Coffeeneuring season has arrived! Hard to believe that the Coffeeneuring Challenge is now in its fourth year, but I looked at my calendar and it really is true. From 12 participants that first year to over 125 last year, coffeeneuring continues to grow. I hope you will consider giving it a go this year.
Coffeeneuring is based on an idea from Joe Platzner, of the Seattle Randonneurs. As he discussed life after the 2011 edition of Paris-Brest-Paris, he noted:
A bunch of us have trained pretty hard for PBP. After PBP, I’m probably going to lobby RUSA for an official “Coffee Shop Run” medal. To earn it, you need to ride your bike slowly to a nearby coffee shop and enjoy a fine beverage.
Coffeeneuring, I thought. It’s perfect! I launched the Coffeeneuring Challenge that 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 barely updated from last year. The biggest change to the 2014 challenge is that, due to increased interest and participation in coffeeneuring, I will be offering prizes (an embroidered patch, suitable for application on all kinds of things) at the bargain price (i.e., my cost) of $4 per person (see Rule 15).
Here’s what you have to do to officially coffeeneur:
- Ride your bike to 7 different local coffee shops from Saturday October 4 through Sunday, November 16. Any place that sells coffee qualifies as a coffee shop.
- You may also coffeeneur to a Coffee Shop Without Walls. A Coffee Shop Without Walls is a place where you ride your bike to proceed to make and/or drink coffee. The Coffee Shop Without Walls is geared toward the bike overnight or bike camping participant. It also captures the farmers’ markets.
- 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.
- Only 1 coffee shop per day counts and a maximum of two rides per weekend. If you visit 7 coffee shops in one day, you may choose only one as a qualifying ride.
- 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 locale; and 5. total mileage. Also, if you find any “must visit” coffee shops or tea places please share that as well.
- Take a photo during your outing, and submit it as verification.
- Hot chocolate qualifies, as do tea beverages. 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.
- 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 grocery run, ride to the gym, an informal ride with your 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.)
- 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.
- There are no geographic limitations to the Coffeeneuring Challenge, except that your coffeeneuring must occur on planet Earth.
- You have to go to 7 different locales, although you may ride to multiple locations of a chain, if necessary. For the Coffee Shop Without Walls, you must prepare and/or drink your coffee in different places. That means seven different campsites/locales.
- Deadline for submitting Coffeeneuring Challenge entries is whenever the clock strikes midnight in your area on November 24, 2014.
- Send submissions to me at gersemalina “at” gmail.com. 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.
- Provide all qualifying rides at the same time. That is, send me all 7 together, NOT ride 1, ride 2, etc.
- Prizes! You are eligible for a small prize for finishing the challenge. Because of the increased interest in coffeeneuring, the premium will cost $4, 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, email me and we’ll figure something out.
- Tara Rule: During Columbus Day weekend (October 11-13), you have three days to accomplish two qualifying coffeeneuring rides. (This is the Tara Rule.) Update! Rresidents of Canada may use Canadian Thanksgiving in place of Columbus Day.
- Vacation Rule: This rule has been updated! 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.
- Veterans Day Rule: You may coffeeneur on November 11, Veteran’s Day, INSTEAD of the previous Saturday or Sunday (November 8 and 9). Veterans are permitted to coffeeneur on November 11 in ADDITION to Nov. 8 and 9, in recognition of their service.
- 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.
Twitter: The Twitter hashtag for the Coffeeneuring Challenge is #coffeeneuring. Only tweet if you like. This is a no-pressure situation.
Flickr: You may also 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 will do periodic roundups along the way.
I think that covers it. 19 rules for the 7-ride Coffeeneuring Challenge. I thought I might add more this year, but 19 is quite enough.
It all starts October 4. 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.