coffeeneuring Chinatown Coffee

Coffeeneuring Week 1: It’s On!

We’re almost one week into the Coffeeneuring Challenge, and already I’m amazed by all the people riding their bikes to tasty beverages all over the land.

Some ride to four-walled establishments, and others enjoy beverages in the open air.

Much of the coffeeneuring activity is taking place on Twitter (search the #coffeeneuring hashtag), the Coffeeneurs Facebook group, and it’s also going strong on Instagram (also on the #coffeeneuring hashtag). If you’re on flickr, the Coffeeneuring group is here. Please join in as you like.

In this week’s update, I would like to draw your attention to the Coffeeneur Challenge bloggers. Here’s what I know:

  • The Daily Randonneur rode from D.C. into West Virginia, over the weekend and stopped at one of our favorite coffee places in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Lost Dog Cafe.
  • A meander through Seattle ends at a Starbucks for Andy’s Bike Blog.
  • Vélovoice enjoys a cappuccino and a visit to St. Andrew’s Church for her first coffeeneuring trip. Also, roosters!
  • Rootchopper goes “Coffeeneuring in Car Hell,” but discovers Grounded Coffee in the process.
  • Captain Overpacker adds a coffeeneuring trip onto a day of riding for a cause and throws in a reference to one of my favorite movies when I was a teen, Pretty in Pink (I wanted to make my own prom dress, too).
  • Red Riding goes team coffeeneuring with some of the Pittsburgh crew.
  • Joe Flood checks out the Old Caribou that is now a Peets on his first coffeeneuring ride in Washington, D.C. Maybe I’ll check it out myself.
  • It’s an almond milk Cafe au Lait for West Coast coffeeneur Rosie on the Move. Atlas Coffee sounds delicious!
  • The Bagel Cafe is stop one for All Kinds of Bikes. Welcome back to coffeeneuring!
  • Cruisin’ Downhill heads to the Farmer’s Market for a latte. Looks like a pretty ride. Also, I like the name tag on the back of the helmet.
  • Coffeeneuring doesn’t mean you have to drink coffee. Nancy’s going the tea route, and blogging about it on Adventures With Nancy.
  • Original coffeeneur Type 2 Clydesdale Cyclist of the fine coffeeneuring town of Pittsburgh is back for his fourth consecutive year.
  • One Speed: Go! is family coffeeneuring in Arizona.
  • Coffeeneuring in South Dakota? It’s true! Read all about it on The MinusCar Project.
  • Urban Adventure League went preseason coffeeneuring in Oregon to make sure the coffee shop without walls was in order.
  • Two trips down in the first weekend, and one of them is another coffee shop sans walls– Life in the Cycle Lane.
  • A little bit of everything in marathonsam‘s post: running, yoga, trail shoes, and most important, coffeeneuring!

Did I miss you? It’s quite possible! Please let me know in the comments, and I’ll add you to the roundup.

Mile 19 Freedom's Run

Freedom’s Run Marathon: The Eventure Continues

Run Summary

I first participated in Freedom’s Run Marathon in 2009, its inaugural year. I remembered loving the course — the way it rambled around Harpers Ferry, traveled along the C&O, and eventually crawled away from the Shenandoah River into the beautiful, hallowed, and hilly place that is Antietam Battlefield.

I even liked the mileage loop out and back to Murphy Farm Overlook, although it can be a little crowded on the relatively narrow footpath. It’s a good spot to watch the sun come up.

Me, Freedom's Run

I returned to Freedom’s Run this past Saturday for the second time. It fit well into my eventure scheme and I wanted to know how, if at all, the run had changed.

The course is as spectacular and scenic as ever. The rolling hills in the battlefield have not become any less rolling, and the vistas the course offers throughout are remarkable.

It’s the only marathon I’ve ever run that requires me to descend a staircase (the Spiral Staircase, as many of us know from our rides out that way), and one of few where the course spreads out quickly and such that you have plenty of time for contemplation. Freedom’s Run is a rare treat, and if you ever have a chance to do it, you should.

Antietam

Participation appears to have grown some, although a look through the results showed that fewer than 500 people completed the marathon this year. I think Freedom’s Run draws people like me, who are looking for a scenic event with a small-town feel, and it also appeals to out-of-towners who want to run a marathon in all 50 states.

There is not a lot of fan support, but there are enough people out and about cheering and volunteering that I never lost the feel of being in an organized event.

