As I continue to homologate results, I learn more about the appeal of the Coffeeneuring Challenge. Liz, today’s guest contributor, is a #BikeDC commuter who rides extensively during the week– 28 miles every day. She used the Coffeeneuring Challenge as an opportunity to work in more casual weekend riding.
As a bicycle commuter with a 28-mile round trip commute, I have no lack of time in the saddle. However, with a husband and busy son, I rarely take time for pleasure rides on the weekend. If I’m on the bike, it is usually a quick trip to the grocery store. So thank you for the Coffeeneuring Challenge, because it added some variety to my cycling!
#1: Pastry Xpo in Merrifield, VA (October 13, 2012, 14.8 miles)
A group of us had just attended a ribbon cutting for a new bike lane in our county. Being cyclists, they had no objection to my suggestion that we stop for coffee. I had decaffeinated coffee and a cranberry scone. Highly recommended!
# 2. Caribou Coffee in Crystal City, VA (October 14, 2012, 29.7 miles)
I had to teach a class in Crystal City, so I came early and had a Pumpkin Spice Decaf Latte while frantically reviewing my notes for class.
3. Caffe Amouri in Vienna, VA (October 20, 21012, 2.7 miles)
I went to the Vienna Farmer’s Market with the intention of buying coffee there, but the coffee purveyor did not have any decaf. I bought an Apricot Jalousie from a vendor and went across the street to Caffe Amouri for a cup of decaf. I enjoyed my treats while watching people playing at the caboose, riding by on the W&OD Trail and making their way to and from the Farmer’s Market.
4. Whole Foods in Vienna, VA (October 28, 2012, 2.0 miles)
Hurricane Sandy was blowing in and we needed provisions! I rode my bike to the grocery store to stock up. While there, I enjoyed a spiced pumpkin decaf latte. I did not discern any major flavor difference between pumpkin spice (Caribou) vs. spiced pumpkin (Whole Foods).
5. Silva’s Patisserie in Vienna, VA (November 3, 2012, 2.2 miles)
This pastry shop is a little gem, located just a couple of blocks from the W&OD Trail. They have the most wonderful baked goods! I had a cup of decaf and an almond croissant. I am not usually a croissant lover, but it was heavenly. Stop here if you find yourself in need of sustenance on the W&OD in Vienna.
6. Community Canteen in Reston, VA (November 10, 2012, 34.3 miles)
Emboldened by my coffeeneuring success, I expanded my weekend riding and went on my first shop ride ever. Afterwards, I went for coffee (decaf, as usual) and an omelette with the other cyclists at this wonderful restaurant. And while I acknowledge that coffeeneuring cannot be part of an organized ride, please note I rode my bike (7+ miles each way) to actually get to the shop ride.
Also, this was the first cup of coffee consumed for the challenge served in actual china. Classy!
7. 7-Eleven in Washington, DC (November 11, 2012, 44.5 miles)
My husband and son were out of town, so I took a long ride to enjoy the fall color along Sligo Creek in Maryland. Afterwards, I stopped at . . . 7-Eleven?!
In all seriousness, we used to live in the neighborhood and know the family that operates this store. I stop by to say hello whenever I get to those parts. I bought a Peppermint Mocha Latte (you were expecting decaf?), muffin and banana. The parking lot ambience left something to be desired, but what can I say, I have low brow tastes.
Conclusion: What did I learn from the Coffeeneuring Challenge? It is possible to ride my bike on the weekend. For fun even! Also, while I hope to continue the occasional coffeeneuring ride beyond the challenge, I think I need to lay off the pastries. The “winter base layer” seems to be building up a bit too quickly.
I had that pastry problem, too, Liz. They’re just so difficult to resist! Thank you again, for sharing your Coffeeneuring Challenge.
NOTE: I plan to announce the Coffeeneuring Challenge Champions and Honorable Mentions sometime next week. In the meantime, still some great stories to come from the coffeeneur community.