Category Archives: Coffeeneuring

Coffeeneuring Challenge Submissions Homework and Housekeeping

Welcome to Monday and Thanksgiving week! I am a bit behind on my Coffeeneuring Challenge submissions so if you submitted something to me over the weekend, you may not yet have received any reply from me.

My homework for the next few days is to catch up on reviewing your write-ups, which I look forward to doing.

Friday Coffee Club, Pittsburgh Edition

You will receive a response from me indicating that your entry arrived safely. If more than five days passes and you do not hear anything from me, it means your submission did not arrive to Coffeeneuring Headquarters so please resend it.

If you need an extension past the 25th of November in order to send in your entry, let me know. This is a relaxed deadline affair.

Also, if you used the Coffeeneurs Facebook group to post your coffeeneuring, you can email me and tell me what name or names to search, and I can use that to review your entry. Easy peasy!

That’s all for now, I think. Thanks, everyone. Even though the official coffeeneuring season is at an end, I see people are still staying in shape for next year. Bikes and coffee forever!

Coffeeneuring Quotes 2015

The 2015 Coffeeneuring Challenge is winding down, and submissions are regularly hitting my email. Thanks to everyone who participated, and to those who have yet to submit, I look forward to your paperwork!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some of what people are saying about coffeeneuring.

Why do I coffeeneur? To keep the wheels turning, the mind stimulated (all the planning requires mental enterprise!), and to enjoy my surroundings.
~AnnieBikes, Vermont

I would be remiss not to say, this was the best cycling challenge I’ve done. Challenges are so often about MORE… farther, longer, faster. This one encourages nothing more than the joy of getting on a bike and going someplace, new or familiar; a perfect way to be enjoying our fall weekends.
~Pasadena Gina in Northern Virginia

I am a bit sad to see the end of the challenge as I so enjoy doing the riding, stopping for the tea, and reading about everyone’s adventures.
~Nancy G. in Washington State

Photo credit Tom H.
Photo credit Tom H.

One more ride in celebration of this year’s challenge. Three cheers to Mary and hats off to all those who participated. Because of this we all got to make new friends from around the world.
~Midnight Rider in Massachusetts, who did a celebratory coffee ride with video!

Going straight from PBP to forced couch potato has been difficult for me. Coffeeneuring was just the motivation I needed to force myself to get out for *short*, relaxed, zero-stress rides. It’s been great for my mental health.
~Keith, Washington State

Theo and I had a blast completing the challenge, although there were definitely times where it was indeed ‘challenging’. The enthusiasm, stories, and, of course, delicious looking pictures from people all around the world really made the globe feel small sometimes.
~Dejah and Theo in Seattle

Photo credit to Bear T.
Photo credit to Bear T.

Emma called Coffeeneuring “a deeply rooted tradition” – which is true if, like Emma, you have been Coffeeneuring since you were 12.
~Charlie and Emma, Minnesota

We are coffeeneuring for glory. No, we did not ride long routes, nor invent exquisite ways. But we showed up for the challenge through the hardships of recovering bodies, Seattle weather and life demands.

And we finished, ending not with a loud gulp or a silent sip, but with a most resounding slurp. What could have been more glorious than flamboyantly tasting away tea in a in a Chinese tea house? In full bike gear after riding 4 whole miles? (Good thing we have Sevens, we were wisely told…)

Perhaps celebrating almost 12 years of close friendship, cultivated through movement – run, ride, walk – and warmth. Cheers, coffeneuring, you made our fall gloriously colorful!
~Ana and Rochelle, Seattle

Photo Credit Bill A., the ultimate coffeeneur
Photo Credit Bill A., the Ultimate Coffeeneur

Why would people look for excuses to ride their bikes to coffee shops? As with so many questions in life, the answers may be unique for each of us “coffeeneurs.”

