L.A. River Camp Coffee

November 28, 2018By Steve Wilcox

For those who follow the L.A. cycling scene, you’ve likely heard of L.A. River Camp Coffee.

While the #coffeeoutside trend has been going strong for several years, #LARiverCampCoffee is no doubt one of the more recognized, longer running “events” within the adventure cycling community.

  • Errin Vasquez

Many of you may not have heard of L.A. River Camp coffee and if you have, you might not know how it started. Well, Let me introduce you to Errin Vasquez.

Errin is an L.A. native and resident of Alhambra, CA. While Errin’s day job involves editing a famous TV show; where he really enjoys his time is riding, randonneuring, adventuring, camping and spending time with his wife, Serbrina and their two, lovable but chatty dogs.

It’s also worth noting, that Errin is just a great guy. Let me explain …

I first met Errin back in 2014 while I was living in Minneapolis. A friend and current Salsa Product Manager, Joe Meiser and I came out to L.A. to take part in the Mudfoot Dirty Hundo and see what all the buzz was about with the L.A. cycling scene.

Joe knew Errin from a Salsa project he took part in, and Errin graciously invited us to crash in his camping trailer in his driveway for the weekend.

I remember being floored at how cool it was that Errin let us stay with him despite the fact that I’d never met him. That’s the beauty of the cycling community!

Throughout the weekend, when we weren’t riding, Joe and I were immersed in cooking meals in Errin’s new cast iron and making copious amounts of coffee. We even got to experience a few little earthquakes for the full LA experience.

I remember Errin had a new Polar Aeropress kit that we used like crazy. I also remember Errin’s lovable dog Lincoln chewed it up to the brink of complete destruction while we were out riding one day.

Errin was an amazing host and we really enjoyed our time in L.A.

The last day we were there, I bought Errin an espresso at some coffee shop down in the warehouse district of L.A. While I’m not sure I believe this, Errin tells me it’s the first espresso he had ever had in his life.

Randomly, I happened to catch Errin grammin’ his first espresso!

Coffee Outside Instagram

As the story goes, that’s when Errin went down “a rabbit hole” when it came to coffee. Before he knew it he was at a cupping class where he found his preferred coffee, Natural Ethiopian beans.

“Since I listen to records, ride steel frame bikes with downtube shifters, etc., the next natural step was home roasting my own beans”.

Errin started with a popcorn popper and eventually bought a small drum roaster.

As part of Errin’s newfound obsession with coffee, he started to stop on his way to work to make coffee outside. “Just a quick cup enjoyed outdoors is somehow better. Many times dirt or other stuff like an ant is included, but it’s always more enjoyable outside.”

  • Making coffee outside

From there, Errin told a few people and others started to join.

“We’ve been meeting at the same spot for over 4 years now. Still blows me away. The size of the group

has gotten smaller as people have moved on but it’s still the thing I look forward to every week”

“People come for the coffee, but stay for the conversations.”

That was absolutely our experience when a few of us from Teravail had the chance to join Errin this past spring when we were in L.A.

  • Errin enjoying coffee with cyclist friends

Errin’s route to the river from his house is a combination of highly congested roads and sleeping neighborhood streets which end at a beautiful little clearing next to the L.A. River.

  • Street signs showing mileage to parks along the river

It’s incredible the ease at which he pedals his way through the chaos of L.A. rush hour. It feels like you’re beating the system by being on a bike and not wasting time in a car, but no doubt, Errin is in the minority when he’s on his bike during rush hour.

  • Errin cycling in LA traffic

The group that showed for the day we visited L.A. river camp coffee was an eclectic one. Older gents on insanely cool vintage mountain bikes with deep roots in L.A. mountain biking, newer folks who had just moved to L.A. and bunch of others all there enjoying their coffee. Many people may have started as strangers, but the bicycle and love for coffee brought them together.

  • A group of people sitting on rocks having morning coffee with bikes

LARCC meets every Wednesday morning at Sunnynook River Park, starting at 7am. If you’re in LA, we strongly encourage you to check it out. It’s B.Y.O.C …. So come with your coffee or coffee making setup.

  • Fork-mounted cycling panniers with a patch reading: Camp Coffee

It’s worth noting that in addition to building such a cool, organic event that happens every week on the L.A. River, Errin is also a big participant in raising money for M.S..

In support of his wife Serbrina who received a liver transplant several years ago, please visit the charity that raises awareness for primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) http://pscpartners.org/ as well as Donate for life California: http://pscpartners.org/