6th Annual Coffeeneuring Challenge: The Spirit of Coffeeneuring

Now in its sixth year, the Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge is a relaxed cycling endeavor for people everywhere. If you like riding a bike and enjoy drinking coffee or tea (or even hot chocolate or cider), consider 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 will attest, they are all manageable. Essentially the challenge boils down to this:

  • over the course of 7 weeks,
  • ride your bike 7 different places,
  • at least 2 miles round-trip each time,
  • drink 7 cups of coffee (or similar), and
  • take 7 pictures as proof of your coffeeneuring.

Complete rules are updated from last year, and include a big change I think many will like (see Rule 4). “Theme Within a Theme” received such positive response last year that it continues as an optional category for all you coffeeneuring creatives out there (see Rule 10).

coffeeneuring 2016

Here’s what you have to do to officially coffeeneur for 2016:

  1. Ride your bike to 7 different local coffee shops from Friday October 7 through Sunday, November 20.  Any place that sells coffee – or “coffee,” as the case may be – qualifies as a coffee shop.
  2. Coffee Shop Without Walls. 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. Home Coffee Shop – new for 2016! A coffeeneur may declare their home a coffee shop for other coffeeneurs (not for oneself) and declare times when the home coffee shop is open. People ride over and drink the coffee or hot beverage you prepare. You cannot charge people money for drinks provided at your home coffee shop, but maybe people can wash their own dishes when they are done? You decide. This new rule is a result of a comment period suggestion from an Oregon coffeeneur.
  4. ANY DAY OF THE WEEK WHILE ADHERING TO THE SPIRIT OF COFFEENEURING RULE. After years of intense debate, it has been determined that you can coffeeneur ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. It’s such a big change that I thought it merited all caps, don’t you? Several commented that many do not work a conventional Monday through Friday schedule. Others said that weekend commitments with kids prevent their coffeeneuring participation. So this year, any day of the week can count as a coffeeneuring day. See Rule 9 regarding adherence to the Spirit of Coffeeneuring.
  5. Eligible beverages. 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.
  6. Two Rides Max Per Week. Only 1 coffee shop per day counts and a maximum of two rides per week qualify.
  7. Minimum Distance. 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.
  8. Documentation. 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. 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.)
  9. Spirit of Coffeeneuring Rule. Regardless of when you choose to coffeeneur, you must adhere to the Spirit of Coffeeneuring. What is the Spirit of Coffeeneuring, you ask? I think you know. Perhaps it is a meetup over a hot beverage with friends, a solo outing in a park to brew coffee, or a mid-ride stop to savor a cup of java. Let your conscience be your guide. 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.)
  10. Theme Within a Theme Option! A theme within a theme is any additional theme you use to go coffeeneuring (see an example in my recent guest post with Kathy and her Visual Journaling theme). This is an option, but not a fast rule, so have fun with it as you see fit.
  11. Earth Rule. There are no geographic limitations to the Coffeeneuring Challenge, except that you must coffeeneur on planet Earth.
  12. 7 Different Places (on Earth) Rule. 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.
  13. Submissions. Send submissions to me at gersemalina “at” gmail.com by November 30. If you complete the challenge as a group, you may provide one submission for all of you, provided you completed all rides together. Submissions may be in the form of links to blog writeups, screenshots of or links to your coffeeneuring Tweets, Strava, on-line photo galleries with accompanying narrative, Word documents with attached or embedded photos, or e-mail writeups and submissions with photos attached.
  14. Provide all qualifying rides at the same time. That is, send me all 7 together.
  15. Prizes! You are eligible for a small prize for finishing the challenge. Like last year, 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.
Photo by Sam Dodge
Photo by Sam Dodge

Twitter and Instagram: The hashtag for the Coffeeneuring Challenge is #coffeeneuring. Tweet and/or post on Instagram if you like, but don’t feel obligated. 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. 15 rules for the 7-ride Coffeeneuring Challenge. Last year boasted 20 rules so we’re gradually streamlining!

It all starts October 7. Seven shops in seven weeks. You can do it!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to put them in the comments section.


  1. Fabulous! I’ll be on tour part of this time but hope to get in a ride in at least one of my tour stops in November. I’ll blog along the way. Thanks for offering this fun incentive to DRINK MORE COFFEE.
    (as if I needed one)


  2. Yay!

    I don’t know if you received my postcard, but I offer a “challenge within a challenge” to whomever else wants to take it up!

    For those doing “Coffeeship Without Walls”, aka Coffee Outside, I propose preparing your coffee or hot beverage a different way each time. It could be via pourover, or Aeropress, or French Press, or immersion, or moka pot, or some other method I have not thought of! But it can’t be instant!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I should clarify: You don’t have to do all seven rides as coffee outside! I’d say the aim to number to achieve is three rides this way. If you can do more, great!


  3. I am excited that I will be able to coffeeneur in another country this year!

    For ‘theme within a theme’, I have been considering “different bike each ride”. I have not (quite) got 7 bikes… hmmm. (Alternative idea: “different Nuu-Muu” each ride” – that I can do!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I cheered aloud when I read revised rule 4. It wasn’t just kids’ activities, but weather, too, that made some weekends tough last year. And I love new rule 3. I’m looking forward to my second coffeeneuring. Thanks, Mary!


  5. MG, Thanks for all the excellent posts. Coffeeneuring? That’s not me or my wife – we ride a lot but there are enough rules in life without adding artificial ones – just my opinion. I will be reading the posts but not doing any of the posting. Take care and say hello to Felkerino for us. Dave and Ceci from close by – Virginia.


  6. I’m a litte bit put off by rule 11th! I was just preparing my space bike going to explore the places on Mars 😦 but as I’m going to participate the first year I will not argue but looking forward to have fun here on earth. 😀


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