For me, I enjoy the sense of community among people who love to ride bikes and have fun along the way. Making connections on Facebook has added a new component and the chance to see cyclists around the globe connecting.
~Biking Yogini in Northern Virginia

What a blast. I wound up not making it to any Virginia locations for this challenge, but I’m happy with the experience. There were rides with friends, meeting up with friends, looping the city, and meandering around. Just what lazy weekends were made for.
~Paris in Maryland

Thank you for the wonderful opportunity and incentive to visit coffee shops around my area.
~Chris in Iowa

Like a brevet control card, this report just doesn’t do justice to what a fantastic little game this was to play. In particular, it accomplished two things that I’m certain were intended along.

First, it reminded me of how deeply enjoyable it is to make your way through the world in the slow lane, to propel yourself forward by means of your own strength and balance, to be in your environment, to feel and follow your breath, to take pleasure in simple things, to foster community—even if traveling solo.

Secondly, it was a weekly celebration of exploration and discovery. The 2015 #coffeeneuring challenge offered me a chance for adventure in my own backyard. I visited two parks I’d never been to before, checked out a diner I hadn’t previously known about, practiced the art of making #coffeeoutside, and rambled down a host of dirt roads I had never been down. This has been remarkably fun.
~@velofolk, Michigan

Photo credit Becky and Laura
Photo credit Becky and Laura

Why do we Coffeeneur? The nice thing about Coffeeneuring is that it finds a happy balance between structure and creativity. Structure – you have to do a specific number of weekend rides, for a minimum distance, drink a beverage, and share your experience.

Creativity – you can ride whichever weekend day you choose (or both!), you can go short or long – anywhere you choose, you have lots of beverages to choose from, and it’s fun to see the wide diversity of photos and posts from all over the world.

Coffeeneuring also gives us the extra push to explore new territory and seek out locally owned businesses for our beverages and treats. We enjoy the quaint and quirky places we have found, along with the beautiful scenery.
~Becky and Laura, Washington State

This was so much fun! I’m so glad that we were able to find time to do this. Our schedule is so non-stop that we only have one day off each week, and usually that day is spent working. I’m so very glad we made time each Sunday (and one Saturday evening) to ride.
~Beth and Chris in Pittsburgh

Coffeeneuring Challenge Final Weekend: Cross the Finish Line, Friends!

Hello readers and coffeeneurs, the sun is about to set on the 2015 Coffeeneuring Challenge with the November 14 and 15 being the last official days of the challenge.

UPDATE: Coffeeneurs who are not bound by weekend days, dates extended until Friday, November 19.

Urban Adventure League asked me in the comments about how the challenge applied to those who do not work a Monday through Friday schedule, and asked about extending the dates for eligible coffeeneuring trips to the following Thursday. For those non-weekender coffeeneurs (or if you have vacation or whatever other rule might apply to you in these final days) the contest officially goes until Friday, November 19, midnight in your area!

Where will you coffeeneur, and will your challenge go out with a loud gulp or a silent sip? I eagerly await your posts and submissions.

THE Tarik Saleh
THE Tarik Saleh

Over the last 7 weeks, social media has filled with #coffeeneuring vignettes from all over the world. It is a real thrill to be part of the growing community of coffeeneurs.

Also, many thanks to those who have logged their coffee stops on the Community Coffeeneuring Destinations Map. I know people have used it as a resource when seeking out new places to grab a cup of joe.

Coffeeneuring Challenge

Each time I’ve tried to put this post together, I have ended up reviewing submissions, perusing coffeeneuring maps, and looking at coffeeneuring posts on the various social media outlets. So I’m going to try to stay focused and give you a proper and brief update!

As of this writing, the Coffeeneuring Maps (of the Google, not Magic kind) look like what you see below.

Coffeeneuring Cities Around the Globe

Coffeeneuring Cities

United States of Coffeeneuring

Coffeeneuring states

This map includes 4 finishers from the District of Columbia.

As you can see, Pennsylvania is once again putting in a strong showing of coffeeneurs, and so is Oregon. Good job, coffeeneurs.

What is also exciting is to see the geographic distribution of coffeeneurs. The maps are filling in on a global level like I have not seen before. Today I received the first 2015 submission from Canada, and I’ve already received entries from England, Germany, Sweden, and Ukraine. And Texas, too (ha ha, couldn’t help myself!).

