Photo courtesy MrTinDC

Coffeeneuring: More Than A Bike Ride in Search of a Hashtag

Lots of us ride to coffee (or tea), but only during this seven-week sliver between October and November do we officially coffeeneur.* Coffeeneuring is when bike rides to coffee (and other beverages) are shared and enjoyed by people far and wide.

Start this weekend and you can still officially complete the challenge of 7 rides to 7 distinct places. And even if you don’t, you can still have fun trying. The challenge ends November 16.

Why should you think about joining the Coffeeneuring Challenge? Here’s what some of the participants from last year’s edition had to say:

“Since this was my first coffeeneuring experience, I find it easy to relate it to riding a flêche where everyone is out completing their own rides, but we are all sharing in similar experiences. The idea of knowing others around the country were participating in the same activity motivated me to get out and ride!”
Steve in Burtonsville, Maryland

“7 rides, 7 coffee shops, 125.3 miles, 5596 feet climbing. I’d call that success!”
keithmo bikes, Richland, Washington

“It was great fun checking out new coffee places that I otherwise would probably not have visited, if not for coffeeneuring requirements.”
Cruisin’ Downhill, Edmonton, Alberta Canada

“We really had a lot of fun.”
Dan’s Rando Adventures, Black River Falls, Wisconsin

Courtesy MrTinDC
Courtesy MrTinDC

“Thanks for organizing this important community-building activity! It’s gratifying to a part of such a force for good, peace and harmony in the world.”
Andy’s Bike Blog Seattle, Washington

“We really enjoyed doing it.  The only thing better than riding a bicycle is sharing the joy of riding a bicycle with others.”
Paul (and Sally!) in St. Petersburg, Florida

“I look forward to it every year – gives us an excuse to just ride somewhere and visit over a cup of coffee.”
Lynne’s Mostly-Cycling Blog, Portland, Oregon

“Thanks so much for the motivation to keep the riding going even as it gets cold here in Western Maine.”
Christine in Bethel, Maine

Mr. T in DC Coffeeneuring
Courtesy of MrTinDC

“Family coffeeneuring is a great deal of fun. Sure, the mileage is a bit less (okay, an order of magnitude less), but it’s a great excuse to get the kids out even when the weather is less-than-perfect.”

Dan B. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“We had such a good time connecting with other riders! Thanks for putting this together.”
Jennifer T. in Leavenworth, Kansas

“I had a great time biking to new places, taking photos and drinking coffee. It was like all of my hobbies rolled into one :)”
Joe Flood, Washington, D.C.

“Drinking coffee (or at least hot beverages) is a great unifier for cyclists from all walks of life!”
Will in McLean, Virginia

Photo courtesy MrTinDC
Courtesy of MrTinDC

Four years ago, the number of people who finished the Coffeeneuring Challenge totaled 12. In the three years since that time it has grown to more than 100. We’ll just see where we end up in 2014. In the meantime, let’s go #coffeeneuring!

*MrTinDC, thank you for the pics!

coffeeneuring 2

Coffeeneuring Rewind in Pittsburgh with @rfglenn

Ingredients 

  • Fall
  • Bike rides
  • Coffee

Directions

Blend together, bake for an hour for at least two miles or to your taste at dipping seasonal temperatures. Repeat seven times. Coffeeneuring.

Week 4 is practically here, but before any official submissions make their way to Coffeeneuring HQ, I’m taking us back to one year ago for a vicarious trip through the challenge with @rfglenn of Pittsburgh, a city with many avid coffeeneurs who have supported this challenge since it’s inception. Thank you, Pittsburgh and thank you @rfglenn for the guest post!

1) Oh Yeah! / october 5 / 2 miles / espresso affogato

coffeeneuring1

A mile from my house is a coffee shop/ice cream store/bank/live music venue? called Oh Yeah!. I used to live barely three blocks from it, and I’d be embarrassed to admit how often I went.

They have mix­ins for your ice cream like “love” and “electricity” and also they have Chicago Soy Dairy vegan ice cream, so I go frequently when the weather’s hot and the days are long.

