Seattle Coffeeneuring with Coffeeneur Conceptualizer and Randonneur Joe Platzner

While the beginning of this guest post may sound more like a medical diary than a coffeeneur tale, I assure you it is not.

Joe Platzer, the Seattle randonneur behind the concept of coffeeneuring, provided me a convincing doctor’s note about why he was starting the challenge late, and I gave him a small extension to complete the challenge.

The stories of his trips follow, and include photos of  a few Pacific Northwest randonneur all-stars as well as pictures of Joe’s beautiful self-built (is that a word?) Platzner bicycle. He even coffeeneured once via tandem (see trip 6)! Thank you for being part of the challenge this year, Joe, and for your guest post.

Continue reading Seattle Coffeeneuring with Coffeeneur Conceptualizer and Randonneur Joe Platzner

A Weekend Adventure for a Commuting Cyclist in Vienna, VA: Coffeeneuring Rewind with Liz

As I continue to homologate results, I learn more about the appeal of the Coffeeneuring Challenge. Liz, today’s guest contributor, is a #BikeDC commuter who rides extensively during the week– 28 miles every day. She used the Coffeeneuring Challenge as an opportunity to work in more casual weekend riding. 

As a bicycle commuter with a 28-mile round trip commute, I have no lack of time in the saddle. However, with a husband and busy son, I rarely take time for pleasure rides on the weekend. If I’m on the bike, it is usually a quick trip to the grocery store. So thank you for the Coffeeneuring Challenge, because it added some variety to my cycling!

Continue reading A Weekend Adventure for a Commuting Cyclist in Vienna, VA: Coffeeneuring Rewind with Liz

Coffeeneuring Rewind in Maine: Gary and Sara’s Excellent, if Limited, Coffeeneuring Adventures

Today features a guest post from the I Was Going to Complete the Coffeeneuring Challenge, but… category.

Sara and her husband, Gary, are North Carolina randonneurs turned Maine residents (and coffeeneurs). Without further ado, here is their story, along with an extensive excuse well worthy of a Coffeeneuring Challenge Honorable Mention. Something about this thing called “running.” Thank you, Sara, for guest-posting!

Continue reading Coffeeneuring Rewind in Maine: Gary and Sara’s Excellent, if Limited, Coffeeneuring Adventures

Giving Thanks for Good Stories

I hope you have been enjoying the Coffeeneuring Rewind posts as much as I have. I’m learning so much about the places people visited, coffeeneurs’ beverage preferences, and assessments of the beverages served. I also have a growing database of coffeeneuring destinations in various parts of the country.

This week, I took a small break from perusing coffeeneuring stories while making my bi-annual appearance at jury duty. Yep. In D.C. you will be called in for jury duty every two years. As I awaited jury selection, I read Mark Twain’s highly entertaining essay, “Taming the Bicycle.”

I burst out in unexpected laughter as I read Twain’s tale of learning to ride, trying not to draw attention to myself as I read along. It transported me outside the halls of the courthouse and back to the days when I first took the daring step to have the training wheels taken off my own bike. I resorted to a combination of weaving and paddling circles on a little red bike in my parents garage, hidden from any potential onlookers (or, in my case, siblings) until I finally figured out the basics of two-wheeled transport.

I have so much to be thankful for. This year, I give special thanks for the stories people have shared. Thanks to everyone for your ride reports, coffeeneuring stories, BikeDC reflections, and utilitaire tales over the past year.

And now, I must depart. Time to ride and deliver this pecan pie. Hope it remains intact and edible! Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Patti’s Coffeeneuring Rewind: Delaware Coffeeneuring with a Side of Trail Running

It’s a thrill to announce that we had our first Coffeeneuring Challenge participants from Delaware this year. 

Patti, a runner as well as cyclist, embarked on at least two of her coffeeneuring outings on the heels (ha ha!) of a trail run. Does that count as a brick workout? She also completed over half of her coffeeneuring with her husband, George, which means that he has earned an honorable mention. Well done to you both!

Continue reading Patti’s Coffeeneuring Rewind: Delaware Coffeeneuring with a Side of Trail Running

Back to Pittsburgh: Coffeeneuring in Plonk Season with Hyla

We’re kicking off the week with a Coffeeneuring Rewind from another Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, participant. Hyla’s succinct write-ups and accompanying photo-diary make for an amusing read and had me reliving the days when there were more leaves on the trees. (Yes, that was just last week for  those of us in the D.C.-area!)

  • Coffeeneur #1: Hot Chocolate at the Coffee Tree Roasters in Shadyside. 5524 Walnut Street, Pittsburgh! 10/7/12. 6 miles Round Trip.

I snuck out of the house while my non-bike-riding houseguest was enjoying a nap (Hi Mom!). Continue reading Back to Pittsburgh: Coffeeneuring in Plonk Season with Hyla

I was Going to Complete the Coffeeneuring Challenge, but… Honorable Mention Category!