Water stops were located every three or so miles, negating my need to carry water, although I generally like to bring my own bottle so that I am not wasting plastic cups. All in all, Freedom’s Run is a well-organized event that travels an interesting route and maintains low-key informality.

The runners life: volunteers, drinks, and a port o' potty
The runner’s life: volunteers, drinks, and a port o’ potty

Play by Play 

At 6 a.m. I departed my hotel for the marathon and proceeded to lose myself in the campground down from the hotel en route to the start. I thought about returning to the hotel and bagging the run, figuring if I was stupid enough to lose myself in a KOA that maybe that meant I didn’t deserve to run this day.

I sought help from my friend and fellow runner Kirstin who was waiting at the run’s packet pickup. She remote controlled my sad self to where I needed to go. Thank you, friend!

The run began and after running with Kirstin for a bit I was on my own. The small field quickly spread out and this gave me plenty of time with my thoughts. Just me and my thoughts, thinking together.

C&O Freedom's Run me

“What shall we think about, thoughts?”

“Let’s think about whether this bike-run-bike combo is a very good idea!”

I pitter pattered along the C&O, contemplating my life choices.

My thoughts and I bantered and concluded this was not a good idea. Note: this conclusion was reached around mile 15, when nothing seems like a good idea. Most everyone has their marathon low points and recently mine have come around then.

At the time, I thought my low point was at mile 13, but it turns out that I had lost count of the miles I’d run. Mile 15 showed up and I realized I had experienced a marathon miracle!

Felkerino Freedom's Run

Around this time Felkerino rode past me on his Atlantis, and he then kept me company for the next three miles or so. That was fun and his presence, encouragement, and picture-taking lifted my spirits.

And then… Antietam. Felkerino had taken off to coffeeneur in Shepherdstown so I was running solo. I did not mind that at all, though, because running through Antietam is amazing.

Antietam

 

The terrain constitutes big scenic rollers and as I said, there is something holy about that place. I took a few photos with my cell phone, and ran/walked along while savoring my time there.

Antietam

Felkerino met me again at mile 23, and we talked for a couple of minutes before I set my mind to finishing. I dutifully plowed my way to mile 26.2, and finished in what I believe is my second slowest marathon time ever.

Freedom's Run medal
Obligatory marathon bib and medal photo

Oh well, I still earned a t-shirt, a medal, and a commemorative pint glass for my effort. My body had the normal aches and pains after a long run, but overall I felt good.

The mental game had proven the most difficult, as I was unsure how a 67-mile bike ride the day before would affect my running in addition to thinking that I had to save enough energy for the ride back to D.C. on Sunday.

Kirstin and me at the finish
Kirstin and me at the finish

Many thanks to Kirstin and Tom C., Felkerino, the weather, and the volunteers for making Freedom’s Run a great way to spend 26.2 miles in West Virginia.

And thank you again, Kirstin, for getting me to the start line after I lost my bearings in the campground. Next time I’ll know better! Maybe!

And now, we return to our regularly scheduled Coffeeneuring Challenge programming…

C&O and Surly LHT

Choose Your Own Eventure: C&O Bike Tour to a Marathon

Hello friends. I’ve just returned from a weekend concept ride I’ve been plotting for the past year. It involved a 134-mile mini bike tour from Washington, D.C., out the C&O to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and the Freedom’s Run marathon.

Leaves  on the C&O

I don’t know what I was expecting, but what I ended up with was a satisfying fall weekend full of movement that was also 100 percent car-free. The perfect eventure.

Given that Freedom’s Run begins very near the C&O, this marathon sets up well as a weekend bike tour-marathon combination. After years of randonneuring, bike touring, and running, I wanted to see what would happen when I combined aspects of all three in some way.

Multi-day event? Randonneuring. Out and back on the C&O? Bike touring. Marathon in the middle? Running. One part organized event, one part my own informal thing. And so my eventure took shape.

C&O Mary's Wall Surly LHT

Friday, I took off solo into partly sunny skies that turned cloudy and then released a steady drizzle from around 15 miles on. This worked in my favor, as the temperatures remained warm and the dreary day cleared the towpath of most people. Pretty much me and the squirrels out there.

Leaves fell gently in front of my path and drizzle moistened my arms and glasses, but it wasn’t so bad. Falling leaves actually create a romantic atmosphere until a few smack you in the face. Ouch.