Tarik, Felkerino, and Rudi. No women in this pic, but I took the photo so 1/2 credit!
Tarik, Felkerino, and Rudi. No women in this pic, but I took the photo so 1/2 credit!

Thank you to all who are out riding and drinking. You make the Coffeeneuring Challenge a unique social bikes ‘n coffee time of year.

So tell me, a loud gulp or a silent sip? How will you end the 2015 coffeeneuring season?

Coffeeneuring Housekeeping and Prize Reveal!

Two full weekends remain to complete the seven critical trips that result in Coffeeneuring Challenge victory. That’s four days to complete four rides (or three, if you choose to substitute Veterans Day, per Rule 19).

If you have completed at least three rides, coffeeneuring glory can be yours. Get on your bikes and ride!

In answers to the “why coffeeneur” question that people often posit, including me,  Recycled and Recounted provides a nice response in his coffeeneuring wrap-up post.

Fall leaves and Quickbeam

Coffeeneuring Highlights

I will be assembling a more complete blogroll for 2015, but in the meantime, here are a few posts and blogs for your free reading pleasure:

  • Coffee is coffee, and there are many ways to prepare it. How about instant espresso, from Jims Brews Crooze? (I think Felkerino might be fainting right now :))
  • A fine roundup from Odds and Ends out of Pittsburgh, and a bit from her and from Hard Travelin’ Q about their kickoff event at Thick Bikes. Q made donuts. Great job!
  • Speaking of Pittsburgh, it’s perfect attendance for this five-time finisher and what I call “original coffeeneur”, Type 2 Clydesdale Cyclist. Congratulations, sir!
  • Four-time finisher keithmo of Washington State put together a lovely flip book of his coffeeneuring exploits.
  • Speaking of that Washington, the inspiration for the Coffeeneuring Challenge, Joe Platzner reached the official finish line for the fourth time this year.
The Prize!

Today I’m also revealing the Coffeeneuring Challenge premium. Each of the last four years the prize has been a patch so for coffeeneuring’s fifth birthday, guess what? Another patch!

Coffeeneuring Patch, design credit to Doug
Coffeeneuring Patch, design credit to Doug

Fellow coffeeneur and graphic designer, Doug, offered his talents toward this year’s premium. The patch above will be round, in case anyone wonders. I am so happy with Doug’s work, and glad that a fellow coffeeneur designed the patch. We currently await the final real deal patch.

The Housekeeping

Since submissions are picking up, a few things to keep in mind as you finish.

  • Even if you know that I know that you are coffeeneuring, please send me a final submission via email so I can note you as an official finisher. gersemalina “at” gmail dot com.
  • Please let me know if you would like a patch. Five dollars covers your prize plus shipping ($6 if you are an international entrant) and you can PayPal or snail mail that to me after you submit.
  • If you purchase a patch, please send me an address so I can mail your prize. If you do not want a patch, please provide your city and state so I can add it to the coffeeneuring maps! You can see the most updated maps at this link from the Northeast Regional Office of Coffeeneuring.
  • If your coffeeneuring includes a theme, please let me know that in your submission so I make sure to note it. I will be including these themes in the finishers announcement.

I think that covers it. Thanks everybody! And remember, Keep Calm and Coffeeneur On. Yeah, I know. I can’t help myself.


Why Do You Coffeeneur? Maps Update!

Why do you coffeeneur? The glory? A chance to stand on the annual coffeeneuring podium?

coffeeneuring red purp

I always like reading about why people take on the challenge. Some include their reasons in their blog entries and others in their final submissions. If you have a moment, let me know what inspired you to coffeeneur this year.

Entries have begun rolling in, with a total of five 2015 finishers reaching Coffeeneuring Headquaters as of this writing. That means it’s time for the Coffeeneuring Challenge Maps!

These maps are managed by the Northeast Regional Office of Coffeeneuring, and you can track the state and cities represented in this year’s challenge by following this link.

