Skip to content

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2015: A Dream Within a Dream

Now in its fifth 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 slightly updated from last year, and include an optional “Theme Within a Theme” category, to allow people to really show off their creativity when it comes to drinking coffee and riding bikes.

Coffeeneuring 2015

Here’s what you have to do to officially coffeeneur:

  1. Ride your bike to 7 different local coffee shops from Saturday October 3 through Sunday, November 15.  Any place that sells coffee– or “coffee,” as the case may be– qualifies as a coffee shop. UPDATE: Coffeeneurs who are not bound by weekend days, challenge dates extended through FRIDAY, November 19.
  2. You may also coffeeneur to a Coffee Shop Without Walls. A Coffee Shop Without Walls is a place, such as a park or campsite, where you ride your bike to proceed to make and/or drink coffee.
  3. After much debate, it has been determined that 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. UPDATE: Someone asked me about how the challenge applied to those who do not work a Monday-Friday schedule, and asked about extending the dates for eligible coffeeneuring trips. For those non-weekender coffeeneurs (or if you have vacation or whatever other rule might apply to you in these final days) the contest officially goes until Friday, November 19, midnight in your area!
  4. Only 1 coffee shop per day counts and a maximum of two rides per weekend.
  5. 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 location; and 5. total mileage. If you find any “must visit” coffee shops or tea places please share that as well.
  6. Take a photo during your outing or provide some other form of evidence that you rode your bike for coffee, and submit it as verification.
  7. Hot chocolate qualifies, as does tea. 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.
  8. 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 casual shop ride, grocery run, ride to the gym, an informal ride with 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.)
  9. 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.
  10. There are no geographic limitations to the Coffeeneuring Challenge, except that your coffeeneuring must occur on planet Earth.
  11. You have to go to 7 different places, although you may ride to multiple locations of a chain, if necessary. For the Coffee Shop Without Walls, prepare and/or drink your coffee in different places. That means seven different campsites/locales.
  12. Theme Within a Theme! New for 2015, a theme within a theme is any additional theme you use to go coffeeneuring. Maybe that theme is “If you own more than one bike, ride all the bikes you own” suggested by Mr. Urban Adventure League or the @AstridBear “Tour de Kiosk” coffeeneuring theme. This is an option, but not a fast rule so have fun with it as you see fit.
  13. Deadline for submitting Coffeeneuring Challenge entries is whenever the clock strikes midnight in your area on November 25, 2015.
  14. Send submissions to me at gersemalina “at” 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. UPDATE! If you complete the challenge as a group, you may provide one submission for all of you, provided you completed all rides together. 
  15. Provide all qualifying rides at the same time. That is, send me all 7 together.
  16. Prizes! You are eligible for a small prize for finishing the challenge. Because of the increased interest in coffeeneuring, the premium will cost $5 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 the prize will cost you an extra US $1.
  17. Tara Rule and Canadian Thanksgiving: During Columbus Day weekend (October 10-12), you have three days to accomplish two qualifying coffeeneuring rides. (This is the Tara Rule.) Residents of Canada may use Canadian Thanksgiving in place of Columbus Day.
  18. Vacation Rule: 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.
  19. Veterans Day Rule: You may coffeeneur on November 11, Veteran’s Day, INSTEAD of the previous Saturday or Sunday. Veterans are permitted to coffeeneur on November 11 in ADDITION to the weekend days, in recognition of their service.
  20. 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.4pic Sally and Joe

Twitter and Instagram: The hashtag for the Coffeeneuring Challenge is #coffeeneuring. Only tweet and/or post on Instagram if you like. This is a no-pressure situation.

Flickr: 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’ll do periodic roundups along the way.

I think that covers it. 20 rules for the 7-ride Coffeeneuring Challenge. One more than 2014, but still, simpler than it seems.

It all starts October 3. 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.


  1. Can you define “locale”? Suppose one were to stay within DC but hit 7 of the 8 wards–would those qualify as locales? Or must a locale be a different county, village, incorporated jurisdiction? Asking “for a friend”.


  2. Mary I can’t believe I’m asking but can I combine a permanent with coffeeneuring? That is on the route vs to and from the start /finish.


  3. If, say, you’re on leave and can choose any two days of the week, does it have to be the same two days each week? As in, if I choose Sat/Sun one week, am I stuck with those days or can I do Wed/Thurs another week. (I consider weeks to start on Mondays.)


