Foodie Fridays

I love eating out. Good quality food, professional service, creative presentation, new food ideas.

I have to say that eating out was not one of my expectations of the She Rides Confidence cycling program! But it turns out coffee and cake make a good match for a bike ride.

Well, not coffee in my case because I don’t drink coffee. No I don’t know why, just never got started I guess. If I must have a social hot drink I’ll have hot chocolate or sometimes tea, but I quickly realized the shortcoming of matching a hot chocolate with a bike ride! Unlike a short black or espresso, a hot chocolate has a lot of calories and often outmatched the caloric benefit of riding! So my new approach is to get a cool drink; juice, small carbonated drink or just stick to complimentary water. Because of course you have to save some calories for the delicious snacks that most cafes hold!

We have been to a LOT of cafes on the many rides that we have done so far. Every single one of them was brand new to me, so here’s a quick list for the next time you’re looking for coffee and cake.

The Foodstore Café, Hawthorn: great service, lovely food, good hot chocolate and a minute from the Gardiner’s Creek trail, get off the trail at Auburn Road, loads of parking and plenty of seating

Richmond Rush Café, Richmond: inside the Total Rush bike store on Punt Road opposite the Richmond train station, have to take bikes inside for parking, yummy light lunch, snacks and hot drinks, friendly staff and bonus of checking out the latest Specialized bike gear

Kanteen, South Yarra/Toorak: pretty spot on the Capital City trail overlooking the Yarra River and Herring Island, plenty of space and bike parking, tasty snacks and drinks

Sandbar Beach Café, Albert Park: literally on the sand, looks out over the beautiful bay, a stunning café with plenty of room. Right on the Bay Trail alongside Beaconsfield Parade with bike parking, nice eats and drinks

Adeney Milk Bar, Kew: no longer a milk bar but has the cute old fashioned décor, delicious eats, but lukewarm drinks, not far off the Outer Circle Rail Trail

The Resident Café, Ashburton: Sitting right on an offshoot of the Gardiner Creek trail where the offshoot intersects with High Street, plenty of bike parking and customer seating, tasty snacks and drinks

Café Cirino, Williamstown: Cute outdoor seating, some bike parking, small selection of sweet treats, nice drinks, lovely view over to the bay, popular with cyclists

RiverView Café and Wine Bar, Warburton: loads of bike parking downstairs under the restaurant near the river, excellent meals, snacks and drink, large restaurant, friendly service but a bit slow

The Austen Tea Room, Essendon: cutesie décor from Jane Austen era, Devonshire tea and lots of sweet treats, quite small inside but lots of chairs outside, good bike parking

Wolf and Hound, Flemington: truly the home of THE best cookie sandwich in the world! Must try! Limited room, limited bike parking but try to squeeze in, it’s worth it, nice drinks, few other treats

Schwabs Galley, Williamstown: plenty of parking, smallish café but okay seating, tasty food and drinks, lovely to sit outside on a sunny day overlooking the bay, very friendly service

Bar Sur Loop, Balwyn North: gorgeous French café with the best vanilla slice that I’ve had in ages! Yummy drinks, enough room to park bikes, smallish café but should be okay for seating during the day, just off the Koonung Trail at Bulleen Road

Serotonin Eatery, Richmond: a fascinating idea of a café providing healthy food, education about depression and advocating exercise. Yummy food and drinks, plenty of seating and bike parking, lovely service, just off the Capital City Trail opposite Burnley station.

Hello Sailor, Hawthorn: very nice cafe on Auburn Road, nice food but the hot chocolate was dark and strong which isn’t my style, lovely seats in the window, good bike parking and seating

So, what are you waiting for? Jump on your bike and find one of these cafes on your closest bike trail!

Keeping busy

Life has been a little busy lately. I’ve been trying to be an adult, a functioning adult. You know, one that gets up in the morning, does stuff all day then goes to bed at night. Without an afternoon nap or sitting in bed for half of the day or getting nothing done.

So I’ve been adding structure to my day, much like I did last May when I thought I might get back to work soon! Well that didn’t work that time, but hopefully this time I’ll get there.

Last May I took on an eight week photography course, an eight week mindfulness course plus went to the Imax once a week to check out a 3D animal feature, plus a joined a pilates studio and etc etc. I haven’t stayed in touch with anyone but my teachers.

This time I’m in a very different place. I took on an eight week getting back to bike riding course where I made a lot of new friends and still catch up with them every week. I’ve been doing housework: trying to keep on top of the dishes, the meals, the washing, the bins, the groceries and trying to commit to keeping up with the ironing. I have a bird bath, a little flower patch.

I feel like this is the real thing. Like I am breaking through the barriers to get back to the life I had before LRH (my old job). I’m cooking dinners and enjoying it, I’m getting the washing done before we start taking clothes out and wearing them dirty, and so on. My husband is thrilled! He got to love cooking but he’s happy to be alternating nights instead of doing everything; or even just not having to do the meals one night a week! And I’m glad that I’ve moved on from sitting watching him cook feeling useless and pointless and not worth my keep! He’s still surprised when he goes to do a chore and it’s done. It’s almost comical. He asks, who did this? Did you do this? Well yes, yes I did. There’s no-one else here!

I’ve still been trying to get out and about, checking out exhibitions, looking for day trips with either my bike group or my bird watching group. having coffee or lunch or brunch with friends. On Saturday I rode from Woori Yallock to Warburton return, 34km, with my bike group, Wheel Women. It nearly killed me but the weather and scenery and people were all wonderful. Yesterday I had impromptu coffee with a good friend. Tomorrow I’m going on a bird watching outing with Birdlife.

I’m having good days 🙂 And it’s so good!