The alarm of that old fashioned gray watch sound as hard as the wind coming down the old Volcano and crashes with the leaves of the coffee plants that are resting in the green heart of Colombia, or at least that’s what seems to be a Sunday morning when the alarm goes on with a sign that shouts “Get up man it’s time to pedal”, no sun yet and it doesn’t want to go up and stand on top of the central Andes mountain that is in front of your window. You have between 32 and 47 minutes to wash your face, take a cup of Agua-Panela (sugar cane infusion), and grab your bike before going out home and complain about the tough early morning for then meeting up your teammates so you can finish planning a day filled with trails, rivers, paths and mud.
In front of that round point where there is an old and broken down steam locomotive, up there are your nice friends, those ones who don’t stay up late, and the unique hangover goes on them is to lose a World Cup MTB race or not seeing the overtaking from Rossi over Márquez in MotoGp.
A fast glance through the window pane opens a cold mist that has invaded your day unexpected. Cold mist. 6:25 A.M. Maybe, you could avoid it and get back to bed. Your thoughts start to cheat you while you’re getting dress with the blue waterproof jacket. Besides, your phone is vibrating, and you are getting messages, that’s a synonymous that the other bikers are on their way to the locomotive. Your inner dialogue starts to consume calories highlighting that you haven’t turned on the piston of your old fashioned 26” Mtb.
But… you almost forget it ¿?
One of the lessons learned in Life School, and after too way many pedals on the trails, it´s that you never make decisions (at least the good ones) up to you take the first cup of coffee in the morning.
Fortunately a night before, you had refilled the green jar you inherited from your grandmother with the pound of ground coffee that your mom had bought in the last market. You had it planned. Coffee, water, and the old coffee filter cloth you still keep because it reminds you Don Eduardo sited in his old red 4x4 Suzuki with a black carp, and drinking brewed coffee that always aunt Mery offered him so that way he could finish to smoke the “Pucho” (cigarette in Colombian colloquial language). You go to the kitchen walking without socks to avoid waking up your loved ones. You start heating water, you prepare the coffee measure while you try to set the coffee filter cloth on the old white support, which by the way has a twisted wire. While water get boiled you look over your smartphone to check your last training activities, and swipe the screen with your right thumb to check the last news feed, you smile when you see Purito Rodriguez complaining in his social media on The Pistolero Jose Hermida because he told him that Cape Epic wasn’t a technique race but El Cabrón (the bastard) is going to ride it on a full suspension bike. You turn off the stove and close the gas yellow key. You check if it is well tight, and you think of yourself as a compulsive obsessed man once you have realized you have to check it the house and freezer doors are well closed more than two or three times. First your pour into the filter cloth a little bit of water because that way coffee was prepared in your grandfather’s farm, then you put two measures of coffee into this one to get a taste cup of it. You like a strong coffee because the ride merits it and your veins wants to pump it through your whole body. You grab with your right hand the small cooking pot with boiling water while your left hand is looking for that enameled white cup you bought in the hardware store that is very close to the park in that nice town you like too much. Cold mist turns into a multi-flavor cloud, you are right because you´re about to taste one of the best coffee ever made, but you don’t want to use sugar because in Don Elias coffee farm that's what they recommend (and there they are professionals making coffee). You take the white mug to your mouth; once coffee has embraced your tongue endorphins are on, and your five senses confirmin a positive test in addiction to coffee.
Today is gonna be an epic “giornata” on the trails, you know it, you meditate while your inner dialogue seems to be optimistic once coffee has entered into your system, furthermore you forgot is really (fucking) cold out there.
How many times coffee has been a decisive factor between a day out there in the mountains or to sleep pair hours extra and then lament you didn’t go out on your bike? It´s for that reason coffee goes so well with mountainbiking. Coffee is the gasoline for your muscles, it activates your mind and body, it´s what makes you feel alive, and what makes your body works at 100% (even Sunday morning). Beyond that, coffee is more than an injection of energy. And It really tastes so good.
¿How important is coffee for mountain-biking?
It is important because it is indispensable for mountain bikers. In the same way that some riders would love to drink a beer after forced 5 hours on the saddle under a brutal heat wave.
Drinking coffee became intrinsically social; besides it helps us to wake up, and gather our skills when we´re pedaling a high mountain or going downl at insane speeds.
Next time you are planning enjoy an epic mountain ride, please, don’t forget coffee as a ritual a night before, while you are getting ready your gear, while you´re checking your bike settings, or checking that orange app on your phone. Don’t forget to get ready your filter or coffee maker in your kitchen for the next morning, and remember friend, this can be the big difference between spending a magical day adorned with stunning views or pressing the alarm snooze button on your mobile phone.
Mauro & @Pedaling Coffee.
Postdate: Cover picture Courtesy from Zack and Mia, a couple of touring cyclists who are traveling on their bikes with panniers through Colombian Coffee region. Maybe you can catch them up on the road while they are pedaling coffee. You can also follow their adventures on @theartofmoving. They do know the connection between Coffe, Mountains and bicycles.