  4. For those of us further afield who don’t get a Columbus Day or a Canadian Thanksgiving, can we use October Bank Holiday as a 3-fer? Asking for a friend…. 😉
    (But I can also just do normal coffeeneuring no extra Mondays necessary!)


  5. MG, I am so excited that this is becoming a tradition. Love the idea of theme-within-theme. Perhaps: “Try coffee from 7 different countries” or “all trips without-walls to dormant volcanoes”.


  6. Looking forward to this, but I do have a question.
    Does the location need to be outside of a two mile radius from one’s home or does one simply need to travel two miles to reach the destination?
    I’m wondering if there may be places that are too close that may require a roundabout route to qualify.


  7. So, say one is temporarily unemployed due to moving to a new state, and therefore has everyday free (until new employment is found). Could I pick any two days of the week, but possibly mix up those two days the next week? I’m thinking that this would be a fun way to get to know my new town, but I should also be responsible and schedule my rides around job hunting.


  8. I am so joining this! Thanks for setting it up.
    And such great timing to go in a trip to Italy while this round of challenge is happening. There will be pics & blog posts for sure. 🙂


  9. Got my alcohol stove for one outdoor pour over and have 8 bikes lined up for the challenge. Riding the Bass Pro Shop Tour de Bass Sunday so will start coffee rides after that.


    • Ashley, it’s still 7 shops in 7 weeks. You don’t have to do 2 on Columbus Day weekend. The Tara Rule l means that you have 3 days that weekend to do up to 2 coffeeneuring trips.


  10. Money is SUPER-tight this year owing to my now full-time freelancers status. I cannot always come up with the dough to buy my coffee at a shop. Can I make cheap coffee at home and drink it out there somewhere to qualify? I’ll go to interesting places, I promise.


  11. Hi Mary, for a while I feared I would not be able to participate this year due to out of town travel. BUT — I got my first teaneuring ride in yesterday and again, will post my rides in my blog. Will that, again, suffice for you to see the rides I do? I plan to do teaneuring while in Michigan visiting a friend. Thanks for leading us around again Mary ;’-)


  12. Since so many jobs are no longer formerly defined as 5 day a week 9-5, I find the weekend rule a bit overwhelming. I don’t have any “defined” days off since I usually work everyday sometimes at the office and sometimes from home (and that’s the official work, not the unofficial taxi-ing that many working parents are familiar with). If a ride to the grocery store with a coffee stop shall count on the weekend, why not a detour on the the commute home from work to grab a coffee on a weekday? Or, a trip to the coffee shop on the weekday to get out from in front of the computer while telecommuting? I believe these two examples are in the spirit of coffeenuering, but wouldn’t qualify.


    • Well this rule may be changing next year. As for this year, if you work every day of the week then you can choose two days out of that to coffeeneur.


  13. Last year, as I recall, you posted blogs that people had done. I enjoyed looking at those and wonder if you will be doing that again this year?

    Thanks for all you do.


    • Hi Nancy, yes I do plan to do that again. I’m a bit behind on it this round because of “insert excuse here” but hope I can post an update in the next few days. I like sharing the roundup of activities!


  14. Hmm…so I missed one weekend due to illness and road on Nov. 7th and 8th to get caught up (rides 5 & 6). Then found out due to a family situation, we have to drive out to my in-laws (6 hours each way from where I live) on Sat. Nov. 14 and will drive back home Sun. Nov. 15. So I went out on Veterans’ Day to get in my 7th ride, since that was a holiday. Was about to submit my rides, and noticed that the Veteran’s day rule counts towards the prior weekend though, not the following weekend :(. Since it’s on a Wednesday this year, anyway you’ll let me count my veteran’s day ride as my 7th? Have tried several times to do this and always get derailed due to work trips or illness – was so proud I had them all in!


    • I was just thinking about that rule and how it should apply to either the weekend OR the weekend after. I’ll codify that in next year’s rules. So for this year, yes, you CAN apply your Veterans Day ride to this coming weekend and be good, i.e., official!


  15. I see that you’ve extended the deadline to Thursday at midnight. Any chance it could be pushed a bit further so that I could include my Friday morning coffee outside (and complete my theme)?


  16. Pingback: sprite writes

Comments & questions welcome - moderated for trolls and spam.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: