Today I have the pleasure of featuring a guest post from Will, who lives on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., in northern Virginia. Will is a coffeeneur who also rides for transportation as well as sport, and here is what he had to say about one of his recent coffeeneuring experiences, the bikes he’s riding to coffeeneur, and the types of riding he does.
He also poses a couple of excellent questions to the group at the end of his write-up so be sure to check those out and give your input!
Thank you, Will, for guest-posting and for being part of the Coffeeneuring Challenge!
1) Where do you live?
McLean, Virginia, about 3 miles north of the W&OD Trail, around the Falls Church section.
2) How did you decide to coffeeneur?
I saw a few mentions of coffeeneuring on Twitter/Strava/etc., last year and recognized a few of the locations which I’ve meant to visit (such as Filter in DC).
This seemed like a great excuse to try them, and having done some errandonneuring earlier this year, I discovered these challenges are more fun and varied than just logging plain mileage.
3) What bike are you using as your coffeeneuring bike? What makes it a good coffeeneuring bike?
Whichever I feel like riding on the day – I don’t believe in owning a bike I don’t ride regularly. I’m four trips into coffeeneuring and I’ve ridden three bikes so far:
- my Kona cyclocross bike (probably the most suited since it has a good balance of tire width, efficient riding position, wide gearing, and all-conditions braking);
- the singlespeed conversion (these days my favourite ride – but it’s a little overgeared and I suspect the headset and possibly the bottom bracket need some work); and
- the beater-mountain bike (since I have it set up for a front child seat, and I brought my 2 year old along on one of my trips).
My folding bike will probably get a use eventually but the small stiff wheels on bumps make it a bit jarring on my still-sensitive collarbone which I broke in May.
My usual default road bike has been on a short hiatus mostly because I need to replace the PowerTap batteries but also because I don’t use it as much for short trips or on trips where I need to lock up the bike.
4) Where did you choose to coffeeneur for this coffeeneuring trip?
For my most recent trip, I picked Caffè Amouri. I’ve heard of it before but never visited, and it’s only a suburb (or two) away, and very close to the W&OD. I do prefer trying independent places.
5) Is the coffee shop beautiful and the coffee delicious? Tell us a little about your coffeeneuring locale.
From the outside it’s definitely not beautiful, but once inside it was charming, cozy and cool! The coffee was indeed delicious too, and I appreciated the latte art. I had a 16 oz. cappuccino.
6) What other types of riding do you do besides coffeeneuring?
Commuting/transportation is easily the bulk of my riding but I do like to get out and ride on weekends (or before or after work) when I can, often with others, and sometimes organized shop rides/events/Gran Fondos/etc. especially if a lot of climbing is featured.
Most of my cycling pals are spirited but friendly road-leaning riders who also commute, though plenty enjoy gravel grinding and the odd CX race as well. I also pick up and drop off my 5 year old at the school bus stop a few times a week: a very short but regularly fun ride that requires no kitting up or prep time.
7) What else did I forget to ask you that you want to share?
What about bike parking, accessibility, and friendliness? I’d be interested in reading others’ experiences with that. Some places have bike racks (of varying quality) for parking and some just have street signs, lamp posts and railings.
The suburban places I’ve been to have been adjacent to parking lots, and so far only Caffè Amouri so far has had a bike rack available nearby (supplied/sponsored by Bikes@Vienna).
In terms of friendliness, did the business or the clientele have any particular leanings towards (or untowards) cyclists or cycling in general?
Caffè Amouri had a few flyers up inside about local cycling, which was nice, and I saw another person in running gear, so I wasn’t the only person loitering around in technical fabric.
So what do you think, coffeeneurs? What have the places you’ve visited been like in terms of parking, accessibility by bike, and overall friendliness to cyclists?