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- Location: Providence R.I.
- L’Artisen Cafe and Bakery
- 14 mile round trip ride encompasing East Providence, Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls. RI
- Trees and poles to lock up you bike. But with outside seating in an upscale college area, it’s really not necessary.
I took the Randonee bike for this last coffeeneuring adventure. I have a Novara Randonnee bike but have never done a randonee. But I have been to Spain. Today’s ride was the route connecting the East Bay Bike Path in East Providence to the Blackstone River Bikeway in Cumberland, R.I. This is the ride I saved for the last coffeeneurs challenge and after a couple of false starts, everything fell into place today.
This route begins in East Providence at the Fort Hill parking area of the East Bay Bike Path. The normal ride is South toward Bristol R.I. which is close to Newport. Today though, the ride takes us North to Providence. One of the highlights is crossing the Washington Bridge over the Seakonk River.
It continues through some really nice areas along the Seakonk River and into some very upscale neighborhoods including Blackstone Boulevard where years ago I rode the Tuesday night boulevard double paceline ride. It was a 30 mile open to everyone hammerfest with the Providence College and Brown University bike teams. There were times when the paceline was 15-18 bikes long with 30+ riders. In essence, one would pull the pack for a couple of minutes twice a night. Being the oldest in the pack, whenever I got to the front, the ride would slow considerably. On many rides kids would tuck me into the middle of the paceline and let me be pulled along at 25-28 mph with very little effort on my part. Riding the tide, we called it. Or as they say, keep him away from the front.
The ride today also went through a couple of urban areas that get pretty busy with traffic. Because I was fully depending on my Garmin Touring GPS for directions, (I uploaded the route), I got caught a few times on the right when I needed to go left. Every time I looked over my shoulder to see the traffic behind me, I got a go ahead and take the lane from the driver. Providence is a very progressive city of college students and professors on bikes, making it very bike friendly. I’m still learning this new Garmin of mine, and a couple of fopahs cut the distance of this ride from 26 to 14 miles. I want to do this ride again, but as they say, there are lots of other territories to conquer.
I saved the coffeeneuring challenge for the return leg. I didn’t know of any coffee shops in Providence, and this being the Brown University area, it was obvious to even the most casual observer, that there would be some really good ones. L’Artisen Cafe is the reason my title says the best coffee ride. This place was, as the kids say, “off the hook”. The coffee was wonderful and the turkey cranberry panini was sooo good. The sun was shining, the temperature was nearing 65 F and there was outside seating.