Technical Difficulties… Road Trip Ends!

Please excuse this late last post on the Bikes to Rwanda road-trip Clara and I just completed.
I last posted on Thursday, July 10, at which point we had reached Temple Coffee in Sacramento and were getting set to watch the bike race to benefit BTR.
I flew back to Portland on Friday night, decided to take the night off from blogging, and when I went online to try to post on Saturday, there was something major goin’ down on WordPress and damned if we couldn’t get into our blog. Tech support Ken saved the day after a lot of trial and error, so here we are, back with the last post about the BTR roadtrip. After this post, we will return to our normally scheduled programming, i.e. on all subjects.

SO! Bike race. Sacramento. Effing hot. Baca’s hot pink ride. Wait, what?

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The back of his saddle is gold, btw. It’s a helluva ride. So the way the bike race worked went like this: riders had to cover 4 miles and 5 stops through downtown Sacramento. At each stop, they would pick up a playing card. First biker back got a special prize, but the race was more about who ended up with the best hand of poker. Who was the winner in the end? Baca. Go figure. Here is Tony Serrano of Barefoot giving the riders the rules of the game pre-race.

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Tony and Jess, of Temple, who is standing to the left of Tony, organized this amazing, successful event. Thanks for everything, Tony and Jess!

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Head counselors of Camp Fanny Ho, Naya (left) and Jen, brought their bikes from Ritual Napa to ride in the event.

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Monica of Barefoot (left) and Clara sign up the riders.

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After the race, the large crowd assembled inside Temple to hear Clara’s presentation about Bikes to Rwanda, and also to watch the array of great prizes Tony and Jess had amassed, be raffled off. At the end of the night, more than $800 was raised!

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This is Brad, above, of Temple. Brad was the fastest biker and won a vintage yellow bike jersey for his speediness.

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This is Sean, above, head honcho of Temple!

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Here are Jess and Tony. Great job organizing and pulling off an awesome event, guys!

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Hey, Lucky!

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Tav (above) worked bar all night and turned out awesome drink after drink.

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See what I mean?

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Java J Valenta and Benza in the hizzou!

When the event was over, we took our group over to a bar nearby and proceeded to drink beer in the parking lot. It was a terrific night all around. Our last night of the trip! Couldn’t believe it…

The next morning, we were up bright and sort of early to head off to Java J in Roseville for some damn fine espresso and excellent burritos at the joint next door.

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It’s a lovely cafe, but J thinks he’s going to take the show on back to San Francisco, because his location currently has been challenging…

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He will be missed though — J’s gotten great press and has inspired his customers by offering special events built around espresso tasting, latte art demos and cuppings on a weekly basis.

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And it’s a great spot for lounging — I chilled on this cushy bench seat for a while.

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Besides great coffee — he’s got Ecco and PT’s on right now — J is known for his chocolate prowess. Here’s a sampling of what he offers in his cafe.

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And that is, as they say, a wrap. It was a long trip — 9 days on the road visiting some of the best coffee companies in Northern California. It was an honor to meet and spend time with some of the most inspiring coffee folks around… and it was a fantastic opportunity for Bikes to Rwanda to gain more exposure and solidify relationships. Thanks to the many, many people who made this trip possible — from the sponsors (check out bikestorwanda.com for more information) to our hosts along the way. You’ve helped to spread the message of Bikes to Rwanda, and for that, we salute you!

About the Author

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.