This post is for those who entered the Coffeeneuring Challenge with great ambitions, but for some reason or another, fell short in their quests to complete the Coffeeneuring Challenge.

Oh Brad! I SO wanted to finish the Coffeeneuring Challenge, but…

Don’t fret. You may still submit the coffeeneuring rides you accomplished and perhaps be eligible for the “I was Going to Complete the Coffeeneuring Challenge, but… Honorable Mention” category.

Simply email me the rides you completed, in accordance with the rules explained here, and include a short explanation of what kept you from completing the full set of rides. Yes, it’s that easy!

“I was Going to Complete the Coffeeneuring Challenge, but…” submissions due by Thursday, November 22.

Coming Soon: A magic coffeeneuring map update. New states! More international submissions!

The Magic Coffeeneuring Map and Submission Housekeeping

After six weeks rich in riding and imbibing, the time for Coffeeneuring Challenge submissions has arrived. Thus, I’m taking the opportunity to clarify a few items.

Continue reading The Magic Coffeeneuring Map and Submission Housekeeping

D.C. Randonneurs Flatbread 200K Brevet Roundup

This past weekend, Felkerino and I broke the tandem in two and took off for the Eastern Shore to ride the D.C. Randonneurs 200K Flatbread brevet. While I’ve ridden this brevet once or twice before, this time was unique because instead of the usual tandem routine, I rode it on my Rivendell Romulus.

See?

Riding the Rivendell Romulus on the D.C. Randonneurs Flatbread 200K

Felkerino and I made the decision to ride singles after riding last weekend’s dirt road ride on our “back-up” Cannondale tandem. (Our regular tandem, a beautiful Co-Motion Speedster, has gone to tandem heaven, or wherever it is that tandems that are no longer rideable go.) While a fine bike that performs well on dirt roads, the Cannondale is NOT comfortable for me when riding distances of over 100 miles because the handlebar reach is too short.

The Flatbread 200K was the first time I’ve ridden my single bike on a brevet since 2008. Seriously! Even though I ride my trusty Surly LHT every day to commute, and do several weekend nondonneuring rides throughout the year on my single, I felt nervous about attempting the brevet on a single.

I was not confident about how I would do riding on my own. What if I went too slow? What if I missed a cue and got lost? How does this steering thing work again?

Continue reading D.C. Randonneurs Flatbread 200K Brevet Roundup

Coffeeneuring: The Final Countdown!

Hard to believe, but we’ve reached the last full weekend of the 2nd Annual Coffeeneuring Challenge. Submissions have started coming into Chasing Mailboxes headquarters, and I see through the tweets and blog posts that people are in the final throes of their coffeeneuring quests.

I’ve included some photos from the Tweets as well as a rundown from the blogosphere.

Continue reading Coffeeneuring: The Final Countdown!

I Voted… In My Socks

Today was Election Day, and like a good citizen who believes in our democratic process, I rode over to my D.C. polling place after work to cast my vote. I parked my bike in the rock star parking zone right outside the community center and walked in to cast my vote.

As I stood in line to retrieve my ballot, a polling official walked over to me and said in an urgent tone, “You can’t wear those shoes in here.”

Continue reading I Voted… In My Socks

The Grand Fondue: A Superbly Challenging Bike Ride

Every once in a while it seems like a good idea to test my tandem stoker climbing skills on an ultra-hilly bike ride. The opportunity to do just that came in the shape of the Grand Fondue, a combination of dirt and paved roads ride sponsored by the Bike Doctor of Frederick, Maryland.

The full route came in at 99 miles and just over 11,000 feet of cumulative climbing, the gnarliest parts of which came in the first 60 miles of the ride. I should also add that these kinds of rides often are good ideas when I find myself sitting behind my desk dreaming about a weekend adventure.

When I heard about the plan for the Grand Fondue, I immediately embraced its concept. A ride about good roads, especially some unpaved ones. A big ride for a low cost, a mere $15 entry fee. An event with fondue and wine at the end! The additional challenge of attempting the Grand Fondue on tandem held its own appeal.

Continue reading The Grand Fondue: A Superbly Challenging Bike Ride

Coffeeneuring Rewind from S.R. in Pittsburgh, PA: Murals and Tea

I couldn’t let a week go by without a post about coffeeneuring. Today features a guest post from one of the first people to complete this year’s Coffeeneuring Challenge.

S.R., a resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, completed the challenge this past weekend. Her coffeeneuring “events” took her to a variety of places (none of which I knew, as I’m quite unfamiliar with Pittsburgh).

The narratives about S.R.’s trips feature a variety of beverages, in addition to many mural sightings, which she explains below. Events varied in length, from distances as short as 4 miles to as long as 48 miles. In addition, S.R. also met a yearly mileage goal en route to completing the challenge (well done!).

You see? Good things happen when you’re coffeeneuring.

Continue reading Coffeeneuring Rewind from S.R. in Pittsburgh, PA: Murals and Tea