Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Coffeeneuring Challenge Week 5: Flipnotics

Fall is finally in the air in Texas, and today was a wonderful fall day. I rode down to Flipnotics since I feel like I've needed a good excuse to go there for a while...coffeeneuring is as good as any!


Flipnotics is a lovely local coffee shop on the second floor of...other businesses I suppose. The point is that it's up above the road, in the trees.

It really feels like you're sitting in a treehouse!

I had a hard time getting a good picture, but they have a rather spacious multi-level wooden deck to make up for the lack of space in the building itself.

Treehouse coffee

On the way home I opted to ride the Lady Bird Lake trail, which runs along the river for many miles.

Nell point
Just one of many great views of downtown from the trail

The weather was so mild that the trail was packed with joggers, bikers, and walkers! It was slow going, but I was really enjoying seeing so many people out and about.

Unfortunately I had to get this post in later than I wanted, but the ride was on Sunday afternoon.

Stop: Flipnotics, 1601 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX
Beverage: black coffee
Total Milage: 6.6

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Coffeeneuring Challenge Week 4: Downtown Farmer's Market

Wow, what a morning! I decided to do my "coffeeshop without walls" (aka farmer's market) and was that ever the right decision. I always have a wonderful time every morning I go, but today really reminded me why Austin is still such a fun, quirky town.

First things first; I took the hike and bike trail near my house that leads straight to downtown and got a picture of my favorite section:

Favorite spot in Austin
Could be my favorite spot in the entire city

Cool, right? Another interesting fact about this trail is it is the site of some beautiful street art that the City of Austin is hellbent on painting over every time a new one crops up. Because there's nothing more important than using city resources to make sure that blank grey cement wall along a public trail stays blank and grey. Luckily I managed to get a picture of the latest one before it was painted over:

Street art
Hooligans! I hope the artist doesn't get discouraged and keeps brightening the trail.

Once I found out that all the ATMs in the entire city were broken, I finally made it to the market, which was buzzing as usual:

Lovely market
Republic Square Park, with market tents in the background

I got my coffee, breakfast tacos, and various other groceries, and relaxed in the beautiful weather.

Whoa where did it go?!?
Forgot to get a picture of the breakfast tacos before I scarfed them down

Some things of note I saw on the way there and back:
  • The Pubcrawler, which is pretty much just 6 drunk people trying to pedal a giant "bar" down the street. It's exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.
  • A group of Segway tourists (a common sight around Austin, but never not funny).
  • A bridge tour that was observing a rotting ancient train track bridge that doesn't go anywhere (see below). I had to ask them what in the world they were looking at...

The Bridge

All-in-all, a very successful coffeneuring morning!

Stop: Downtown Farmer's Market, Republic Square Park, Austin, TX
Beverage: black "Market Blend" coffee from Texas Coffee Traders
Total Milage: 5.4

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Coffeeneuring Challenge Week 3: Mozart's Coffee Roasters

Since I'm flying out today, I decided to get my "quickie" coffeeneuring spot out of the way. Mozart's Coffee Roasters is a nice little spot located on the river. The view is lovely.

Lake view at Mozarts

I had my usual.


Mishka and I just chilled, enjoyed the amazing weather, and people-watched for about an hour.


The only thing I can say about this ride is I remember why I don't often take the route I took there, and I don't frequent the joint in general...narrow neighborhood road with cars parked along it and people buzzing by at 30+ miles per hour. Why slow down because someone is riding their bike there? They obviously had important places to be to on a Saturday afternoon! The weather was beautiful, but unfortunately this may end up being one of my worst coffeeneuring rides. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. The lesson here is that Texas drivers are a-holes, the end.

Stop: Mozart's Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX
Beverage: black coffee
Total Milage: 3

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Coffeeneuring Challenge Week 2: Royal Blue Grocery

Apologies in advance for the long-ish post. It's been a long, amazing weekend and I'm sitting in my apartment, finally dry, listening to the light rain, trying to absorb it all.

