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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Long Live Long Rides

My post last week entitled "Better Coffee For Bikepacking" elicited a variety of responses and a number of suggestions. Thanks to all. I will try some new options, while continuing to tinker with what I have. If I find something that works better for me than the CoffeeBrewer or the AeroPress GO, I certainly will write about it.

In the meantime, today I arose to some kind of wonderful morning for enjoying coffee outside. 40 degrees. Little wind. Overcast. Drizzle. Like riding through a cloud. Almost heaven. South Dakota. With my Jones 29+ already set up with packs and loaded for breakfast, I only need to dress appropriately before pedaling.

After about an hour of lightly spinning around town, I stop near the base of M-Hill at Founders Park. The City of Rapid City, or a couple of kind citizens, finally moved two picnic tables under the shelter there. Great timing. It will be nice to be under a roof today, even though I wouldn't get very wet out in the open.

Looking for that next long ride, somewhere out in the prairie beyond the Black Hills.
Not from today, but not long ago.

Onto the task at hand. Within a few minutes, I savor a sip of fresh hot coffee made in my AeroPress GO with beans roasted by local cyclist Christopher Grady of Sawyer Coffee Lab. Oh. That is good. That is very good. 

Soon, I am ready for a second cup. For some reason, I decide to conduct a direct comparison with Starbucks Via, the instant coffee that I used on my 2021 ride of the GDMBR. More accurately, I carried it until I simply could not stand drinking it. Today, the Via instant tastes okay, although well short of that from the AeroPress GO. Little wonder that it failed after a few weeks on the trail.

I realize that this goes beyond coffee. Something that works well enough for an hour, may not work over a day. And something that works for a day, may not work over a week. If for a week, will it over a month? Some things must be lived out.

Long rides reveal much, particularly with all the trials that emerge with the passage of time. Much is revealed over time - about coffee, food, gear, components, bikes, and especially the person pedaling. What awaits discovery during your next long ride?

Long live long rides.

Long Hard Ride, The Marshall Tucker Band (1976).

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