If you look at the global map, you will see that we have our first finisher ever from Ukraine. Congratulations to Chris for making this happen!

coffeeneuring map

Below is the map of the U.S. finishers. This particular map does not show D.C. (you can see that inset by going to the Northeast Regional Office’s post), but of the four U.S. finishers so far: two hail from the District of Columbia (the District is considered a state for purposes of all Chasing Mailboxes challenges); one from Des Moines, Iowa; and one from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Congratulations to these states for making the podium!

coffeeneuring u.s.

The Magic Coffeeneuring Map (colored pencils, NOT crayon) has yet to make an appearance, but here’s hoping it will. The staff person in charge of that map has not been performing very well so send motivation if you’d like to see that map.

On a last note about maps, the Community Coffeeneuring Destinations Map is become a good resource for people seeking out new places to coffeeneur, so please take the leap and enter your 2015 stops. The Northeast Regional Office can help you access this map to add your coffee destinations.

The challenge has really grown this year so I look forward to seeing all the final submissions in the upcoming weeks. Riders have through November 15 (midnight in your area) to complete this year’s challenge. You can do it!

Dare I say… Keep Calm and Coffeeneur On.

For Eunice...
For Eunice…

Coffeeneuring Around the Blogosphere and the Destinations Map

More coffeeneuring is happening than ever before, and it’s a treat to watch and be part of it all. Coffeeneuring is fun for everyone!

If you are participating in the Coffeeneuring Challenge this year, you can enter the locations you visit in 2015 on the Communal Coffeeneuring Destinations Map, which the Northeast Regional Office of Coffeeneuring maintains.

This link provides details with how to add your stops so you should do it! Those who previously had access to the map, should still have editing rights to it. Continue reading Coffeeneuring Around the Blogosphere and the Destinations Map

Coffeeneuring Challenge Weekend One

Coffeeneuring is off to a grand start, with people near and far riding their bikes in pursuit of coffee (or related beverage). I can hardly keep up with it all. So much coffeeneuring! Continue reading Coffeeneuring Challenge Weekend One

October is for Coffeeneurs

It all starts October 3. You are ready.

Are you shaking your head saying those rules are too long, too numerous? Shake off your skepticism, friend, and dip your front wheel into the Coffeeneuring Challenge.


You have 7 weeks to do the following:

  • Get on your bike
  • Ride to a coffee shop
  • Drink a beverage
  • Take a picture
  • Ride your bike home (or elsewhere)
  • Repeat 7 times

You can do it alone, with friends, accompanied by your kiddos (or parents), in a “real” coffee shop, in a gas station, in a park. Twice in a weekend, one time a weekend, or any combination until you reach the magic number of seven. I think Marvin K. Mooney would excel at coffeeneuring.

Drink coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate, or whatever else catches your fancy (within reason). Share it on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Instagram, or don’t. It’s what you want it to be.

Hashtag it out. #coffeeneuring

Have fun, and I’ll look for you! Bikes + Coffee + October = Coffeeneuring Challenge

Becky and Laura’s First Coffeeneuring Challenge: Seattle, Washington

Time to highlight some of the coffeeneuring activity from the other Washington. Becky and Laura, two trail runners and cyclists out of the Seattle area, worked as a team to successfully meet the Coffeeneuring Challenge last year.

Cats, llamas, looky-loo loops, and yes, coffee too. They gave each of their rides titles, like chapters in a book. Lovely! Continue reading Becky and Laura’s First Coffeeneuring Challenge: Seattle, Washington

A Coffeeneuring Diary through Finland with Jussi

Jussi’s Coffeeneuring Challenge submission is a wonderful tour through his part of the world–from old forgotten places, fat bikes, meanders through forests and by rivers, to pastries I can’t even pronounce, and even a kuksa for coffee outside.

