Stops We Love: The New Lumberville General Store
(2016) I’ve always had a thing for statistics. When I was in high school, my hockey coach asked me to do something completely new: He told me to count how many goals I let in during practice. I’m sure some people out there are asking how many times around the number wheel I went each day, but in all honesty the amount of pucks in the back of the net dwindled over the course of the season. I saw success. That carried over to other aspects of the game, but I always came back to statistics.
I still carry the counting concept with me when I ride. Whether it’s mentally noting which rider has sprinted for the prime each time around or time splits between two points, I still possess the burden of a constantly churning mind.
There must have been a cycling event happening around Carversville in Bucks County today because I started counting and recounting riders on my solo effort. I could postulate the Paris-Roubaix effect was in full force today. That is, riders of all walks found themselves glued to a live stream in a familiar or foreign language. They watched from behind steaming mugs of coffee Spring Classic specialists who hurled themselves over arguably the hardest one-day race on the calendar. If it’s not the hardest, it’s certainly the most anticipated. I could postulate further that Bucks County riders got so inspired by great racing that they mounted their road bikes, gathered in numbers, and headed to the nearest coffee supply shop.
Luckily for many of the riders I saw today, a new coffee shop (re) opened recently. The Lumberville General Store had been out of commission for quite some time. I actually can’t remember which year it was I last set foot on the historic wooden planks. As of April 4th though, the Lumberville was back in business with some exciting changes.
I always love cruising through the tiny hamlet of Lumberville. It could be a town from any place on the map, really. It could pass as a mountain town because of the steep bluffs terminating at many residents' back yards. The brightly colored clapboard houses mean it could pass as a New England town. Or it could continue to pass for the type of town it is, a river town with a high end restaurant and hotel, a bed and breakfast, and its little general store. It's certainly an enjoyable half mile to ride during any season. It is why I was curious to poke around the renovated shop.
The interior has been rearranged. The kitchen and the food case are now on one side of the store along with the coffee carafes. The coffee island is gone. Still present is the old building charm that was present many years ago. The floors creak, the ceiling is low, and the windows are as deep as ever. It has a welcoming vibe where a patron can spend five minutes or five hours. Impressively there is a shelf for cyclists stocked with emergency items such as tubes and CO2 canisters.
The food is savory. BLTs are a big item on the menu. Actually bacon is a big thing on the menu. Selecting from one of the clipboard menus near the register one can splurge on something enticing. I’m positive the three cheeses and bacon macaroni will end at least one rider’s day out. I’m also sure it would be worth it to call the Missus and request her pick-up service. One of the greatest aspects (and the reason I pointed my bike to Lumberville) is their offering of Homestead coffee. I love Homestead coffee. I keep five pound bags of it at the ready. I order enough of it to keep me awake for days.
The exterior is the last notable change to the new Lumberville. It’s where I chose to park myself to enjoy my Dead Man’s Brew. I sat at one of the attractive rustic tables under the pergola porch. It had thick tree rings for tabletops. A large group of cyclists were scattered about the grassy knoll. (If one of them is reading, the phrase they were looking for was "food desert.") In between the pergola covering and the rear door was another seating area with outdoor heaters to warm up patrons reluctant to sit in forty-degree weather. I was happy to see the large amount of riders out back considering River Road's status of being closed to the north and south. Perhaps the cyclists can carry the purchases until River Road is repaired.
I saddled up and rolled north up River Road and Tohickon Hill beyond feeling glad for stopping. I will certainly be back regularly. Not long after my departure I counted my last cyclist for the day: thirty-two (there were ten total at the general store). I was happy to see so many riders out mid-day on a Sunday. While the numbers were remarkable for this ride, the other statistic came toward the end of the ride. I thought about just how many hours one can burn sitting at the Lumberville as well as how many cyclists one may see pulling into the back. Both categories would be satisfying.