So for those who don’t know I’m a HUGE coffee geek. I do some barista work on the side, I roast, I host workshops, I drink more coffee in the morning than most people do in a day. Coffee is awesome. It’s a cheap and legal psychoactive drug that not only tastes great but helps keep us awake! There’s also a big cultural connect between coffee and cycling – folks like Jet Fuel and Dark Horse have their own cycling teams, many bike clubs meet or take breaks at cafes, and you’ll usually find at least a half dozen bikes locked up outside a cafe.
What I want to do is celebrate the cycling coffee culture and to introduce some of the best cafes Toronto has to offer. I want to do this in a fun and active way making good use of the upcoming summer weather, I call it Le Tour d’Espresso. Everything is in the very preliminary stages (read: my head) so any feedback on this will be greatly appreciated:
Le Tour will consist of three different events or stages: Ristretto, Full City Roast, and Lungo. Riders can either join a group and be lead by a volunteer rider or use the route map placed on a website to explore these cafes on their own time. These will not be sponsored by the cafes and will be done simply for the joy of coffee and they love of cycling.
Ristretto – Short but full of flavour, the perfect ride for someone looking for a quick spin
The Ristretto will be a short ride through Toronto going no more than 15km starting and ending at a cafe with perhaps one in the middle as a break. This will be a great chance for people who want to go out on a social ride and get some coffee without spending the full day out. This will be consisting mostly of bike lanes, bike paths and low traffic roads to make it pleasant and easy for anyone.
Full City Roast – Bold, with a lingering finish, for the rondanneur looking for a bit of mileage
The Full City is a longer ride boasting 5 or more shops spanning both the east and west sides of the city. The Don Valley, Humber River, and Martin Goodman Trails would be used to help get some distance in the ride and safely connect people from one cafe to the next. This will be a 20~30km ride lasting the afternoon.
Cafe Lungo – For the jittery joes with energy to burn
Love long rides or have the need for speed? The Lungo will be a long distance ride starting at a downtown cafe then moving westward along the lake towards Dundas, ON to arrive at La Domestique, a cafe as rich in cycling culture as its espresso. This will be a 75km ride with minimal stops, riders have the option of taking GO back into the city or riding back for an afterburner.
What is needed: I will be looking for volunteers interested in helping organize this. I did this last year but very informally and between friends but I would like to open this up to anybody interested in participating. I will also need help in determining which cafes to go to and route planning as well as helping develop a website or do other forms of marketing.