Sunday, November 1, 2015

Mendo's Coffeeneuring Challenge 2015 - Day 6

Pacific  Bay Coffee for Professionals

Saturday, way too early, and it's dark and cold. My coffee destination is over 20 miles away. This is like my daily commute. My wife seems confused as I shuffle around in the dark, getting ready to go at a time when I normally drift back to sleep. It's one of my many gifts: I can always go back to sleep. Therefore, I'm the one who normally feeds the cats at a quarter to dark in the morning - as I did today. And again, I suspect, tomorrow since the cats have no concept of daylight savings time. Nonetheless, it's time to ride!

### Coffeeneuring Control Stop #6 ###

DATE: 10/31/15
DRINKS: Italian dark roast (drip) and Cappuccino
MILEAGE: 46.8 miles
COFFEE SHOP: Pacific Bay Coffee

BACKGROUND: As a "micro-roastery", I was intrigued. They were founded in 2004 and roast their beans on-site. Pastries are out-sourced, but that's fine.

COFFEE REVIEW: I went with the darkest roast in the pots, which was the Italian. It was good, a little strong but not bitter. Nothing particularly distinguishable but maybe that the point of a blend.
I hung around long enough to have seconds. This time I went with a cappuccino just to see the barista's pattern. It was pretty good, nice fine features.

FOOD PAIRING: Expecting a bold coffee, I went with the big oat bar which seemed like a bowl of granola with raisins, yum. It was a nice match for the dark roast, but also in "the blend" category. Fine, but not fabulous (but also not awful).

BIKE AMBIANCE: I came upon the cafe from the east, recognizing the sixties architecture of the strip mall. It was right across the intersection from the hospital, a fairly busy intersection but a few blocks from the busier pedestrian area. I set my bike next to the water bowl set out for dogs, in an area extending into the diagonal parking. It felt exposed but at least it was visible from the seating. So generally positive marks for bike friendliness.

DUCK'S VIEW: The shop wasn't too busy, so it was easy to find a table with a view of the bike but it also faced another couple sitting against the window. Nice enough people, but Mendo was a bit shy. Nonetheless, he posed for a few photos and blended well with the decor. There was an air of work among the customers, not quite the slumbering weekend morning. A doctor, some guy seriously studying his notes, no kids. Overall, the warmth wasn't there.

THE BIKE: Volagi, see Day 1 post.

THE RIDE: As mentioned up top, I got up and out under the cover of darkness. The stars and the planets were out and it was definitely cold. There were a few brave cyclists out, their LED headlights giving them away. I cruised through town, watching the farmers set up for the market. I spent as little time as possible on public roads, veering over to the iron horse trail for most of the ride.

The first ten miles or so were in the open, but the sun had not yet risen. About halfway, the sun was rising but the trees had crept in closer to the trail. That left me to watch the shadows drop slowly until finally the sun was upon me and I could warm up. The short stretches between road crossings meant that I never really got warmed up by cycling. But hey, it's a coffee run. Besides the coffee to warm me up, I knew that the temps going back would rise fairly quickly.

PROFESSIONALISM: Aside from the professionals who were customers, the friendliness of the staff fell on the professional side, too. I can't say anything bad about the guy at the cash register or the barista, they did everything I expected. But nothing that I didn't. Could have been at an office supply store (and I LOVE office supply stores, but the employees don't seem to share my feeling). I was actually surprised that the barista said "thanks" when I complimented his artwork.

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