I plodded steadily to Harper’s Ferry, knowing I had a full day to complete just under 70 miles.

I did not want to wear out my legs, as I had 26.2 miles to run the following day. I stopped several times along the way to take photos. The bright hues of freshly fallen leaves were too enticing to not photograph, despite the dreary lighting.

Fall leaves and Surly LHT on C&O

Felkerino met me that evening, doing his own concept ride. He left after 6:30 p.m. from D.C. and arrived in Harpers Ferry at 1:15 a.m. after enduring a lot of steady rain, indeed, what some might call downpours. Darn randonneurs, they’ll ride anytime, any weather (eye roll)!

Saturday’s marathon came and went, and my body felt pretty good throughout (a separate post about that later). My time was slower than my normally slow pace, but knowing that I needed to ride 67 miles the day after completing the marathon I never pushed my effort.

Felkerino, Bridge leaving Harpers Ferry

Our Sunday return was much less painful than I imagined it would be, and it was a glorious day. The clouds cleared on Saturday afternoon and sunny blue skies remained for Sunday.

Temperatures had dropped into the 30s overnight, our first cold overnight of the season.

I was so glad to be riding the C&O towpath. I did not have to worry about paying constant attention to car traffic, and the lack of stopping and starting at intersections was a benefit to my tired legs.

Felkerino on the C&O

The C&O is a special place to ride, especially in the fall. The canal’s locks and neighboring lockhouses remind me of all the comings and goings the C&O has seen since it was first built in 1828. Tree colors begin to turn, and the crunching of leaves under bike tires tell you that time is passing.

C&O Canal

I don’t aspire to duathlons or tris, but I loved combining transportation cycling and bike touring with my running. I am so glad to have made this eventure happen, grateful for Felkerino’s support and encouragement, and proud of my body for its durability all along the way.

2013bsCoffee6

Mr. and Mrs. Bike Snick Go Coffeeneuring

We can’t go into the weekend (THE FIRST WEEKEND OF OFFICIAL COFFEENEURING SEASON) without another example of how coffeeneuring happens.

And, of course, it’s always nice to give the locals of #BikeDC and #BikeArlington a shout-out, especially ones who’ve taken such care with capturing their coffeeneuring images. With that, I present you with the coffeeneuring rides of Mr. and Mrs. Bike Snick from this past year.

2013bsCoffee1

#1, 10/5/2013
Where: Greenberry’s McLean, VA ()
What: tall iced coffee with 2 pumps of sweetener
Which bike: Fixed gear bicycle.

I finally got warmed up on the way home. Although the outside temperature is in the mid 70s (F), our house is cold, 68 degrees.

Mrs. Bike Snick is making 3 cakes (!) for a wedding today and the Italian buttercream frosting needs to be cool.

How far: 3 miles

2013bsCoffee2

#2, 10/6/2013
Where: Starbucks, McLean, VA
What: venti carmel soy frappucino with 5 shots (rewards drink)
Which bike: Fixed gear bicycle.

Mrs. Bike Snick joined me on her road bike. We sat outside enjoying the newspaper and beautiful day.

How far: 3 miles

2013bsCoffee3

#3, 10/13/2013
Where: Star*Nut Gourmet, McLean, VA ()
What: tall dark coffee and half a slice of apple pie
Which bike: Fixed gear bicycle.

Mrs. Bike Snick joined me on her road bike. It was nice when the rain stopped.

We enjoyed reading, splitting a piece of apple pie and sitting outside.

How far: 3.6 miles

2013bsCoffee4

#4, 10/14/2013
Where: Peregrine Espresso, Eastern Market ()
What: soy latte
Which bike: CaBi.

Rode with Mrs. Bike Snick. This was our first time using CaBi. We had two free 24 hour passes from Bike To Work Day. The passes worked great and the bikes were easy to use.

It was fun planning multiple hops that were less than 30 minutes. We saw Georgetown, L Street cycle track, the White House, Pennsylvania Ave cycle track, the Capitol, 11St Local Bridge overlook, Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, Nationals Park, and more.

How far: 13.3 miles

2013bsCoffee5

#5, 10/19/2013
Where: Chesapeake Bagel Bakery
What: small bold coffee, half of a cinnamon roll
Which bike: Fixed gear bicycle.

Rode with Mrs. Bike Snick on her road bike. She has completed 4 coffeeneuring rides now and is enjoying it.

