Coffee Outside Ride!

It's been a goal of mine for quite some time to actually have an "adventure coffee" bike ride. Many of my bicycling friends post pictures on Instagram with the hash tags of #coffeeoutside and #adventurecoffee and it always looked like a fun thing to do but I didn't even have a suitable pot in which to boil water let alone know the first thing about what sort of equipment I might need. So, I talked to some of my bicycling friends, most notably Michael L. and Christopher T., to ask them what I needed to get set up to make coffee outside and come up with some suitable gravel bike routes to ideal coffee break locations.

I discovered that the little Esbit pocket stove my son Ryan has would work well enough for a stove. I still needed a pot and a coffee making system of some sort so I went to Milltown Cycles last week and talked to Curtis about getting set up to make coffee outside.

Curtis was very helpful and I ended up purchasing a nice little GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Soloist system and a Ultralight Java Drip cone filter. The Pinnacle Soloist system includes a pot with strainer lid that also works as a cup lid, a cup/bowl, a "foon" (spoon & fork combined) and a carrying case. The filter clips right onto a cup (it's made to clip onto the cup included with the Pinnacle Soloist system but will work on any cup/mug) and uses a drip method for brewing coffee. Curtis said I could use #2 paper filters for the coffee if I wanted or go without a filter.
I had all of my equipment - all I needed to do was get out and ride!

Well today was a good day for a ride! The weather was absolutely perfect for riding and Katy was free to go and so was Sara (Sara is new to riding with our Northfield Women's Gravel Chasers group).  I packed up my coffee making gear this morning and made sure to remember matches and coffee because I wouldn't have much success without a way to light my stove or coffee to brew! All of my coffee gear - my stove, the coffee filter, the coffee, matches etc. - fit right into the little pot and the pot fit into my handy Revelate Pika bag with tons of room to spare.

We planned to meet at Katy's house and ride and head south to Caron Park at 10:30. But plans changed last minute (life happens) and we ended up short on time so we decided to ride north to Waterford instead. Our ride was going to be a short one, but adventure can happen no matter the distance you ride if you have the right mind-set. Excited, I hopped on my Salsa Vaya and Katy, Sara and I headed out for our first ever adventure coffee ride!

About 5 miles out, at the Waterford iron bridge, we went offroading a bit to get to a suitable spot for our coffee break. We rode on a nearly hidden trail, hidden because the weeds were so high, and had to push our bikes through the trees.
Katy making the most of our adventure through the trees.
Within a few minutes we found a sandy little spot along the Cannon River with a log to sit on, lots of shade and nice view of the Waterford bridge - a perfect place to make coffee.
Sara and Katy at our coffee break location
It took me a couple of tries to get the pocket stove fuel lit (the fuel is a little solid block that fits into the stove perfectly) but once I got it going the fuel burned well.

I poured some water from a bike bottle into my pot and set it on the stove to boil. In about 5 minutes the water was hot enough to make coffee so I poured it over the grounds in my little JavaDrip filter and moments later had a great cup of coffee to share with my friends!
Katy enjoys coffee outside 
Couldn't ask for a lovelier location for our adventure coffee
We had a nice little break there by the river. In addition to coffee, I packed some meat sticks and chocolate and Sara brought some zucchini muffins to share. We sat and talked and shared a cup of coffee and snacks, a mini-lunch of sorts. It may not sound that exciting - but I'll say this - there's something really wonderful about making a cup of coffee outside and enjoying it by the river with your friends. It's like that simple cup of coffee transformed from a normal cup of joe to the best cup of coffee ever. Close enough, anyway. It certainly was wonderful and I'm already looking forward to my next cup of coffee outside!

Thanks, Katy and Sara, for going on an adventure coffee bike ride with me and for encouraging me as I figured out how to make my stove and all of my new gear work.

Next up? At some point I want to get a hammock then ride out to make coffee and then take a post-coffee break nap in the woods!


Wonderful! Here's to many more!

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