Coffeeneuring 2019 Control # 2: Headed out to one of my favorite #coffeeoutside spots and set up a ‘coffee shop without walls’ for Control #2. Fixed myself up a nice coffee black. Gas station cream cheese and chocolate chip muffin was only a 6 out of 10 though. Did manage to drop a bunch of existential angst on this trip thus making it a legit Corrective Action Bicycle Ride as well. Also, learned that the @porcelainrocket Microwave Pannier holsters work great even without the proprietary drybags just for stuffing extra stuff in. Layers, ground scores, what-have-you. I imagine they would also work great with other dry bags in a ‘multiple-smaller-dry-bag’ configuration as well as with various kinds of totes and other bags or whatever. I believe in the marketing industry this is all referred to as ‘added value’. I’mma call it rad.
An Autobiographical Photo Essay in 8 Frames.
I love these rides that dip in and out of nature and civilization. A great reminder of how close we are no matter how much we forget or try to distance ourselves. Headed out this morning to commune with all kinds of spirits. 1. Found myself on some snowmobile trail on the Devon Indian Reserve. How do you know when you’re on snowmobile trail? Well, the trees are cleared real nice, but it’s full of massive rocks and roots because it’s meant to be ridden by machines with 4’ of snow on top. There was some walking involved. Would have been easier with a different bike.
2-3. Visited these cool murals on the St. Mary’s First Nation done by April Paul – they are beautiful and worth the stop. It must have been insane hard to paint them on that ‘corrugated’ concrete surface too.
4. I really liked this one portion of one of the murals for it’s ‘one world, one people-y’ vibe. I have no idea if that’s what it was meant to convey. If it actually means ‘don’t lean your bike against my art and take a photo’, I sincerely apologize.
5. Coffee and nutrition at the Two Nations One Stop – I love the double entendre of this name. 6. Saw some local northern wildlife.
7. Stopped for a few minutes to listen to what the St. John River had to say. 8. I should really wash the bike. The drivetrain was making very disagreeable noises on the final stretch home.
When I moved here in 2006 I discovered there were two options for a commuting route from my house, both about 15km one-way. One was on the road, the other, almost entirely on converted rail-to-trail. My policy has always been and continues to be to avoid slicing and dicing with grumpy morning folks trapped in confined metal boxes, so whenever possible, the trail it is.
Up until 2010, my commute to work took me across two rivers, The Nashwaak and the St. John. After 2010, I changed jobs and now work on the north side of the St. John, so only cross the Nashwaak each trip. I used to keep track of my rides and mileage and all that but have stopped bothering. So, subtracting weekends, holidays, weather, sleep-in’s and other misses and adding back in various market trips, rides for coffee and group rides, I’d say conservatively on average I’ve commuted or ridden this route 150 times a year (each way, so 300 total) – at some point during every season and kind of weather you can conjure.*
Some dude, wiser than I, many seasons ago, once observed that “no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Well then it must also apply that a man can’t CROSS the same river twice either.
Doing the fancy math that accounts for both jobs, that means approximately 5,100 different rivers crossed for this cat in 13 years. And I probably have at least half that many pictures clogging up the internet and cloud storage to prove it.
The thing is, they are truly different. Every. Time. Which is why I almost always stop. And while I didn’t always stop, make coffee, eat home made granola with chocolate milk and watch the sun come up on Fredericton across the St. John while tons of ducks do whatever it is ducks do in the morning – I have been quite a bit recently. If I had my druthers (and I don’t know what a ‘druther’ is – or why anyone would want one) I’d just ride my bike around rivers drinking coffee all day, but like so many of you, I have to go to work. I’m pretty sure though, that if one HAS to go to work, I may have stumbled onto the absolute best way to do it. Even without coffee and snacks.
*That’s also roughly 58,500km of commuting for those playing along at home. Also, there’s not enough space here to discuss how I have changed as a man, so don’t ask.