I stumbled on the semi-humorous “coffeeneuring” cycling challenge via the Chasing Mailboxes blog and had lots of fun as a result. The months have rolled around and here it is again, their eighth coffeeneuring challenge, my second time through. Seven rides to seven coffees in seven weeks… how hard can it be?
A quick perusal of the rules… hmm, I think rule 9 would have tripped me up last year – was taken during The Slog and wouldn’t qualify this year, I’d better be more careful!
There’s a Slog connection today, but only as the catalyst to get me out of bed at 6 am and off down around the bay – Port Philip Bay, Melbourne – to get a bit of distance fitness into my legs for this year’s event. The weather is starting to warm up to Spring, but still cool as I left in the half-light just on sunrise to head south.
Through three or four suburbs almost straight south, then pop out on Beach road at around 7:30 am into the amazingly bike-filled arena that is Beach Road on a Saturday morning. Everything from time-trialling individuals through pairs, small groups to large bunches, at all possible speeds. Some quiet, some noisy, some polite as they pass… and some not so polite. The same can be said for the motorists, with only one noticeably angry individual blasting on his horn to let everyone know that he doesn’t like cyclists.
A beautiful cool calm morning as the sun rose; from Mordialloc I followed Station street down to the Patterson river – discovered that there’s a new bridge over it, then continued on down to one of my favouritely named roads – “Eel Race Road” – I always have visions of strange night time rituals as the locals go out eel racing…
Back onto the Nepean Highway and continue down towards Frankston, a few kilometres short I think I’ve gone far enough for the day and turn at Karnanook creek to head back. Riding back up the Nepean highway with all the banksia scrub between you and the water its hard to believe just how close you are to the city, it can resemble a beachside country road at times.
Time to start thinking about a coffee stop though, I’m tempted to stop at any of the little blocks of shops, but would prefer one closer to home – on the other hand, I’m determined that today’s coffee will be somewhere I’ve not been before. Back at Mordialloc and from here to Elwood there’s an almost overwhelming choice, I wait until I’d turned off Beach road into St Kilda street and pulled in to Elwood Food & Wine bar – somewhere I’ve ridden past many times, but never before visited.
A very tasty cappuccino and croissant and half an hour watching the world go by before time to hop back on the AWOL up to Glen Huntly road and make it cautiously through seemingly endless Saturday morning door-opening danger zones before the last couple of suburbs and back streets to be home around four hours after I left.
One down, six to go.