As he writes at the post’s conclusion, “For some reason, these logs turned to journals and almost travel brochures.” It made me put Finland on my list of places to visit with my bicycle. Grab a drink, relax, and please enjoy this lovely coffeeneuring entry.  Continue reading A Coffeeneuring Diary through Finland with Jussi

From Randonneur to Coffeeneur: Putting South Carolina on the Coffeeneuring Map

Last year’s edition of the Coffeeneuring Challenge welcomed the first finisher ever from the state of South Carolina. Very exciting!

The triumphant coffeeneur is Tom, a randonneur turned coffeeneur for at least seven weeks, who used both his Soma Grand Randonneur (affectionately nicknamed the Grand Coffeeneur) and a 1970s Raleigh Olympian, to help him cross the finish line. Continue reading From Randonneur to Coffeeneur: Putting South Carolina on the Coffeeneuring Map

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2015: A Dream Within a Dream

Now in its fifth year, the Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge is a relaxed weekend cycling endeavor for cyclists everywhere. If you like riding a bike and enjoy drinking coffee or tea (or even hot chocolate), consider taking on this challenge.

In a nod to the French as well as randonneuring, the Coffeeneuring Challenge has its share of rules. Don’t let them intimidate you, though. As those who have successfully completed the challenge in previous years will attest, they are all manageable.

Rules are slightly updated from last year, and include an optional “Theme Within a Theme” category, to allow people to really show off their creativity when it comes to drinking coffee and riding bikes.

Coffeeneuring 2015

Here’s what you have to do to officially coffeeneur:

  1. Ride your bike to 7 different local coffee shops from Saturday October 3 through Sunday, November 15.  Any place that sells coffee– or “coffee,” as the case may be– qualifies as a coffee shop. UPDATE: Coffeeneurs who are not bound by weekend days, challenge dates extended through FRIDAY, November 19.
  2. You may also coffeeneur to a Coffee Shop Without Walls. A Coffee Shop Without Walls is a place, such as a park or campsite, where you ride your bike to proceed to make and/or drink coffee.
  3. After much debate, it has been determined that only Saturday and Sunday rides qualify. Weekday rides are ineligible, unless one of the following applies to you:  a. You have a job that does not have a Monday through Friday tour of duty. In that case, your days off are considered your weekend; or b. You are retired, in which case you may choose any two days to complete your coffeeneuring outings. No other exceptions, unless you can make a convincing case for one. UPDATE: Someone asked me about how the challenge applied to those who do not work a Monday-Friday schedule, and asked about extending the dates for eligible coffeeneuring trips. For those non-weekender coffeeneurs (or if you have vacation or whatever other rule might apply to you in these final days) the contest officially goes until Friday, November 19, midnight in your area!
  4. Only 1 coffee shop per day counts and a maximum of two rides per weekend.
  5. Jot down a summary of your experience that includes: 1. where you went (address and website, if possible), 2. the date you went there, 3.  what you drank 4. a detail or two about your coffeeneuring ride, including your assessment of the “bike friendliness” of the location; and 5. total mileage. If you find any “must visit” coffee shops or tea places please share that as well.
  6. Take a photo during your outing or provide some other form of evidence that you rode your bike for coffee, and submit it as verification.
  7. Hot chocolate qualifies, as does tea. Apple cider is also a coffeeneuring-approved beverage. Note: Drinks do not have to be hot! They just have to be coffeeneuring-ish type drinks.
  8. You may not combine your coffeeneuring ride with any other ride such as an organized century, populaire, or brevet. You may, however, combine your coffeeneuring ride with a casual shop ride, grocery run, ride to the gym, an informal ride with friends, or other transportation/utility-oriented ride. (If you do an organized ride, you may do another, separate coffeeneuring ride on the same day, e.g., a pre- or post-event ride to get a latte either before or after your organized ride.)
  9. Your ride must be at least two miles total, but there is no maximum so yes, you could ride 100 miles (or more!) for a cup of coffee.
  10. There are no geographic limitations to the Coffeeneuring Challenge, except that your coffeeneuring must occur on planet Earth.
  11. You have to go to 7 different places, although you may ride to multiple locations of a chain, if necessary. For the Coffee Shop Without Walls, prepare and/or drink your coffee in different places. That means seven different campsites/locales.
  12. Theme Within a Theme! New for 2015, a theme within a theme is any additional theme you use to go coffeeneuring. Maybe that theme is “If you own more than one bike, ride all the bikes you own” suggested by Mr. Urban Adventure League or the @AstridBear “Tour de Kiosk” coffeeneuring theme. This is an option, but not a fast rule so have fun with it as you see fit.
  13. Deadline for submitting Coffeeneuring Challenge entries is whenever the clock strikes midnight in your area on November 25, 2015.
  14. Send submissions to me at gersemalina “at” They may be in the form of links to blog writeups, screenshots of or links to your coffeeneuring Tweets, on-line photo galleries with accompanying narrative, Word documents with attached or embedded photos, or e-mail writeups and submissions with photos attached. UPDATE! If you complete the challenge as a group, you may provide one submission for all of you, provided you completed all rides together. 
  15. Provide all qualifying rides at the same time. That is, send me all 7 together.
  16. Prizes! You are eligible for a small prize for finishing the challenge. Because of the increased interest in coffeeneuring, the premium will cost $5 which covers my costs. To purchase your prize, you may PayPal me at the gmail address above, or send your money by snail mail like grandma used to do. Email me for my address. If you are an international entry the prize will cost you an extra US $1.
  17. Tara Rule and Canadian Thanksgiving: During Columbus Day weekend (October 10-12), you have three days to accomplish two qualifying coffeeneuring rides. (This is the Tara Rule.) Residents of Canada may use Canadian Thanksgiving in place of Columbus Day.
  18. Vacation Rule: If you are on vacation during the coffeeneuring challenge, you may coffeeneur any two days of the week for the weeks you are on vacation.
  19. Veterans Day Rule: You may coffeeneur on November 11, Veteran’s Day, INSTEAD of the previous Saturday or Sunday. Veterans are permitted to coffeeneur on November 11 in ADDITION to the weekend days, in recognition of their service.
  20. Buying Beans Rule: You may use ONE of your seven coffeeneuring trips to purchase beans (or tea) from your local roaster or tea emporium for future consumption.4pic Sally and Joe

