I just cycle …


Coffeeneuring # 7 – JJBean Coffee Roasters

Date: December 9, 2018

Cafe: JJBean Coffee Roasters

Distance: 29.7 km

Drink: Black Single Origin French Press coffee

Notes: This is the 7th, and last, of my coffeeneuring destinations. This one is familiar, and it too is in the neighbourhood. Since opening several years ago, it has been my favourite post-ride stop. I can safely lean my bike against the outdoor patio glass walls, enjoy the ambience of the cafe, and devour one of their imaginative wraps.

This stop was different. My coffee preference has changed. I enjoy, no prefer, French Press single-origin coffee. Today, I purchased 1/2 pound of their Christmas Reserve Guatemala La Garita roughly ground for my French Press. I’ll review my coffee findings in a subsequent post.

Coffeeneuring # 6 – Rocanini Coffee Roasters

Date: November 25, 2018

Cafe: Rocanini Coffee Roasters

Distance: 57 km

Drink: Black drip coffee

Notes: Again, I had never heard of this roaster. To my surprise, they have 4 locations in the city, all of which are on one of my regular bike routes. I chose the Steveston location because I was wanting a longer, easier ride. I purchased a pound of their Fifth Avenue blend, named after their 5th avenue roasting location which is close to home and also on one of my regular routes. This full-body blend is said to have a hint of dark chocolate, roasted almonds, and syrup. I had it ground for the French Press, and will test it this week.

“Coffeeneuring” has been an interesting experience for me. I have discovered several new local roasters, and learned a lot about how coffee is harvested, roasted, and prepared. I have one more stop, and then I will share more about each of the coffees and the cafes themselves.

Coffeeneuring # 5 – Continental Coffee House

Date: November 13, 2018

Cafe: Continental Coffee House

Distance: 3o km

Drink: Black drip coffee

Notes: Since 1979 this Italian family run business has been serving Vancouver coffee lovers. They are located on Commercial Drive (“The Drive”) and several years ago opened a second shop in my neighbourhood. I have been enjoying their “Familia” blend since moving here 30 years ago. Today, I purchased 1/2 pound of their French Roast ground for a French Press (I’m committed to stop using paper filters – they are a wasteful, and I may save a tree or two 😂

If you believe in climate warming …

If you believe in climate warming, then set an example, and do something about it.

Recently, I was introduced to ECOSIA, an alternative search engine that uses its profits to plant trees where they are most needed. Every 45 searches plants a new tree, What could be easier.

If you are sceptical, don’t be. I have been using it for several weeks and get consistently accurate search results.

There are many other things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, but nothing is simpler.

Coffeeneuring # 4 – Pallet Coffee Roasters

Date: November 2, 2018

Cafe: Pallet Coffee Roasters

Distance: 36 km

Drink: Black drip coffee

Notes: Today’s coffee stop was a pleasant surprise. Pallet Coffee Roasters is a relatively new local business. Starting in 2014, they quickly gained acclaim winning recognition as the top roaster in town. I had never heard of them. They started with one location on the far side of town but recently opened 2 other stores, one of them in my neighbourhood (they actually took over a Starbuck’s store).

Today’s ride was also a pleasant surprise. It was a cool (12 C), windy but dry ride under clear blue skies over a blanket of fallen leaves. I schedule my Coffeeneuring rides when I run out of coffee. I try to only purchase a 1/2 pound, a week’s supply for me, but some roasters only sell larger quantities I am learning. That is the case this week.

I had intended to try different coffee drinks – espresso, latte … – but since I am purchasing their beans, and prefer my coffee black at home, I am ordering a black drip coffee so that I can taste their roasts beforehand. This week it is a Brazilian bean with a medium-dark roast.

Am I becoming a minimalist … 👀

I started this year imagining the changes necessary to become a leaner, faster, and more adventuresome cyclist. I adopted an intermittent fasting regime, improved my sleeping patterns and recovery methods, trained regularly and hard, and purchased a bespoke all road bike. You can read about these, and other changes in previous posts, but what I didn’t expect were other, more profound changes to the way I was living.

It began with my car. I gifted it to my daughter as a graduation present. I hadn’t really driven it for several years. For all intents and purposes, it was hers but now she pays the the operating costs. It was a symbolic step, but an important one.

I was at the cottage for three months this year. Instead of renting a car for the entire time, which I normally do, I rented one when I first arrived. I need one to travel to the cottage, a 2 hour drive from the airport, and to food shop, but most of the time is just sits. So, once I had stocked up, I returned the car, and only rented one again when family visited. The rest of the time I cycled, managing to pickup fresh fruit and vegetables every few days on my bike as needed.

I learned I didn’t need a car, even at the cottage. I cycled, walked, and kayaked more discovering new roads, and meeting people I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I also became more acutely aware of all of the plastic packaging in use today. When I’m at home, there is just as much, but it is easily disposed of. The city regularly picks up garbage, garden cuttings, paper, and plastic materials. At the cottage, I have to take it to the dump. And, on a bike, that is difficult to do. Instead, it piled up until I had a car again. This led me to explore bulk food sources, and fresh produce from the local farmers. But purchasing bulk items on the bike was not the easiest. I was limited in how much I could carry, and had to cycle 50 km each way to the nearest store. This had a profound effect upon me. Next year, I will source closer bulk sources, and grow more food 😉

And, while at the cottage, the weather was warm, and I needed very little clothing. Two cycling kits. Two pair of swim trunks, two t-shirts, and, a pair of PJ’s. When I returned home, I couldn’t get over all of the clothes I had in the closet, most of which no longer fit the leaner me. It was stuffed! So, I began a complete closet purge, only replacing articles needed to stay warm, and dry. Now, my closet is half empty, and it’s not large. I have all I need – 3 pairs of jeans, 3 pair of shorts, 4 short sleeve t-shirts, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, 1 buttoned shirt, 2 pairs of runners, a down jacket, a waterproof shell, half the socks I had before, and some underwear.

That’s all I need. Actually, more then I really need. (I won’t discuss my cycling kits. They are not minimal. Or, inexpensive 😂)

And, when I am at the cottage, I do not have TV, or the internet. And, I don’t miss them. I read a lot. A novel a week on average. My days start with a coffee and book, and end with the book in hand. When I returned home, I have TV and the internet but deliberately use them sparingly. I only watch the CBC Morning News, the occasional Netflix movie, and several cycling YouTube channels. Instead, I start and end my days with a good book.

By imagining changes to improve my cycling experiences, I changed more profound aspects of my life. I’m carless, cycling and walking everywhere. I eat a simpler, cleaner, more natural vegan diet. I have been vegetarian/vegan for a very long time but now I am even more particular. My clothes closet only contains what I need to stay warm, and dry. I’m no longer a clothes horse (except on my bike 😂). And, there is always a novel at my bedside.

Am I becoming a minimalist?

I believe global warming is real, and want to set a good example. I’m no longer a clothes horse. I don’t eat meat or dairy for both moral and economic reasons. I am fascinated with the “tiny house” movement, and those living off-the-grid. I don’t believe in monotheism. And, I’d rather be out on my bike exploring new roads and steeper climbs than doing anything else.

I wasn’t raised this way.

Which came first?

The bike?

Or, the philosophical shift?