An old friend sent me a link a few weeks ago, and said, “This is your next challenge should you choose to accept it.” (https://chasingmailboxes.com/2016/09/17/6th-annual-coffeeneuring-challenge-the-spirit-of-coffeeneuring/) Given I was in the middle of my last tough training week for my last triathlon of this year, this kind of challenge sounded absolutely PERFECT to take on post-race. The main goal is to ride your bike to 7 different coffee shops in seven weeks beginning 10/7, riding a minimum of two miles during the ride, and take pictures of your coffee for proof. This is a challenge I could handle, especially since we schedule a coffee-centric ride every single Friday for Swami’s Team Fun.
We started the official Swami’s Team Fun coffee ride about one year ago, but my friends Jill, Heather, and I have been designating Friday as coffee ride day for several years now. The goal is to ride a little slower, a little shorter than normal, socialize, and enjoy a coffee and snack, often at some place new, although we typically find some favorites and rotate through those. We opened it up to the larger group because we figured it was a great way for new potential members to try out the group (probably our least intimidating ride), and for seasoned cyclists to get help in slowing themselves down and getting those slow, easy miles in we are all supposed to be doing.
Week #1 : Lofty Coffee Encinitas Roasting Works – Friday, 10/7/2016
97 N COAST HIGHWAY 101,
ENCINITAS, CA 92024
The lesser known sister shop to Lofty Coffee on the west side of the Pacific Coast Highway, we prefer this spot for its more spacious seating and easy-to-access location on the return of our “south” ride (we ride south to Solana Beach one Friday, then alternate north to Oceanside Harbor on the next Friday – always starting in the same location at the Ralph’s parking lot off Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad). And yes, for those of you unfamiliar with Encinitas, there are literally two Lofty Coffees, right across the street from each other. We were discussing today how we could go to 7 different coffee shops, easily, in Encinitas alone – and my friend who initially made me aware of the challenge has maybe 2 choices?? (He lives in rural Idaho.)
What I ate and drank:
Today I indulged in a treat in addition to my coffee. My coffee choice was classic, a simple Americano, which is done perfectly there (certainly not too much water). My treat was a chai spice cake made with butternut squash (somehow) and then bourbon caramel icing?? I don’t know. It was a very long description and she lost me somewhere in it. I love spice cake though, and I even managed to convince my never-eat-sweets friend Heather to share it with me.
Details about the location:
This location is absolutely perfect for a coffeeneuring stop. There is a spacious bike rack, and almost always plenty of seating for even a larger group. There is a bathroom, and numerous gluten free and otherwise health-conscious snack options, in addition to some not health-conscious snack options, like fantastic croissants made in house. I also appreciate the housemade nut milk options, including both almond and cashew milk. They also have some outrageous drinks you never, ever would’ve dreamed up (unless you dream of amazing coffee drinks), sure to please the most elitist coffee snob around… below is the cold brew coffee on nitro. It might have a name, but it is escaping me right now. I also love the fact that you can absolutely not get a to-go cup here. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a napkin. There are no trash cans.
Total Mileage: 22.7 miles
We had 9 people on the ride, but only 6 were able to stay for coffee this week.
Join us next week when we head north to Oceanside Harbor, and hunt down our next new favorite place.