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!

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