It was cloudy and we felt a few sprinkles. On the way to coffee we stopped at CVS to get a picture printed. This was the topsy-turvy cake my wife made for a friend’s wedding. After coffee we picked up the prints.

How far: 3.2 miles

2013bsCoffee6

#6, 10/20/2013
Where: Caribou Coffee, Falls Church 
What: small bold coffee, half of a cranberry scone
Which bike: road bicycle.

My wife joined me on her road bike. It was sunny and a great day for riding. We enjoyed sitting outside and reading some of the newspaper.

How far: 5.3 miles

2013bsCoffee7

#7, 11/10/2013
Where: Starbucks, Idylwood Plaza Falls Church 
What: tall bold coffee, half of a chocolate brownie
Which bike: fixed gear bicycle.

Mrs. Bike Snick joined me on her road bike.

It was mostly sunny, but very windy. The temperature was fine, but it was too windy to sit outside.

How far: 5.3 miles

2013bsCoffee8

#8 (Mrs. Bike Snick’s #7), 11/11/2013
Where: Greenberry’s McLean, VA )
What: tall dark coffee, half of a chocolate chip scone
Which bike: fixed gear bicycle.

Mrs. Bike Snick joined me on her road bike; this ride completes her 7th coffeeneuring ride.

It was cloudy and windy, but we sat outside reading under Greenberry’s heat lamps – nice!

The manager came outside to tell us two new bicycle racks have been installed across the street. These are among several recently added in downtown McLean. The racks will be dedicated later this week by Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust.

How far: 3.7 miles

Congratulations on completing the challenge, Team Bike Snick! I hope you are up for another round of coffeeneuring. It all starts again October 4!

Martin Coffeeneuring

Coffeeneurs International: Martin in Ye Olde England

It’s not every day that someone says coffeeneuring has the potential to change his or her life. Coffee and bike riding can be powerful stuff, however, so who’s to say it isn’t these little pleasures that have great impact on us over time?

I will let you ponder that, as I share this post from Martin, who resides across the ocean from my house, and traveled many places in the completion of last year’s challenge.

This Coffeeneuring Challenge is ideal for me. And in a small way might even change my life.

I entered the challenge in absolutely the correct spirit because it came after a year in which I felt I was living on the bike. This is because all through the bitter cold of the winter months I was riding 200 kilometres each month to achieve my small red badge that is the mark of the Randonneur Round The Year.

At the same time I was also training to ride from London to Edinburgh and back in a 1,400 kilometre event. So you see the opportunity to ride just a mile and have a nice day beverage each week was an opportunity not to be missed.

In fact I started to enjoy riding my bike. So I might just make a point of coffeeneuring all year round. It is certainly much more enjoyable than setting an alarm for 3 o’clock in the morning and riding a bike in sub-zero temperatures for 14 hours. And to make matters worse this was a really cold winter in England.

As you can see from the list of coffee shops I visited, I also rode my bike across northern Spain from from Madrid back to France.

This was all good fun and provided some fine opportunities to drink coffee but crossing the Pyrenees in a torrential rainstorm was rather more character building for me than I would have liked…

So here is the list of what I did and where I drank coffee, and many thanks for arranging the challenge. I tweeted about my coffee and sent a photograph with the tweet. (Editor’s note: The text of each Tweet is included below each photo.)

Ride 1
October 9

Saw this: had to stop for #coffeeneuring at the Six Bells pub in the  English village of Chiddingly @coffeeneur

Saw this: had to stop for #coffeeneuring at the Six Bells pub in the English village of Chiddingly @coffeeneur.

A delightful 150 year old small pub called the Six Bells in the small Kent village of Chiddingly.

Distance ridden about 30 miles.

Ride 2
October 14

My "weekend" so time to tell @coffeeneur I am #coffeeneuring - while buying a stove windshield for my next expedition

My “weekend” so time to tell @coffeeneur I am #coffeeneuring – while buying a stove windshield for my next expedition.

The Pret a Manger coffee shop in the centre of my local town.

Distance exactly 2.2 miles.

Ride 3
October 21

Popped on the bike to pick up money before next expedition to Spain on the bike, @coffeeneur is, I hope, jealous

Popped on the bike to pick up money before next expedition to Spain on the bike, @coffeeneur is, I hope, jealous.

A small coffee shop near my bank where I picked up money for my ride across northern Spain.

Distance 2.2 miles.

