Peace Spokes - Peace Coffee

  1| 30 Days of Biking

  2| IATP Report: On Two Wheels

  3| 2 Rad Tough Ladies: Poems

  4| Roaster's Corner

  5| Eventravaganza!

  6| Quote of the Month

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It's spring at last -- really! Time to shake off what's left of the winter blues and get your butt out of the house... and we've got tons of ways to help you do it in our Eventravaganza! lineup. Also in this issue of Peace Spokes, you'll find a fascinating interview (at least we think so) with St. Paul resident Patrick Stephenson about his cool 30 Days of Biking project. We also offer an IATP Update from Andrew Ranallo and poems from two rad tough (and über athletic) ladies. It's a fine issue, we think you'll agree...

P.S. When you're done reading Peace Spokes, check out the great bike shots and article written about Peace Coffee in Heavy Table (and be sure to read the comments after the piece from Lee, our queen bean).

Now... take a deep cleansing breath, grab a mug of Peace Coffee, savor its tasty brown goodness and read on...

Peace Coffee Editor's Note: We ran across this interview with Patrick Stephenson about his 30 Days of Biking project in a recent blog post by New York City biker/blogger Mike Green. When we read it, we knew we had to include it in this month's Peace Spokes.

by Mike Green, reprinted from BikeBlogNYC

Somehow I stumbled upon this plot to get people to ride their bikes for 30 days in April. It all got started by a couple of bike fanatics in Minnesota who decided to use the social network power of Twitter to convince people to use pedal power as their prime source of getting around.

I pledged to ride and have had moderate success keeping up on a daily basis but I was curious about this site and wanted to learn more.

I contacted the organizers, Patrick Stephenson and Zach Schaap and asked them what inspired this project and how has it been going. Here is my Q and A with Patrick along with pictures from one of the group rides that recently happened in the twin cities.

Name, age and where you live
My name is Patrick Stephenson. I’m 27 years old and I live in Saint Paul, MN, four blocks away from John Dillinger’s former Lexington Estates hideout. I once biked the alleyway he escaped the feds down and felt Dillinger’s spirit pass through me. True story.

Read on...

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Newsletter Special - 15% off your entire order.

by Andrew Ranallo, IATP Communications Assistant

With the weather improving, the #30daysofbiking phenomenon and Minneapolis’s recent nomination as the number one bike-friendly city in Bicycling magazine, everyone wants to be on two wheels. Here at IATP, our TravelBetter program will be starting soon and excitement is in the air. Each year, IATP splits itself into teams (last year, I was a member of "Cycle-Ops") and holds a competition to see who can drive the least to work on a daily basis. Points are awarded for any mode of alternate transportation including biking, walking or taking the bus. For many, though, biking is the way to victory. Throughout the TravelBetter season, teams host events and prizes are offered for participation. At the end of the season, everything is totaled and the team with the most alt-transportation points takes the victory. Individuals are also encouraged to set individual goals and prizes are rewarded to those who display improvement or consistency in meeting their alternative travel goals. TravelBetter is about--no matter who you are and what your individual constraints--making an impact by setting achievable goals to travel in a more sustainable way. Last year, IATP received the Commuter Choice award for Exceptional Company Involvement partly due to the TravelBetter program--the competition just gives us an excuse to dress up, have picnics and enjoy the nice weather.

Read on...

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We asked these two young ladies who have become big Peace Coffee advocates and who both happen to be inspiring female athletes as well as self-declared coffeeholics to write poetry for this issue. They came through with really good poems.

The Long Run
by Megan Killian

Fog lays thick on the brain
as the clouds cling to the morning sun
"Think, think"- but do it quick, quick
before it's time to run.

I sip my coffee, tie the shoes
Strap on my watch and smile.
Got the shades, I'm out the door
and I'm gonna be gone for awhile.

Pitter, patter, pitter, plomp,
feet meet with the concrete
but they make their way to the soft, dirt path
and my body relaxes, so sweet.

I settle in, I find my groove
and I feel the fog lifting its weight
and the clouds release the rising sun
and I feel lightness in my gait.

The lake is flat as glass
and the trail is climbing steep
and my feet have no problem finding the ground
between the frolick and leap.

Miles tick by like minutes
and I wind through the network of trail;
my arms are pumping, my legs move quick,
and through the woods I sail.

Climbing, climbing, breathing deep
pushing forward, I see crest;
I feel a lightness in my step,
I start to feel my best.

Joyful, grinning, full of breath
I make my way to the top
and in a moment of reflection
I turn to the overlook and stop.

I find my center, I make it to
a place where i find my peace
and I push my body every day
to put my mind at ease.