2) Ohiopyle State Park / october 6 / 150 / cold brew

coffeeneuring 2

I made some cold­brew coffee while riding my bike on a quick overnight to Ohiopyle with a friend. It was actually pretty good, although that’s more a testament to cold brew’s simplicity than to anything I did.

I turned around the next day and headed back to Pittsburgh in pouring rain, and ended only a little worse for the wear; he continued to DC during the furlough, despite the C&O being closed.

3) Coffee Tree Roasters / october 13 / 2 miles / iced coffee

coffeeneuring 3

A short 2 mile ride, to recover from the century I’d done the day prior.

I stopped at coffee tree on my way back from brunch, and experimented with carrying coffee in my bike’s burrito holders. It worked well enough, but I don’t recommend using plastic cups for it.

4) big Tazza D’Oro / november 9 / 4.5 miles / cider & pour­over

coffeeneuring 4

@rpearl and I went to the big (original) tazza d’oro, not to be confused with small (campus) tazza, which is actually larger.

It was really a little bit too cold to be sitting outside; we kept stripping layers, putting them back on, taking them off again.

5) Mad Mex / november 10 / 2 miles / plain ol’ hot coffee

coffeeneuring 5

A group of friends and I go out every sunday for brunch at Mad Mex, and only on my fourth or so trip did I notice they serve coffee. I’d previously been distracted by the margaritas.

Mad Mex also has a big bike corral out front. The coffee pictured is actually @rpearl’s, but I drank a lot of it.

6) Delanie’s Coffee / november 16 / 10 miles / almond milk latte

coffeeneuring 6

10 miles includes my detour to Thick. This is my picture of @theairgonaut and @fractal_dust taking a picture of me taking a picture of them.

@TheAirgonaut's photo
@TheAirgonaut’s photo

I’d never been here before, which is a shame, because it was nice. It’s a lot bigger and more comfortable than the Beehive.

7) Bagel Factory / november 17 / 2 miles / cider & bagels

coffeeneuring - Google Docs-7

I went out to get some comics (I had seen this page, from the Hulk issue pictured), and also grabbed a drink from the Bagel Factory before heading home in the rain.

The paper cup fared much better in the burrito carrier than did the plastic cup from a few weeks prior, though I think a bit of cider sloshed out onto my pants leg. I didn’t notice, on account of the weather.

Thank you, @rfglenn, for your excellent guest post, which includes a little bit of everything, even meta-coffeeneuring!

Co-Motion tandem in fall

Contemplative Fall

Recollections of the harvest and farmers working fields long past sundown. Walks across campus, heavy book-filled backpacks on our shoulders, feet drifting through drying leaves. The donning of long sleeves to absorb the chill of mornings that advise of even colder times to come.

Buggies and bike in Harrisonburg

It’s odd how this time can feel like a stopping point. The end of one cycle, and the beginning of another. Maybe that’s because I grew up in rural Iowa, lived according to a school calendar for so long, or work in a place with a year that marks time from October through September.

Felkerino and Co-Motion, Harrisonburg

With fall’s arrival, I have an urge to pause accompanied by a yearning to be outdoors basking in autumn’s fleeting colors. A desire to take stock while I keep accumulating memories until the waning daylight and chill truly take hold.

Fall ride outside Harrisonburg, VA

This weekend Felkerino and I fought against the feelings of curling up with a good book, and took to the winding pavement and dirt outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Back into the hills after a month of even terrain.

Co-Motion tandem in fall

The George Washington National Forest makes a good backdrop for a ride. They say fall already peaked here, but it still looks good to me.

Felkerino and Co-Motion in the fall

 

The trees lull me into a contemplative state. I reflect on recent rides, mull upcoming possibilities, and gradually drift back into the present.

Felkerino and Co-Motion

Ah yes, where was I? Let’s ride.

 

Aw, but he's so cute!

Coffeeneuring Week 3: Kitteh-neuring with Janice and Jayne

 

This weekend I received an unexpected note from the coffeeneuring team of Janice and Jayne. What started out for them as a regular coffee ride turned into something much much more.