Ride 4
October 28

My weekly #coffeeneuring ride, this time in Spain. @coffeeneur will be pleased to hear this was part of a 110k day.

My weekly #coffeeneuring ride, this time in Spain. @coffeeneur will be pleased to hear this was part of a 110k day.

A small Spanish town where we were the only customers in a tiny coffee shop.

Distance about 70 miles.

Ride 5
October 30

Hope @coffeeneur is envious I crossed the Pyrenees in a freezing rainstorm yesterday: today #coffeeneuring is this

Hope @coffeeneur is envious I crossed the Pyrenees in a freezing rainstorm yesterday: today #coffeeneuring is this.

A small coffee shop on the border between France and Spain. The sun was shining and it was a real delight – and much nicer than crossing the Pyrenees in a storm the day before.

Distance about 45 miles.

Ride 6
November 4

#coffeeneuring with time for reading. Hoping @coffeeneur would be proud of me. An independent coffee shop, as well.

#coffeeneuring with time for reading. Hoping @coffeeneur would be proud of me. An independent coffee shop, as well.

A newly opened coffee shop in town.

Distance exactly 2.2 miles.

Ride 7
November 11

Enjoying #coffeeneuring cycling challenge so much I might do it every week of the year. @coffeeneur  wouldn't mind...

Enjoying #coffeeneuring cycling challenge so much I might do it every week of the year. @coffeeneur wouldn’t mind…

The closest coffee shop to the bicycle rack in the centre of town. I could see my bike from where I drink coffee.

Distance exactly 2.2 miles.

So that’s it.

Thank you again, Martin, for your delightful summary. This year’s Coffeeneuring Challenge starts October 4!

Sea Gull Century

Flat, Fast, & Camaraderie-Filled: My First Time at the Sea Gull Century

Crowded and flat. Windy. Dangerous. The words often used to describe the Sea Gull Century out of Salisbury, Maryland, did not endear me to it.

For more than 10 years I had avoided the Sea Gull, telling people that I wasn’t sure if it was the ride for me.

Sea Gull Century

This year two registrations fell into Felkerino’s and my laps thanks to our BikeDC friends Ted and Jean, and with a near-perfect forecast on the horizon I cast my reticence aside and made up my mind to see what all the fuss was about.

In the No Surprises Here department, we rode tandem. Recently tuned up, our Co-Motion comes in handy in a headwind, and it’s what we’ve been riding all summer. I actually feel out of practice on my single bike, but that’s another story.

Brompton
Brompton

The Sea Gull Century route covers Maryland’s Eastern Shore, including the towns of Berlin and– the highlight of the ride– Assateague Island. It’s non-undulating, you might say.

Having been quite taken as a child with the story of Misty of Chincoteague, I was also curious to see the wild ponies of Assateague.

I imagined noble elegant ponies with heads held high, like something out of The Man From Snowy River, but friends warned me that the ponies were mangy and crazy. “Don’t look them in the eye!”

Brompton
Brompton

Despite my aversion to flat terrain and deranged wildlife, I found myself looking forward to this century. We’d have plenty of company (this ride draws approximately 8,000 people) and I considered it a nice reward for my legs and my fitness after spending almost all of the last six months doing long rides in the hills.

I was a little worried about the danger aspect, since I was not sure of the skill level of the other riders, and crashing did not appeal to me no matter how much drama it might add to my day.

Andrea and Bones

Flat, fast, and full of camaraderie, the Sea Gull Century exceeded all my expectations. We never rode alone, and the riders around us all held their lines and pace well.

Level terrain made it easier for us as a tandem to be around single bikes, as the differences in our momentum were not nearly as noticeable when compared to a rolling or hilly course.

1974 Raleigh
1974 Raleigh

We saw fatbikes, hand cycles, racey road bikes, velomobiles, folding bikes, and several tandems of varying make and vintage. I even saw a person on a unicycle. It was like being part of RAGBRAI for the day, only on the Eastern Shore. And no kringla. But there was pie and ice cream, apparently a tradition at the 85-mile rest stop.

Time out for pie at mile 85
Time out for pie at mile 85

And ponies! In Assateague (mile 63), I was feeling a little disappointed about not seeing the mean-spirited wild horses, but all my Sea Gull dreams were meant to come true, I guess, because as we left the island we saw at least three of them on the roadside opposite us.

