What is the Mundo?

I am the very happy owner of a Yuba Mundo Cargo bike, a purpose-built, long-tail, heavy-duty bike that is built to be a serious replacement for a carbon-emitting vehicle. I'm learning more every day what a bike can do, and I'm becoming convinced that a cargo bike with an electric assist is a truly fantastic machine!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coffeeneuring Week 3!

A cold and rainy day here in Fort Collins, 45 degrees with a steady drizzle when I went out on the Mundo for some coffee and munchies at the Alley Cat Cafe before heading over to the Bike Co-op.  (The Mundo is my go-to bike in bad weather, with the waterproof bag and fenders to keep me dry).

Despite the rain, lots of bikes at the Alley Cat Cafe
The Alley Cat Cafe is a Fort Collins staple.  It's on the 2nd floor of a building that yes, is on an alley off Laurel St across from Colorado State University.

Entry to the Cafe, and always open means 24/7/365, people.  Yeah.
Very cozy place to relax and have my afternoon americano before going to help out at the Bike Co-op.
Downstairs from the Alley Cat is another favorite place: Damn Good Tacos, featuring fast, fresh tacos for $3 or 2 for $5.  Tasty cheap eats, but closed on Sundays, sad to say.

You can't go wrong at Damn Good Tacos
Had a good sandwich from the Alley Cat menu instead to go along with the coffee, and then it was back out into the rain to ride up to the Co-op (where, luckily, it was also nice and warm).


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Coffeeneuring Week 2

Week 2 of the Coffeeneuring Challenge found me in Steamboat Springs, CO for a weekend of relaxing and soaking at Strawberry Hot Springs.  Truly one of the most beautiful places I know.

A view of Strawberry Hot Springs
We stayed for the weekend at a lodge near the mountain, and I brought along the trusty Cannondale so I could fit in a little coffeeneuring.  On a beautiful but cold (28 degrees F) Sunday morning I rode the 3 miles into town to have coffee and a croissant at The Steaming Bean coffee shop in the heart of downtown Steamboat.

The ride into town was very pleasant, as there is a great bike path in Steamboat along the Yampa River.  I came across this very Colorado-y scene along the trail by the river, and the pic came out sort of intstagram-like, and I think it's a cool portrait of my old Cannondale:

My Rad 80's Cannondale
I was able to have my coffee before the rest of the fam showed up, I love to get an early start.

Americano and a croissant - Bliss...
We took a walk around town after meeting up at the Steaming Bean, and made our own plans to have a mini Big Lebowski fest once we got back to Fort Collins.  The local theater here in Steamboat is doing some really fun stuff:

 A great weekend get-away, hot springs, good food, coffee and bicycling, yes, it's a wonderful life!

Paula, Rowan and Rob enjoying the beautiful hot springs water

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Coffeeneuring Challenge starts TODAY

Coffee science at its best
Coffeeneuring: a brilliant way to combine two of the most pleasurable things in life - Coffee and Bicycles.  Thanks to fellow blogger Chasing Mailboxes for spearheading the 2013 Coffeeneuring Challenge, explained thusly:

The Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge is a relaxed weekend cycling endeavor for cyclists everywhere. If you like riding a bike and enjoy drinking coffee or tea (or even hot chocolate), you should consider giving the challenge a go. (See the website for the full set of "rules")

Um, OK, I like relaxed weekend endeavors, coffee, bikes, yeah...  This is great!

So today I did my first Coffeeneuring ride, and as you might have seen in the rules, I am claiming this one as the ride to the "Coffee Shop Without Walls".  Four miles roundtrip to the farmers market where I got some delicious, fresh roasted, pour-over brewed coffee from The Coffee Registry.

The Coffee Registry's Custom Coffee Cargo Bike

The Coffee Registry is a regular stop for me at the Saturday morning farmers market.  Operated by coffee evangelist and bike aficionado David Sutton, the Registry is a portable, open air coffee shop mounted on a custom cargo bike.  WHAT?!  This is, well, my dream, so it's awesome to see my dream come true even though it's not me doing it.

David of The Coffee Registry on a chilly (but chill) Fort Collins morning.

So David and I chatted a bit while my coffee brewed.  I told him about the Coffeeneuring Challenge, and he is agreed that Fort Collins is a perfect place for coffee and bikes.  I remarked that, in my opinion, FoCo has some of the best coffee I've ever had, and a thriving culture of coffee, coffee shops and bikes.  Yes, as David said, "We're Platinum!", referring to the recent elevation of Fort Collins to a Platinum Level Bicycling Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.  I would also submit that if there were a similar community rating for coffee and coffee shops, Fort Collins would be on the list.

Fun fact #1 - coffee brews best at temperatures between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Fun fact #2 - in Fort Collins (average elevation about 5,000 ft) water boils at 203 degrees F. Perfect!!
(Thanks to David for this info)

My dream bike!

It is my contention that because of the perfect boiling temperature of our pure mountain water, along with the affinity of the coffee beans for high altitude, the coffee here in Fort Collins is amongst the best I know.  I admit, in deference to our Coffeneuring Challenge hosts' home city, that I have had some damn good coffee in D.C., but I invite all you Coffeeneurs to come up to Fort Collins and take a bicycle tour of the finest coffee shops and richest coffee you will ever have the pleasure to enjoy.

Bringing home the coffee :-)

Fort Collins Food Finders!

The Mundo loaded with fresh donated produce on it's way to the Larimer County Food Bank

More on what a bike can do: I belong to an organization called the Fort Collins Food Finders, one of the many programs of The Growing Project.  Food Finders, previously known as Fort Collins Food Rescue, combines two of my favorite things - Food and Bicycles!  Almost every day volunteers go to where the fresh food is and bring it, via bicycle power, to the people who need it.  Pickups include farmers markets, the Fort Collins Food Coop, and local farms.  So far, since we started in May 2013, we've delivered over 8,000 pounds of food to many of the missions and charities who feed the hungry in our town.  A lot of it goes to the Larimer County Food Bank as well for further distribution.

Tyler uses a trailer on his fixie to deliver for Food Finders
Most of the volunteers use their bike trailers to haul the bounty, but when I go out I bring the Mundo. With the Yuba Go-Getter bag on one side, a plastic tote mounted on the other, and towing my trusty old Burley trailer I can carry hundreds of pounds per trip.  Comes in handy at a farmers market pickup, when lots of the vendors donate their leftovers at the end of the market.  About 3 weeks ago Tyler and I met at the downtown farmers market and saved 108 pounds of peppers, corn, tomatoes and more. What a great way to combine biking and community service as well as being able to hang out with some very cool people.

If you think a Food Rescue operation is what your town needs (and it probably does), check out The Growing Project website for more info, and in the meantime, support your local farmers!