November brings the kind of weather that makes it tough to leave the comfort of my warm bed to go for a cool-weather bike ride. Saturday’s forecast was a bit gloomy and predicted rain at some point. Sunday’s forecast was for 20-mph winds. NO THANKS! That made Saturday (11/01) the better day to head out for an easy ride as well as for experimenting with cool-weather clothing. Reacquainting myself with how to layer-up during a short ride should help me to dress appropriately for longer rides. I opted to ride from my home to the relatively new Starbucks on Fort Eustis for a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of hot chocolate. I wore my rain jacket, just in case, for the five-mile round trip. I’ve mentioned that I don’t normally ride from home because of unsafe roads nearby. Fortunately, it isn’t too bad on Saturday or Sunday mornings. I watched the moderate traffic like a hawk on the one-mile section of dicey road. I love my mirror!
This was my first time at this particular Starbucks. It had a more social atmosphere than many of the other Starbucks I usually visit, where customers often sit alone and read. Considering that many of its customers were soldiers enjoying a break from a rigorous training regimen, it’s no surprise that it reminded me of Starbucks shops that are near college campuses. Is it “bicycle-friendly?” I guess it depends on your wants or needs. I like to be able to see my bicycle when I’m inside (notice my remarks about windows in previous coffeeneuring entries). Unlike most Starbucks locations, this one has NO WINDOWS other than the glass on the doors. There’s a bike rack behind the shop that I didn’t see it until I was taking this photo. “SWEET! A bike rack AND picnic tables right next to each other!” It seemed I could give this Starbucks a thumbs-up for bicycle friendliness after all… until I noticed that the rack and picnic tables were within spitting distance of a smoking gazebo. Uh, no thanks! Regardless, I wouldn’t have used that rack today since I didn’t bring a lock. I just leaned my bike against the wall near the door. I could see the edge of the front wheel from my table. I know “hoping for the best” isn’t a good security practice. I’d probably carry a proper lock if I were to make this shop a regular stop.
I have six coffeeneuring-eligible days remaining to visit one more coffee shop and complete my 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge. It’ll take apocalyptic weather to keep me from such an easy feat. I have a ride in mind that I can accomplish rain or shine, even in the snow if I know the shop will be open (which it won’t be since my area shuts down at the first sign of flurries). Can I do bonus trips on the two remaining weekends?
Headed for Warm Blankets,