Archive | October 2012

Boererij en Heemkundemuseum Schimmert

Recently, I pedaled over to the Boererij en Heemkundemuseum Schimmert. I guess it roughly translates to Ranch Museum.  The museum depicts traditional farm/ranch life in the early 20th century (1900-1950). It is a pretty interesting place.  The museum has gathered traditional equipment from around the Limburg, Netherlands region. The museum has a diverse collection collection from […]

Sip, Clip and Go! Coffee for Cyclists

I had been looking for a source of coffee beans since I moved to the Netherlands.  I discovered Sip Clip and Go!  through the All Seasons Cyclist‘s recommendation.   For the past week I have been drinking and enjoying their Crank Set blend.  It is  the darkest roast of the three they sell.  The others are Carbon Free Commuter and Off the Chain.  Notice the cool bicycling theme.

The coffee beans are consistently producing a smooth rich cup of coffee.  I find myself drinking the coffee long after I usually stop for the day.

There are other very positive things that I like about this company

  • Brings together two things I like:  Bicycles and Coffee
  • Small business that supports other small businesses
  • Supports Fair Trade
  • Ships to APO’s (Army Post Office)
  • Supports Community Causes – Namely Bikes Belong

I think that several of my friends for the holidays will be getting their coffee.

Crank Set coffee pouring out of my coffee maker

Sip Clip and Go Coffee Mug

Creme forming at the top of the cup

Crank Set coffee beans

Crank Set coffee beans

Being Passed

I am not a fast biker.  Mostly because I am busy looking around at my environment to take pictures, so I am not concentrating on pace.  In the end I get passed regularly.  Right now it appears to be by groups of bikers in club uniforms, so I just shrug it off.

I always try to have my GoPro cameras running. Yesterday, I got passed by an an old lady which one of my GoPros decided to film.  Usually fog or dirt or battery prevents any good shots.

I added the jet sound, but you can hear in the background comments made by a a person in a biking group (they were just getting ready to start).  that I was passing as the old lady passed me.

Morning Tour – Sunday, 21 October 12

Taken with iPhone

Castle Rivieren, taken with iPhone

Sunday mornings have rapidly become my opportunity to explore by bicycle the scenery, the sites and routes in and around the area I live.  It has the advantage of less traffic and great lighting for pictures.   I get up at first light which right now is at about 0745 and just ride a random 15-20 mile loop. My goal is to stay on the country roads and not the main roads.  While the main roads all have bike paths on them around here the scenery is just not as interesting.

All week, we have had 60-70 F weather (13-20 C) with a bit of fog in the morning, so it was a pleasant  morning ride.  I headed East and South which took me through Aalbeek, Nuth, Klimmen and Hulsberg.

Harvest is in full swing now so the roads and paths are rough with farm debris, which makes for a dirty bike at the end of the ride.   Along the ride I saw piles of harvested sugar beets and potatoes.  Naturally all over there are the fall colors on the trees.

Along the ride I came across the pictured castle, outside of one of the little farm villages.  It looks like it has a couple of towers and a moat with a stone bridge.  The castle appears to be converted into a restaurant. Unfortunately pedaling early, I am not able to explore the grounds as it is closed up, but nice to look at from the road.

This area that I live in and ride through is fascinating to me as I run into castles everywhere and is littered with history predating the US.   My personal interests lie in I like biking, history and exploring new places combining all three makes its a great ride.  If there was coffee involved it would have been a perfect ride.

I guess I will have to come back another day to Castle Rivieren for a coffee!

Castle Wijnandsrade

Last week was pretty tough to get out and about.  It basically rained during the day and stopped only at night.  The one time I did get out, I got drenched.  The weather reminds me a lot of where I grew up, Portland, OR.  The gear that I own basically for bicycling is targeted for living in the Oberpfalz of Bavaria where I lived for the last six years, with its three weather options: bitter cold, bitter cold and wet, and warm.  Warm for me in Bavaria was 45-50 F weather that feels hot because of acclimation to the bitter cold.

I have been working and ordering new gear that is lighter weight and water resistant, so I can get out and about.  I have greatly appreciated the recommendations from  “All Seasons Cyclist” in targeting my gear search.  When the gear arrives via APO (US Army Post Office), life in the drizzling rain on bicycle I think will get better.

The rain did break on Sunday, so I was able to get out and about.  Early Sunday when I was out riding/exploring I found a cute town called Wijnandsrade,   Google Translate gives me the idea that it means wine country.  On the south end of town is a castle Kasteel Wijnandsrade.  The castle is pretty cool.  On the grounds is a cafe Chateau Gilbert.  I was out too early in the morning to check out the cafe.

On Wednesday, I rode back to Kasteel Wijnandsrade and Chateau Gilbert for more recon.  The castle grounds are gorgeous with a castle, moat, several gate house, bronze statues, and ducks.  It is quite a find.  I have a feeling it will be a nice afternoon destination for Crystal and I to pedal to.

The castle appears to be a family agricultural products business selling locally produced wines, jams, and spices.  The cafe appears to use the local products in the menu and it has outdoor seating.  There was an older lady working the cafe/store.  She didn’t speak a drop of English.  (Note to self:  I have got to learn Dutch).  So I wasn’t able to communicate well. She resorted to speaking French to me.  Not sure why, but I smiled and ordered a coffee from her.  When it came, the coffee was great! more than espresso by volume but less than a cafe americano.  In previous travels to France from past experience I would call it a cafe creme.  Yum!   

For me this place is great.  It is a triple: bicycle destination, indoor/outdoor cafe with great coffee and on a castle grounds.

On Sunday I had both my GoPros on my Bike so I was able to get some good footage of the the castle and on Wednesday I brought my Canon EOS 60D to take pictures.

This is the video I cobbled together.  It is a little choppy because of the cobblestones (stabilization did a little of mitigation through iMovie:

Out of Coffee Beans

Image

Three Choices and My Coffee Maker

Today I ran out of coffee beans for my automatic coffee maker.  While living in Germany, I knew where to get good quality coffee beans.  In the Netherlands I haven’t a clue.  Our local DECA (Commissary) only has ground coffee, so I don’t even have Starbucks off the DECA shelves until I can figure out the places to by good espresso beans.

Actually one of my great motivators to bicycling is finding cafe’s, coffee shops, local coffee bean sources…..

So, I pedaled over to the local grocery store C1000.  Not surprisingly it decided to start raining on my ride over.

I am not sure what a C1000 it would be equivalent to in the States.  In Germany it is like an Edeka.  In essence it is a basic grocery with fresh produce, bakery, in store butcher and simple food goods.  They also have some coffee.

The coffee shelf in the store is dominated by pod and instant coffee (blech on both).  There is a limited coffee bean selection.

The choices are limited to the C1000 brand and the brand Douwe Egberts.  Douwe Egberts is a Dutch brand, I see their advertisements on local Dutch TV and I would equate them to like the German brand Jacobs.   Most of the coffee shops I have visited are serving their coffee in the Netherlands.

Douwe Egberts offered three types of beans, Rosso, Dark and Extra Dark.   The packaging did not say the mix of Arabica to Robusto just some grading on the roast (pictured on the right on the bottom of each package) and some adjectives to describe the the taste.  Not reading dutch I not really sure  what to buy, so I bought all three different kinds.

Tomorrow I am going to try the red package “Aroma Rosso”  described in Dutch as “Evenwichtig & Rond”, Google translate says that means “Even and Round” more likely I would guess it means balanced and smooth.

I guess my new goal in my rides is to find a good local source for coffee beans.

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