Unlike some of my more urban-located and sophisticated cycling friends (Doohickie, Rat Trap Press, and DFW Point-to-Point), I don’t have ready access to a local coffee shop. I enjoy reading their accounts of rides through the city, including refreshment stops at those fancy gathering places. Sadly, my own experiences fall short in comparison.
They enjoy the comforts of furniture and the stimulating hustle and bustle of other friendly patrons. I am required to sit in solitude under a pecan tree on a small patch of blanket that I must pack and bring with me.
At those urban coffee shops, visitors have a mind expanding array of product and accessory options. I suppose one could order his coffee ten thousand different ways. He can doctor up his coffee with all sorts creams, sprinkles, and sweeteners so as to make it taste less like coffee, and more like dessert. I just have my thermos with only one choice, and I had to brew it myself. It’s coffee that’s black, and just tastes like coffee.
They have those paper cups with plastic lids, and those clever cardboard insulator thingies. I am required to pack my own coffee cup with the low-tech little handle on the side. I am a little embarrassed to say that my cup doesn’t have the status boosting brand name logo on it. Instead, it just has a subtle floral pattern. Not very manly.
Once my friends are handed their cup, leave their tips, dust someone else’s scone crumbs off the chair and sit down, they enjoy trendy, energetic, high-volume music, discussions of current events, and cell phone conversations of other patrons. I don’t have entertainment. I only have the sound of a southern breeze and bird song. I’m not certain about those bird lyrics lately, but they sound vaguely like, “spring is coming.”
Finally, my coffee stop is not down the street and around the corner. I must pedal along on desolate roads, some of them gravel, for two hours to find it. After a series of hill crests and creek crossings, a serviceable spot appears. By then, a short stop, even my humble spot, is something I can live with.