The horses didn’t seem so crazy to me. I didn’t go over and introduce myself, but from what I saw they seemed hungry for green grass and nonplussed by cyclists. The wild ponies of Assateague were not the noble animals of my childhood imaginings, but they had a primal beauty about them.

Wild pony sighting!
Wild pony sighting!

After we finished, I could not believe how quickly the time had flown by. 100 miles, and that was it. Done for the day! It was a feeling only made possible by the big rides done earlier in the season.

I had no regrets about waiting to take on the Sea Gull Century, but I realized that I had overlooked all the ride’s up-sides.

This is probably the largest paid century in our area so you are likely to see at least one person you know, either on the route or at the finishing area. It may not be the most scenic course, but there are wild ponies!

Sea Gull Century

You see cyclists of all abilities. For some, this is their first century ride ever. For others, it’s the only century they do in a given year. And for people like us, it’s a welcome change of pace. I liked being part of this large circle of riders.

I’m not a fast rider, but Felkerino and I were able to maintain an 18.5 miles per hour moving average over the course of the day and take an hour off the bike, without flailing ourselves. This course is good for a person’s ego.

Felkerino and me. Photo by Andrea Matney
Photo by Andrea Matney

I do wish there had been more real food to eat (or maybe if all the rest stops offered pie, ha ha!), but if I ever rode this again I’d probably tuck away a sandwich and potato chips in the Carradice.

The ride organizers totally know what they are doing. It’s easy to park, find the start, grab your cue sheet, and go. Professional photographers are positioned at various spots along the course. The route is clearly marked throughout and course marshals and local police keep riders flowing through the intersections so stops and starts are minimal.

#BikeDC boys at the finish.
#BikeDC boys at the finish.

It was really a great day on the bike. Many thanks to our friends Jean and Ted, who were unable to ride and gave us their Sea Gull Century registrations. Without them, I’d still be wondering what all the fuss was about. Now, we’re seriously considering riding the Sea Gull again next year.

My full set of pics here.

Jason Coffeeneuring 3

Team Coffeeneuring with Jason in Lancaster, PA

October 4 is when it all starts– the 2014 edition of the Coffeeneuring Challenge. Yes, it’s less than a week away so I hope you’re getting ready.

There’s no one way to coffeeneur. You can do it by yourself. You can do it with your friends. You can pedal to an actual coffee shop, or you can go to a gas station that sells what is supposedly coffee and call it good. And there’s always the option for a Coffee Shop Without Walls, too.

While you develop your own strategy, I’m sharing Jason‘s Coffeeneuring Challenge summary from last year. Jason was the first person from Lancaster to ever complete one of my challenges. His summary is full of fall riding with bicycling buddies, and tasty coffee beverages. I do hope you enjoy it.

Introduction

I’m a very active bicyclist here in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and my passion for biking is well-known within my circle of friends. Upon discussing my plans to complete the challenge, many of those friends expressed interest in joining in as well. I wasn’t sure what to think or how to approach this, as many of them are casual bike riders.

I offered a pre-challenge group ride to a local favorite brunch the weekend before the Coffeeneuring Challenge was to begin. Six of us rode thirteen miles to The Tomato Pie Café in nearby Lititz, Pennsylvania, for brunch & coffee drinks.

I had never led a group ride before let alone plot a route. The ride was great, brunch was great and we laid out plans for the next seven weekends. We would assemble a group of anyone willing to join us, ride somewhere to a café, have a bite and a drink, then head home.

I could not have anticipated just how much these rides would affect the participants. Our group stayed small but grew for each consecutive ride, finishing with twelve riders on my seventh coffeeneuring ride.

Each weekend, my circle of friends looked forward to getting out on bikes and visiting a coffee shop. I took suggestions from the group, one coffee ride devolved into a beer ride, at least the participants had never ridden a “real” bike for any meaningful distance. In the end, our seven coffee rides totaled 23 unique participants, collectively riding a total of 157 miles!

In closing, of just like to thank you again for creating this great event and I can guarantee you a contingent of finishers from Lancaster, PA for the next challenge.

Sincerely,
Jason I.

Jason Coffeeneuring 1

Ride #1
10/6/13, 4:30 pm
With Lauren, Rob, Jessica Tim, Erica, & Kaley
Original destination: Grand Central Bagel
Actual destination: Chestnut Hill Café
Total distance: 14.5 miles
Drink: Frozen Pumpkin Spice Latte

We originally planned to ride 7 miles to Grand Central Bagel but upon arrival, learned that they close early on Sundays. We regrouped and headed back to town for a drink at Chestnut Hill Café. 7 of us rode together, some friends, some strangers.

