I wanted to send us into the weekend with some coffeeneuring inspiration so I called upon two coffeeneurs to help. Paul and his wife, Maureen, are doing the Coffeeneuring Challenge in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Their first stop to a Coffee Shop Without Walls looked so inviting I asked Paul if he would write a guest post about it. He agreed and here is a behind-the-scenes look at their first coffeeneuring outing.
Note: All photos in the post are courtesy of Paul. Additional coffeeneuring pics may be found on his flickr stream.
1. Where do you live?
We live in the city of Lynchburg, Virginia, a lovely town on the James River in central Virginia.
2. How did you decide to coffeeneur?
My wife Maureen actually proposed the idea. I had gotten her started reading the Chasing Mailboxes blog which is really the only bicycle blog she follows.
While I was at work one day (I’m an Instructional Coach with Bedford County Schools) I was very surprised to receive a forwarded Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring email from her that said “Up for the challenge?! I bet we can DO it!” to which I responded “Seriously?” and she came back with “Why NOT?! :-)”.
And so we were in for the Third Annual Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge and began to compile a list of potential destinations.
3. What bike are you using as your coffeeneuring bike? Tell us a little about it and what makes it a good coffeeneuring bike.
We will be doing the challenge on our beloved Santana Noventa tandem, affectionately known as “The Great White”. While we have several other half-bikes, after 35 years of marriage we enjoy the close companionship of the tandem. If we are going to spend time lingering over coffee, we may as well spend some quality time close together on the tandem as well.
4. Where did you choose to coffeeneur for your first coffeeneuring trip? It looks like a lovely spot.
Our first attempt at coffeeneuring was not ideal. We had delayed our first foray to Sunday, only to then realize that nearly every locally owned coffee shop was closed on Sunday! Yes, there are three Starbucks in town, but that wasn’t what we wanted to do, and so we opted for the Coffee Shop Without Walls option.
We rode a total of about 15 miles on the James River Heritage Trail system, stopping for our coffee break at the Hollins Mill Park, which includes the old dam for the now defunct and demolished Hollins Mill. There are also several picnic tables in the park above the dam that are nice, but we lucked out and got the secluded spot with a view of the waterfall.
5. The coffee press seen in your Coffee Shop Without Walls is beautiful. Would you tell us about it and also… how do you keep it so shiny?
The decision to use the Coffee Shop Without Walls option meant we had to decide how to make the coffee. Initially I was getting together a French Press method, but then ever-wise Maureen suggested the moka pot. We had lived in Italy while I was in the Navy, and adopted many Italian customs, including some of their coffee methods.
This moka pot is the Chérie model by 3B which we purchased in Italy. It is polished 18/10 stainless with gold accents and it stays much shinier than the more common Bialetti moka pots. It also stays shiny because it actually doesn’t get used that much in a house where we also do French press, have an electric Bialetti moka pot as well as an espresso machine!
6. What other types of riding do you do besides coffeeneuring?
These days most of our riding is shorter rides for fitness and fun. However, one reason I pointed Maureen to your blog was that I was inspired by the riding that you and Felkerino do, and we are now looking at stretching our legs more and trying some touring and longer distance riding.
I have joined RUSA and D.C. Randonneurs and would like to try randonneuring, either by myself or with Maureen on the tandem. I also enjoy fire road/gravel road riding and exploring the backcountry.
7. What else did I forget to ask you that you want to share?
We (I…) have come to realize that it isn’t about the distance or speed that you ride, but rather about the experience, simply being outside with friends and loved ones and enjoying the experience of riding. Of course, coffee certainly helps!
Beautiful. Thank you, Paul for the great guest post and I look forward to seeing more of Maureen’s and your coffeeneuring on The Great White!
Have a great weekend, everybody.