More people than ever appear to be taking on the Coffeeneuring Challenge this year. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Strava are full of vignettes of people’s rides to coffee (or other acceptable beverage). The Seven is a Lucky Number theme is working! It’s our year! If you have not yet started, get on your bike today and you can still qualify as an official coffeeneur for 2017.
I’m seeing some excellent theme-within-a-themes, like skeptical baby, coffee outside, different toenail polish every ride, re-usable cups, visiting new places, and classic coffeeneuring (weekends only) with friends and family. Themes are not required by the challenge, they just add an extra dimension to it for those who want to take that path.
What’s your theme? I’m still waiting for someone to declare pastries and coffee a theme, although I have seen some sumptuous treats in many coffeeneuring photos.
One of the best suggestions people made over the seven years of this challenge was to adjust the weekend rule so that any day could be a coffeeneuring day. Participants made the case that people don’t all have a Monday through Friday work schedule, weekends are often full of kid activities which makes a coffeeneuring ride difficult, and what’s wrong with going coffeeneuring on a weekday, anyway.
So with that, the weekend rule disappeared and the Spirit of Coffeeneuring rule emerged. And people totally get the Spirit of Coffeeneuring and have made the challenge even more vibrant as a result.
Posts are regularly popping in my feed about someone’s coffeeneuring outing somewhere throughout the day and these posts continue on into the evening. It’s lovely. People ride with their kids, with a friend or partner, as a family, or as a solo endeavor. Everyone takes the bones of the Coffeeneuring Challenge and makes into their unique experience.
As I’ve followed people’s posts and photos from all over the world, I’ve realized the Coffeeneuring Challenge has become a seasonal sanctuary from the tensions of daily life. There’s a lot of conflict out there these days, but reducing life to the basics of active transportation, bikes, coffee (or similar!), a two-mile (or more!) ride, a photo, and a share with other bike-minded individuals has led to an overwhelmingly positive community that I’m proud to say I am part of.
Terrible gas station coffee, the smoothest espresso, or a meh chai tea, it doesn’t matter. As six-time coffeeneur Vannevar once said: “if you’re doing coffeeneuring right, you’re going to encounter a less-than-perfect coffee shop because you’re exploring and investigating and that’s OK.”
The rides are always fun to follow, and it’s a lovely break in the day to spend a few minutes in the virtual coffeeneuring space. The coffeeneurs’ energy, creativity, and support for each other makes my glass half-full again. Thank you all for making this annual event so full of goodness.
And like I say, it’s not too late to ride your bike to coffee today and be part of this awesome community. Do it!