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.
Here’s what you have to do to officially coffeeneur:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Only 1 coffee shop per day counts and a maximum of two rides per weekend.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Deadline for submitting Coffeeneuring Challenge entries is whenever the clock strikes midnight in your area on November 25, 2015.
- 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. UPDATE! If you complete the challenge as a group, you may provide one submission for all of you, provided you completed all rides together.
- Provide all qualifying rides at the same time. That is, send me all 7 together.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.