The second-best part of spring mornings is the sliver of sunshine reaching through your blinds to tickle your face and start the day. The first best thing? Coffee climbs! You may ask yourself, “what on earth in a coffee climb?” Picture it like this: your usual weekly (or monthly) catch-up with a friend at your favourite cup a’ joe spot, waiting for that caffeine to hit but on a bike, under the sun, up a hill. Caffeine, chats, & bikes all in one! A perfect moment to get in some social time before the busy weekday schedule takes over and responsibilities take priority.
The coffee climb routine begins with the refreshment trio: a homemade smoothie, a glass of water and a kickstarter cup a’ joe. The key to the refreshment trio is that it must be enjoyed while being showered with the morning sun. I usually set up on my south-east-facing balcony and sip while the city slowly wakes up.
Important to note: the kickstarter cup a’ joe is like the first few gentle gusts of air you waft over an ember when lighting a campfire. Once that ember pops off, the flames take flight! The ember popping off in this analogy symbolizes your morning motivation which is heightened after a few sips of the good stuff.
Next step in the coffee climb routine: getting on your bike! You’re out the door by 6:40am to meet the coffee climb crew at the bottom of Camillien Houde for 7:00am. After a quick, “hey, hello how are yah?!,” followed by a symphony of clips and gears, the climb begins!
The morning chatter continues while the road unwinds ahead. As the grade increases, the conversation slows, and concentrated breaths fill the air. Once at the top, we enjoy a quick chat and a few squirts of water (or nuun) before we’re back in the saddle ripping the descent with the wind in our hair.
While Camillien Houde is a longer climb, it’s the Polytechnic stretch that always gets me. That short punchy little bit always gets the thighs burning and reminds me why I preferred DH at the start of my cycling journey. What I like about the first few coffee climbs of the season is that they always provide insight on how effective my winter training - or lack of - has prepped me for a season of pedaling. The tables turn near the middle or towards the end of the summer when the coffee climbs feel easier. These are the moments when I realize that I’ve been putting in WERK and I feel like I could cycle loops of Camillien Houde and Polytechnic all day (truthfully, 5 loops would be a personal W-I-N!).
Mix up your morning routine and slip in a little coffee climb. Be it solo or with company, a morning pedal is the best way to start the day.
Ensure coffee climb success with these FIVE essentials:
1.Your noble 2-wheeled steed! This season, thanks to @cyclingavenue, I have Tammy the Tarmac to get me to the top
2. A snack sack a.k.a. a handlebar bag with tasty treats. I often bring along a few homemade choco-zucchini muffins to share with my coffee climb companions because who doesn’t love homemade goodies?!
3. REFRESHMENTS – a bike ride without hydration is like a sailboat without a sail
4. Flat repair kit because there’s nothing worse than getting caught unprepared
5. A S M I L E because how can you not smile when your day starts with a little bicycle date?
Happy coffee climbing!
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