Stops We Love: Max Hansen Carversville Grocery
(2016) A gust of wind that made parts of the house creak woke me from my sleep. As the morning progressed, a text conversation between our usual hero Mike and myself outlined the concern for the forty-mile per hour gusts that seemed to pass through every minute. Staring out the back door, the back yard was covered with a bed sheet of white. It wasn’t there the day before when it was sixty and balmy. I was going to ride. We were going to ride.
Digging around my winter locker of cycling gear I found my Hincapie Flanders fleece-lined kit. It would be perfect for the day in more ways than one. This was what I assumed Belgian weather was like. I hoped the Belgian gods of cycling would nod in approval at my rolling out the door to meet Mike.
I had a Stava segment in mind, thinking the tailwind would aid my effort. As I approached the road I counted three different directions the wind was blowing. None of them was from behind. Throughout the entire ride I recognized parts of the road that needed full attention marked by a vortex of leaves dancing on the road.
Meeting up with Mike we agreed it wasn’t as cold out as we thought. However, more than once we found ourselves leaning sideways into the wind. More than once the front wheel tried to flap like a stop sign in a hurricane. No handers were not an option today. The wind could whip up at any moment.
It was my fault that we kept changing the route. We initially had another location in mind, and then the Max Hansen’s Carversville Grocery was suggested. It was very close to our meeting spot, and since we felt good, we decided to take the ride into New Jersey. We would stop at the general store on the way back. All went well until our tack back to Pennsylvania.
Mike and I opted for a foray into Stockton, New Jersey. We surfed the ridge and came back to the north end of town where we decided to veer onto Creek Road. We passed through the covered bridge at the end, pedaled the short incline toward Rosemont in parade gear, and proceeded to be blasted by a headwind like no other. We rotated pulls but found no speed. A police officer was putting a trashcan back across the street on its owner’s property. We were exposed, and there was nothing we could do about it. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
After crossing back into Pennsylvania, the thought of a warm coffee pushed us back into the town of Carversville. At the end of Fleecydale Road is a contemporary-styled general store that used to be a gas station. It also doubles as the hamlet’s post office.
A couple of years ago a chef named Max Hansen purchased the Carversville General Store and made it his own. What remained was just about the same façade as before. There were still local artisanal products on the shelves such as Solebury Orchards, Coffee Scoop, or Castle Valley Mill. The bench and window that was once the garage door still looks out over the intersection with Carversville Inn looking back. Out back there’s still a grotto with picnic benches as well as a large field for kids to run around. What changed, though, were the food offerings behind the case.
Now a patron can buy extremely rich food such as macaroni and cheese with bacon. It is the heaviest wedge of macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had. Today the nice lady behind the glass case asked if we were interested in hearing about the pizza that just came out of the oven. We declined on account of having to get back on the bike, but its appearance was tough to turn down. I pulled a glazed donut down with some coffee and was slowly being convinced to stay all afternoon. The biggest pull to Max Hansen Carversville Grocery is the cider donuts. It’s no surprise to see residents walking to the general store with a dozen donuts in mind. It’s been rumored the local orchard has sent spies into the store to find out why Hansen’s donuts sell better using the same cider.
In the summertime it can be a regular sight to see numerous bikes hanging from the bike rack on the side of the store. Carversville is a hub for cyclists. Anyone looking to get into upper Bucks County will pass through the area. The same goes for anyone looking to head back into Doylestown. Cyclists going to or coming from New Jersey utilize this stop as a refill station to extend a ride. It can also save a ride.
On the way out I spied a gigantic wedge of Beemster Gouda. Gouda is the most delectable style of cheese in my opinion, and seeing a massive wedge was hard to pass up. That’s the thing about Max Hansen’s Carversville Grocery: You’ll find items to remember for your next home cooked meal.
As Mike and I made the turn for home, the legs felt like cement climbing out of Carversville. The headwind made it a bit more difficult. But one thing is for sure; a fall ride with a Max Hansen’s stop is a good ride any day. Not having enough money for a monstrous wedge of Gouda may just be the best thing to happen to your ride any day.