The idea was to ride 2 1/2 miles to the store/deli in Boyer Junction, have lunch and coffee and retrace our steps up the hill and home.

When we were eating our lunch at the deli, Jayne asked me if I’d seen the kitten on the side of the road on our way down the hill.

“No,” I said. “What kitten? There was no kitten!”

We finished our lunch and started back. I heard him before I could see him and I started saying, “No, oh no!”

Coffeeneuring plus kitty

He ran out from the grass and across the road right up to us. Jayne was off her bike and holding him before I could even roll my eyes.

Of course, we weren’t going to leave him there, though he was a wet muddy mess, his eyes were goopy and there was a big open gash on one of his legs.

We figured out that we could just fit him into the rear pocket of my wind breaker and we made it up the hill and home. Jayne hadn’t been on a bike for some time but she rode up that hill at a pretty good clip. Amazing what you can do if you want to!

Jayne had an appointment set up for the kitty a couple of hours after we got home.

Aw, but he's so cute!
Aw, but he’s so cute!

He’s now had various treatments including meds for his eyes, his upper respiratory infection (he’s in isolation because that is contagious), and his worms. And his leg has been stitched. A VERY EXPENSIVE coffeeneuring experience.

Thank you for providing us with the opportunity for adventure….more than we looked for.

Janice and Jayne, this story of your coffeeneuring kitty warms my heart. Wishing you well with your remaining coffeeneuring adventures (although it’s okay if you don’t rescue a kitten during every one).

MrTinDC and me, getting the shot. Jean, Ryan, and Aaron are also here somewhere. Photo by Felkerino

Coffeeneuring Challenge News: Weekend Plans?

The Coffeeneuring Challenge reaches the end of Week 2 and, like that, Week 3 begins tomorrow. What are your plans?

The Facebook Coffeeneurs group is going gangbusters, and Twitter and Instagram light up on the weekends.

Coffeeneurs on flickr

The “Coffeeneuring” group on flickr welcomes your photos, too. Images in this group range from:

Some people have said coffeeneuring is now a movement, but it’s really always been there. I just gave it paperwork, a name, and a prize. Thanks to everybody who’s helped make the Coffeeneuring Challenge the robust event it has become.

MrTinDC and me, getting the shot. Jean, Ryan, and Aaron are also here somewhere. Photo by Felkerino
MrTinDC and me get the coffeeneuring shot. Jean, Ryan, and Aaron are also here somewhere. Photo by Felkerino

I created a Coffeeneuring 2014 Blogroll page that I hope to roll it into something that includes blog write-ups from the coffeeneurs of yesteryear. Check it out, and if you are blogging, please make sure I’ve included you on this list.

Thanks to those who are including information about the bike-friendliness of locations visited. This is excellent field research for the coffeeneuring community.

As I wrote yesterday, functional fitness embodies the type of activity I favor, and coffeeneuring is one piece of that. I favor the pastries, too, though they probably do not fit under this fitness (or any fitness) label. Oh well.

Have a great weekend everybody, and please feel free to share any Coffeeneuring Challenge news you have via a comment here or through your preferred social media outlet (or even an email or letter, if you like)!

¡Que viva coffeeneuring!

Fall leaves

Functional Fitness, Everyday Joy

Today I ran into work, my eyes soaking in the fall colors as I breathed the aroma of wet ground from yesterday’s rain and the dying leaves on the pavement. Despite overcast skies, the 60-degree temperatures and quiet air made for delicious running conditions.

I recalled my life in the city last year at this time, when the federal government shut down for two weeks and I was furloughed. I remembered how much I wanted to be at work (who knew?!), and all the time I spent outside pondering things like government budgets.

As the shutdown ended and we returned to business as usual, I wrote about observing the Washington area’s transition to fall, the familiarity of the trees, and how the brilliance of the leaves’ emerging colors prompted my own daily stresses and fears to fade. Watching the trees reminded me to pay more attention to what really matters in this life.

