As the days get shorter and the mornings increasingly grow frosty, the appeal of a hot cup of coffee gets stronger. So strong that an otherwise well-adjusted cyclist will voluntarily ride out long before the sun is up. I will also admit that even though I only need to do one coffee stop per week, I'm front loading this challenge. By the end (even the middle) of this challenge we could be getting snow in the Fields of Dreams, so I've no guarantee that weather will be on my side in the coming weeks.
On to coffee.
251 North Main Ave. #301
Saturday is bike shop day. I work part time at Brothers Bike Shop, mostly as an apprentice bike wrench. As I headed out for coffee, I drug our Sun Atlas Cargo along. Recently, the Sun had been exhibiting very odd behavior in the headset. Despite all my adjusting, the steering was stiff and the fork was rattling in the headset. I finally realized that a small spacing ring had gone missing during one of the disassembly sessions that the Sun had undergone in the last weeks. Without that ring, the spacers would contact the top of the headset without hitting the bearing, meaning that I had steering that was both stiff and loose. Thinking that I would save some time by dropping the Sun off at the shop on my way out to coffee, I pulled the longtail alongside my Schwinn World Tourist. I've towed bikes this way many times before, but this did not go well at all. A 50 lb longtail with stiff steering running alongside is a recipe for a wipe out, and I had to admit defeat after only a block. Mercifully, Brothers is a short walk away.
Right: Dedicated muffin hauler. (The Schwinn has a porter rack
which I can get 2 doz large muffins on)
|Yep, still dark.|
While I cannot get fresh made stroopwafels, the imported versions are the perfect coffee snack. Since a stroopwafel is basically a thin waffle with caramel inside, a little heat makes them perfectly gooey.
|Unforgettable snack. Forgettable Coffee|
Now that we've had breakfast, and it's finally getting light out, here's the shop:
|My Saturday office.|
|I don't know if it's possible to take a picture of a bike shop|
without it looking claustrophobic.
I like to get people on everyday bikes. If you're looking for advice on Di2, better go someplace else. If your looking to do RAGBRAI, run errands, just ride around, we're your shop.
If you're in NW Iowa, come check us out!
(Oh, and I did get that steering sorted out on the Atlas. Longtails are a bear to get on the stand though.)
#4 Coffee Shop Without Walls
|Whoever says Iowa is flat...|
is telling the truth.
I recommend waking up early, go someplace quiet with an open view. Don't talk, maybe bring something hot to drink, and just watch the world wake up. You'll find that the stars disappear in a quiet rush, that the one lone dove cooing in the dark will be drowned out by the robins and blackbirds getting up with the sun. You can hear dairy farms miles off start milking, hear the industrial park spooling up for another day.
|Something subtle, something hot.|
|If you get snuck up on in Iowa, it's your own fault. Halfway between that tree and the light pole are two little |
dots on the landscape. They're water towers, eight miles away.