I have been leading bike rides and cycling tours in Australia and New Zealand for over 15 years and on many occasions I have commented that I think everyone comes along for the coffee & food experience as much as for the cycling!  And why not - some effort followed by conversation over a brew is the perfect balance in life.

A lot of the inspiration for what I do has come from my friend Dale (the Guru) Garvey's passion for cycling which is possibly only surpassed by his love of food.  Many of our New Zealand tours have been defined by his seasonal favourites - we have had the year of the Blue Cod followed by many tours of Blue Berries and Cranberries.  Pancakes, berries and 'ice cream or cream with that sir' - "yes!" - for breakfast followed by cranberries, chicken & brie for lunch and dinner.  Perfect!

We are choked with cooking related televisions shows at present - I was about to say I don't watch any of them but that's not entirely true.  The occasional glimpse at 'Good Chef/Bad Chef and The Chef & The Cook' has made it past my inconsistent censorship standards but as for the others - I'm unsure if they are cooking or reality TV?  The Networks would have us believe the are Current Affairs!

Ken McDonald kindly gave me a copy of the Map Coffee sponsored Brisbane 2011/2012 Eat and Drink Award Winners and reading through the list and the category winners I was excited.

I recently rode the Grinders “Ships Ahoy” ride and what a great few hours it was. With Jon out front, the pressure of knowing where to go did not exist so riders can sit back and enjoy the views without the fear of getting lost and then having to do extra Kms. The pace was the same as Brisbane City Council’s Active Parks rides so no extra grinding needed. The river ferry crossing was a novel idea with the river sparkling on this sunny winter’s day.
The pit stops were above average, each having their own unique ambience with great food and coffee along with friendly staff all round.
So as Molly Meldrum says, “Do yourself a favour.” and join a Grinders ride sometime soon.  Cheers  Ken McDonald

"Just got back from Jon's Grinders Cycling Wed ride from Shorncliffe to Scarborough and back.... what a fabulous day for riding with beautiful water views, nice & scenic, lovely breakfast at Feelz Good cafe overlooking the water at Woody Pt; a good 50km ride with good pace... Oh by the way - nice company:)
Big tick for the breakfast venue !! Cheers Linda G "

For 2014 the Grinders rides will be merged into my 'Beat the Boring' ride program as exploring new food and coffee establishments is never boring!

Then the other day on the way home from a ride, I heard a segment on ABC radio  where an expert was discussing baking and cooking using seasonal fruit - nice!  The penny had dropped - the world's gone crazy for exercise and good, interesting food - and in the case of cyclists - great coffee!

New Year's resolution fitness or diet fads aside, the exercise phenomena charges on and television executives aren't letting up on trying to take our interest in food from survival to inspired.  Looking around it's obvious that a growing number of people just don't get it.  Can we have a lifestyle that embraces both?

Sure, but you need to find the right balance and my philosophy always tips the scales on the exercise side of the equation - don't be a passenger - get off your bum and participate!

Bushranger Bikes has been doing this through our bike rides for many years however the primary focus has really been on the exercise part - the cycling.  The other is just a (very) pleasant indulgence.  Now we are going to change the focus just a little.

The Eat & Drink Awards has given me a great list of fantastic food & coffee establishments, some we already know or have tried, and over the last few weeks I have done the hard work and checked out a few more - research is always essential!

As we know there are some really fantastic cafes around now and thankfully it is getting hard to find an ordinary coffee in Brisbane - at last.  And there has been a frothing (that one's for you Ross) of new cafe's and light food restaurants emerging featuring quirky premises, funky decor, tempting menus and tasty coffee.  Yahoo!

So - the Grinders Cycling Club has been established and embraces the Bushranger Bikes  cycling model - offering small group, intimate & friendly rides for the adventurous cyclist.  A chance to exercise, stay healthy, connect and socialise with friends and to link this with a little fun through sampling fine food & coffee - basically a contemporary lifestyle cycling club where you can have some guilt free fun!.

Go on - join me, your friends and Grinders for some yummy & energetic cycling fun and maybe you might be inspired to share your experience and rate the cafes (optional) via the Bushranger Bikes Face book page.  Check out the details on Rate the Experience.


Click Here to join Grinders Cycling Club.  When are the Grinders rides?

Grinders Cycling Club is a Bushranger Bikes Management Pty Ltd associate enterprise and is hosted by my grassroots business - DogMTB - mountain biking, coffee and food has always been a perfect mix.




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Revised: June 23, 2014.