Megan Killian hails from Houghton in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where she enjoys swimming in Lake Superior, biking the hilly roads of the Keweenaw, and running just about anywhere, especially on single-track. She is also a graduate student in engineering at Michigan Tech. Read her blog at and follow her on Twitter:

by Erika Sperl-Imhoff

Swimming is not my favorite sport,
the waters cold, the floors cause a wart.
But I'm swimming today - it's one third what it takes to TRI
Comin' up with this poem to help the laps go by!

I'm really just a runner - I like the miles
but I broke my hip twice, adding to the fracture files
My sports med team said "Go get off your feet"
So I struck up a deal that was kinda sweet....

A deal with only myself, I must admit
'Cause runnin' is something I'd rather not quit
But swim/bike/run... I can still sweat. A lot!
Not to mention these triathletes are rather hot.

The swimmers with their shaved legs all smooth
The bikers and those calves - oh wow... they're huge! 
But runners.. I think they win hands down.
And you better run fast if you want to win the crown!

But honestly, it's not about any tri-sport "look"
It's the community that really got me hooked.
They'll push you through your toughest times
My lap-lane-buddy's helping me come up with this rhyme!

The teams I'm on - I couldn't live without
U of MN Tri is what school's really about! 
Peace Coffee Racing covers my ethical side
Not to mention the coffee's bona fide!!

It's hard than you'd think to rap in a pool
I'm working so hard the water stopped being cool!
But working hard is what TRI is all about...
This sport I love - I really lucked out!

Erika Sperl-Imhoff is a Peace Coffee Endurance Racer and fully caffeinated Minneapolis triathlete.  Read her blog at: & follow her on Twitter:

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by Anna Canning, Peace Coffee crew

This week, Head Roaster Keith is on the road.  In place of his usual scheduled Roaster’s Corner on all things coffee, he sent us a picture of what is officially the fanciest name tag of his life.  It will be identifying him this week as he meets and mingles at what’s officially the biggest gathering of coffee people in the world: the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA)’s annual conference. 8,000 people from all over the globe are gathering, this year in Anaheim, CA, to hock their wares, check out the latest equipment, network, compete, and learn.

We spend a lot of time in our community here in Minneapolis, connecting and educating around a cup of coffee and log even more miles visiting with coffee producers.  But it’s only once a year that there’s a grand convergence on the scale of the SCAA conference, bringing together friends, allies, farmers, and coffee celebrities in a giant, exhilarating weekend.

We can’t wait to hear more about Keith’s trip and he’s promised us that he won’t completely succumb to his US Barista Championship addiction. That may be better than some of us back at the office will do; as quite a few of us have been known to work while streaming live video of all the tamping, shot pulling and milk steaming. For just a few days, it’s like there’s a reality show for us coffee fanatics:



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The Peace Crew has more events in the coming weeks than we can count on both hands. The fun starts this weekend in celebration of Earth Day... join us!


April 17th
Minneapolis Watershed Clean Up: Volunteer on Earth Day at the Watershed Clean up!  Volunteers pick up trash and assist in cleaning up Minneapolis’ water resources. Volunteers are invited to attend a celebration party after the clean up where refreshments, door prizes and watershed educational programming is available.

April 17th- 24th
Fresh the Movie Week: Yep, one of our favorite food movies of last year, is coming back to the town and there will be a number of how-to workshops, farm to table dinners, lectures and tastings all week long! Special guest, farmer Joel Salatin, will be on tour with the film (he left his happy cattle at home.)

April 18th
Minneapolis Recycle Run: Bring family and friends to the 2010 5k Fun Run. The first 500 pre-registered participants will receive a free ticket to a Minnesota Twins game. All pre-registered participants are guaranteed a Performance T-shirt and water bottle.

April 23 -24th
Bike Expo: Get in gear for the Spring and Summer at the Bike Expo! Workshop presentations, demonstrations, contest and prizes.

April 24th
Seward CSA Fair: Stop by the Seward Co-op to meet local farmers and to learn more about CSA options.

April 25th
Iron Man Bike Ride: Sign up for the Iron Man Ride today! You can do a 30, 65 or 100 mile ride. Peace Coffee will be at all the stops to keep you energized!

Read on for May events...

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Fuel yourself for those spring bike rides with our Colombian Heavy Pedal roast or try any of our coffees, teas, equipment or Peace Gear and take 15% off your entire order (before shipping charges are added). To get your discount, enter SPRINGFUN in the Promo Box at checkout. Offer ends May 16th.

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"The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets."

~ Christopher Morley

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Peace Spokes is a monthly publication from the crew at Peace Coffee.
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Photo: Copyright Katie Cannon Photography