Twitter and Instagram: The hashtag for the Coffeeneuring Challenge is #coffeeneuring. Only tweet and/or post on Instagram if you like. This is a no-pressure situation.

Flickr: Share your photos in the Coffeeneuring group on flickr.

Facebook: There’s even a Coffeeneurs Facebook group where you can post and share your coffeeneuring.

Blog it: Let me know if you blog your coffeeneuring, as I’ll do periodic roundups along the way.

I think that covers it. 20 rules for the 7-ride Coffeeneuring Challenge. One more than 2014, but still, simpler than it seems.

It all starts October 3. Seven shops in seven weekends. I know you can do it!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to put them in the comments section.

Family Coffeeneuring in St. Petersburg, Florida: Downhill or Uphill, Coffeeneuring is for Everyone

With the Coffeeneuring Challenge approaching, it seems a fine time to revisit some of the travels of last year’s coffeeneurs. We kick off this year’s look back with the family Coffeeneuring Challenge team of Paul, Sally, and Joe. Continue reading Family Coffeeneuring in St. Petersburg, Florida: Downhill or Uphill, Coffeeneuring is for Everyone

Coffeeneuring is Coming

Save the Date: October 3 – November 21
7 cups, 7 weeks


More details to come…

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2014: Unofficially Official

When I announced the list of 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Finishers, reader and original coffeeneur Vannevar asked me about my own coffeeneuring for the year.

While I am a big fan of riding one’s bike in the pursuit of a good cup of coffee, there is at least one year where I did not officially complete the challenge.

Too many rules! Busy weekends! Ran out of time! You know the excuses of which I speak. In those instances, I’ve quietly awarded myself an honorable mention. E for effort!

This year, though, I’m pleased to announce that I followed all the rules and successfully crossed this year’s Coffeeneuring Challenge finish line. Below is my report for your review and enjoyment. Continue reading Coffeeneuring Challenge 2014: Unofficially Official