All together, a very nice ride, despite the unforeseen change of plans.

Jason Coffeeneuring 2

Ride #2
10/12/13, 3:30 pm
With Jessica, Erica, Tim, Nathan, Eddie, Dan, & Zeke
Destination: Prince Street Café
Total distance: 19.4 miles
Drink: Swirly Squirrel Latte (caramel, hazelnut & cinnamon)

Today’s ride took us through some rolling neighborhoods and into Amish farmland before turning for home & ending the ride at the very popular downtown Prince Street Café.

I had a yummy latte and a delicious raspberry coconut muffin and our group of 8 riders had a great time once again.

Jason Coffeeneuring 3

Ride #3
10/13/13, 3 pm
With Lauren, Jessica, Erica, Tim, Dan, Rob, Brett, Erica, Jay, & Holly
Starbucks Lincoln Hwy
Total distance: 19.5 miles
Grande iced caramel macciato

A study of contrast. We headed south today, through neighborhoods & farmland, our destination was the most commercial, the Starbucks at the outlet mall along the very busy Lincoln Highway.

The return trip traveled through other neighborhoods, a quiet business park and more quiet neighborhoods. Most have agreed that this was the best ride to date. Participants have started inviting their friends along!

Jason Coffeeneuring 4

Ride 4
10/19, 11 am
With Lauren, Jessica, Nathan, Zeke & Isaac
Tomato Pie Café, Lititz
Total distance: 25.8 miles
Drink: Caramel Apple Cider

A small group today because of iffy weather. We made the best of it with a return visit to Tomato Pie. The place was packed so we took our food & drinks to go and had a picnic in the park across the street.

Out return trip included hijacking the course of a Zombie Run 5k. Yikes!

Jason Coffeeneuring 5

Ride 5
11/2/13, 10:30 am
With Lauren, Jessica, Erica, Nathan, Zeke, Isaac, Dan, Kaley, Jake & Nancy
Grand Central Bagel Shop
Total distance: 15 miles
Drink: Pumpkin Pie Chai Latte smoothie

This time they were open, and good thing, we had a big group of thirsty bikers! The weather was warm enough to justify frozen drinks for many of us and we further enjoyed the sunshine by relaxing on their patio for nearly an hour.

Good conversation among good friends included plans for our final coffee ride in two weeks.

Jason Coffeeneuring 6

Ride 6
11/9/13, 10:30 am
With Lauren, Jessica, Nathan, Dan, Kaley, Dan, Fran, Heidi & Tim
Higher Grounds, Mount Joy
Total distance: 38 miles
Drink: Dark roast coffee, cinnamon scone

Three beginners joined our caffeinated cyclists for a trip suggested by one of our own. Not a short trip, but not an easy one either.

We were rewarded with yummy drinks & snacks and a chance to return via a portion of rail trail in full fall foliage. Certainly the longest of any of our rides.

Our group finished at Lancaster Brewing Company as it was agreed that we’d earned burgers & beers.

Jason Coffeeneuring 7

Ride 7
11/16/13, 1:00 pm
With Lauren, Jessica, Erica, Nathan,Zeke, Dan, Kaley, Erica, Justin, Jay & Brett
Café Chocolate, Lititz
Total distance: 25 miles
Drink: Frozen Strawberry Chocolate Blast

Even on our last coffee official ride, we managed a new recruit! The ride was an already familiar route to many in the group, with a new destination, a place many of us had hoped to visit for the first time.

We were lucky in the weather once again, with unseasonably warm temps. Again our ride finished say a local watering hole, this time The Fridge, where we were met by four other folks who couldn’t make the ride.

We had a nice little wrap up session and then continued on further with a sushi dinner to close our 2013 coffeeneuring adventure.

Congratulations once again, Jason, and thank you so much for your friend-filled guest post!

Riders on PBP 2011

All Dressed Up For PBP: The Towns Along the Way

This is the latest in a series of posts I’ve been planning about the incomparable international randonneuring event, Paris-Brest-Paris.

Previously, I wrote about Drew Buck, who completed PBP 2011 on a 1900 Peugeot, a as well as the tandem bicycles (Post 1 and Post 2). Today I’m talking about the towns along the PBP route. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,489 other followers