This was the second weekend of the ACL festival and I had guests from out of town crashing in my spacious Terrytown apartment, walking distance from the festival. Three solid days of music and fun in the heart of downtown Austin. It's a nightmare for the locals.

Queens of the stone age!

Friday was a load of fun, and Saturday was pretty great as well. As predicted, near the end of the night during The Cure's set, it started to rain. No matter, just makes dancing more fun! Unfortunately what started out as just a nice, refreshing rain gradually built up into a massive downpour and thunderstorm. There was flash flooding everywhere and we were stuck until very late the next morning at a friend's house. The rain ended up being so bad that the last day of the show was cancelled.

The main stage this morning

So instead of more music I went to my running club this afternoon and ran around the soggy downtown area. The weather was just amazing; still cloudy, very cool, and just a few drops of rain here and there. Perfect running weather. Finally, after it ended, I took off from the park and headed back downtown for some dinner and to just barely make my coffeeneuring trip. It was a bit tricky to get there because the hike and bike runs along Shoal Creek, which was rushing from all the rain.

Usually there's very little water here

I finally made it to my destination, Royal Blue Grocery. This is an adorable little corner store tucked away on the west side of downtown. A favorite morning and late-night stop for me...I'm probably here at least once a week.

Coffeeneuring #2

The ride home was amazing. Light rain, cool weather, everything you could ask for. Next week I'm flying out of town, but I hope to sneak in a ride before having to run to the airport. Until then!

Stop: Royal Blue Grocery, 360 Nueces St, Austin, Texas
Beverage: black coffee
Total Milage: 4

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Coffeeneuring Challenge Week 1: Bouldin Creek Cafe

Coffeeneuring challenge week 1

This morning was my day to pick up the CSA box at the Sunset Valley farmer's market so, naturally, it was a perfect day to start my coffeeneuring challenge. I chose a South Austin icon, Bouldin Creek Cafe. This place has been around forever (or so it seems), and features an entirely vegetarian/vegan menu. I got the Tofu Renedict for breakfast and washed it down with a cup of their house coffee (black, because I like my coffee just like my metal).

The trip gave me a nice chance to reflect on what a wonderful city Austin is, as well as how that charm and beauty has caused it to explode in population recently. I wandered my way down one of our lovely hike and bike trails, travelled along the bikeway, and cut through one of our true gems, a stretch of park that extends the length of city east to west along the river. The fact that we have such beautiful and extensive greenspace smack in the middle of the city is one of the things that makes Austin special.

Coffeeneuring challenge week 1
(art installation in the lake along the pedestrian bridge)

Unfortunately this weekend is also one of two ACL weekends; this music festival takes up a large chunk of the park and resulted in an overwhelming amount of traffic from out-of-towners and suburbanites. The contrast was stunning; the city is vital and active in its own right, but the drastic increase in car traffic, as well as foot and bike traffic, ended up causing chaos as out-of-towners and natives alike to drive far more aggressively and impatiently as they tried to negotiate the small neighborhood streets in search of a place to park (only $20, folks!). This is the sort of thing people who grew up in Austin are afraid of...this mass of people who don't care about the city and just want to drive over everyone in their way (Yee haw Texas!).

Overall it ended up being a wonderful ride but the frustration and stress was in the air. Austin is really working to make the city more bike and transit friendly and I hope it ends up having a more calming effect on the traffic as a result. Everyone needs to chill!

Coffeeneuring challenge week 1
(Mishka, my Surly Disc Trucker, loaded down with farmer's market bounty)

Stop: Bouldin Creek Cafe, 1900 S 1st Street, Austin, Texas
Beverage: black coffee
Total Milage: 19.2
Soundtrack: Queens of the Stone Age, Songs for the Deaf

Friday, September 27, 2013

Obligatory Initial Post - Coffeeneuring

I created this blog with the intention of logging my entries for the Coffeeneuring Challenge, detailed here. I hope after the challenge is over I will find interesting bike-related posts to make. In the meantime, consider Coffeeneuring yourself!