some of my new best friends, but the lighting resulted in underwhelming images. If I remember the round table correctly, there was Ryan, Heather, Vince, Chris, Coconut Bill, Shawn, and Andy. The conversation included past and current bike tours, comics, various bicycle components, French pronunciation, and more. Even though I was ribbed a bit for coming to Portland without a bicycle, I was welcomed into the group. I was as happy as an adopted stray puppy.
At some point in the evening, I asked if the Sunrise Coffee Club was still active. This is an informal group of folks who meet occasionally at sunrise for a coffee outside social. Consistent with his personality, Chris seized the question as an opportunity to make magic happen. Within minutes, he had set the time and place, and had sent out digital media invitations. All I had to do was show up. Very cool.
Andy and Chris were already there when I arrived. Eric showed up a few minutes later. So four of us enjoyed the early morning light, good coffee (and tea for Andy), and sharing the hard-to-explain bicycle/coffee connection. For me it was a genuine Portland experience burned into my brain.
This delightful array of coffee and tea gear made me feel right at home.
Chris serving me fresh ground pour over coffee. It was excellent in the cool morning air.
Eric’s awesome Cooper custom.
If I recall correctly, the word “hospitality” has a root meaning of “love of strangers”. Thank you Shawn for setting this up (on the eve of your own bike tour), and thank you to my new friends in Portland for a lesson in hospitality. You guys are invited to the Sixth Annual Fall Finale Forty-ish Mile Country Path Ramble on November 15. I know some of you guys are thinking about it. I hope I have a chance to return the favor.