I stopped taking my surroundings for granted. The trees, ground, and sky change frequently. All I have to do is step outside and look around to see it.

Fall leaves

I also found new appreciation for my work and the daily trip to the office. Morning commutes are still the best. Car traffic might be heavy and the downtown sidewalks hectic, but side streets and areas along the National Mall are still waking up to the day. I try to route myself through these quieter places when I can.

I am fortunate to live in a city where my feet can easily carry me to my job, as well as other essential destinations in the life of a grown-up. I’m lucky to have a level of health and fitness such that my two feet and my bicycle can be my primary means of transportation.

I’m not an athlete, but to me, accomplishing daily activities under my own power is the heart of functional fitness. Daily outings and errands may not be as exciting to experience as things like an extended bike tour, a long brevet, or even my recent eventure.

But they can still be significant and beautiful in their own way. All I have to do is open myself to the city around me and embrace my body’s movements to experience this everyday joy.

Coffeeneuring-Sipping Chocolate

Coffeeneuring Quiz

Welcome to another week of coffeeneuring as we know it. Time to test your Coffeeneuring Challenge knowledge.

No cheating. You’re only cheating yourself, as one of my old workout instructors used to say.

Coffeeneuring Quiz!

1. What is a word that has two Fs, three Es, one N, and one R?

Coffeeneuring

2. When I go coffeeneuring, should I drive my car?

No

3. When I go coffeeneuring, should I drive a school bus?

No

4. When I coffeeneur, should I ride my bicycle?

YES

5. When I go coffeeneuring, can I go to seven shops in one day and submit my entry saying that I completed the Coffeeneuring Challenge?

No.

And I hope you were mixing it up with decaf, if you attempted this. Only two trips max per week.

6. If I coffeeneur with the same person for all trips, can we send in one Coffeeneuring Challenge entry for both of us?

Yes

7. Should I take a picture of my coffeeneuring?

Yes.

If you forgot, get creative about providing something that evidences your outing.

8. What is the hashtag for the Coffeeneuring Challenge on Twitter and Instagram?

#coffeeneuring

9. If I drink a pop while I’m out, can I call it coffeeneuring?

No

10. Isn’t coffeeneuring just riding your bike to get coffee with a whole bunch of rules?

Yes

Coffeeneuring-Sipping Chocolate

One point per answer. Add up your score. How did you do?

Scores
9-10 points. Good job. Keep doing what you’re doing. Unless you you think you are coffeeneuring when driving. Don’t do that.
6-8 points. Better brush up on your coffeeneuring skills.
5-0 points. Close to hopeless. Coffeeneur at your own risk.

Any questions I missed? Maybe they’ll make a future quiz

PA Endless Mountains 1000K

The Randonneur Q&A Interview Series

Just before PBP 2011, I interviewed a group of 12 randonneurs to get their perspectives on various aspects of long-distance cycling. I talked with both men and women who were members of clubs throughout the United States. I called it the Randonneur Q&A.

The Randonneur Q&A covered big-picture randonneuring themes, including insights over the various brevet distances, and what it is about randonneuring that keeps drawing people back to it. With PBP 2015 less than a year around the bend, I thought it might be informative and inspiring to revisit these interviews.

Andrea on the 2012 D.C. Randonneurs 600K

Randonneur Q&A Interviews

  1. Katie S.R., New Jersey Randonneurs
  2. George Swain, Hudson Valley Randonneurs
  3. Joe Platzner, Seattle Randonneurs
  4. Chris Newman, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Randonneurs
  5. Rob Hawks, San Francisco Randonneurs
  6. Joe Brown, D.C. and Pennsylvania Randonneurs
  7. Vélocia, San Francisco Randonneurs
  8. Bill Beck, D.C. Randonneurs
  9. Lynne F., Oregon Randonneurs
  10. Barry Benson, D.C. Randonneurs
  11. Andrea M., D.C. Randonneurs
  12. Dan D., Great Lakes Randonneurs and Minnesota Randonneurs

Thanks again to everyone who was part of the Randonneur Q&A.

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