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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!