The Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge is a relaxed cycling endeavor for people everywhere, and it’s coming your way once again, starting October 12, 2018. If you like riding a bike and enjoy drinking coffee or tea (or even hot chocolate or cider), consider this fall challenge.
Back for year eight, the Coffeeneuring Challenge has almost reached the age of being a tradition. In that vein, I wanted to throw out this year’s theme of intention. Coffeeneuring gives a ride a certain element of intention, but what else inspires us to keep coming back to the challenge each year, or even to try it for the first time? The peaceful act of motion on two wheels? Meeting friends? Solitude? The coffee at the end of the ride rainbow? You tell me.
The Coffeeneuring Challenge began as a kind of antidote to the big randonneuring rides of spring and summer. Unlike randonneuring, the rides can be quite short and have no time limit. And like randonneuring, the Coffeeneuring Challenge has several rules. Don’t be intimidated by them, though. They are a framework to give the challenge some semblance of structure, and as those who have completed the challenge can attest, they are totally manageable. Essentially the challenge boils down to this:
- over the course of 7’ish 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.
How to Complete the Coffeeneuring Challenge
Here is the full suite of rules for 2018:
- Ride your bike to 7 different local coffee shops from Friday October 12 through Sunday, November 25. Any place that sells or serves coffee – or “coffee,” as the case may be – qualifies as a coffee shop. Reusable cups or mugs are highly encouraged!
- Coffee Shop Without Walls. You may also coffeeneur to a Coffee Shop Without Walls. A Coffee Shop Without Walls is a place like a park or campsite. You ride your bike to this place and proceed to make and/or drink coffee.
- Home Coffee Shop! Back once again, as I love this concept that was introduced by one of the Oregon coffeeneurs! 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? And I suppose you cannot complain too much about the coffee. You decide.
- ANY DAY OF THE WEEK WHILE ADHERING TO THE SPIRIT OF COFFEENEURING RULE. You can coffeeneur ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. This rule must be followed in conjunction with Rule 9 regarding adherence to the Spirit of Coffeeneuring. This is the only ALL CAPS rule.
- Eligible beverages. Hot chocolate qualifies, as does tea. Apple cider is also a coffeeneuring-approved beverage. Coffee porters or stouts can qualify as well. Note: Drinks do not have to be hot! They just have to be coffeeneuring-ish type drinks. Look, I even gave coffee ice cream a pass, although it was for the 18 and under crowd. Again, reusable cups a plus!
- Two Rides Maximum Per Week. Only 1 coffee shop per day counts and a maximum of two rides per week qualify. As the challenge kicks off on Friday, the week is considered Friday through Thursday… or however you can justify it in your submission!
- 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.
- 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. Please note:
- where you went (address or website);
- date you went there;
- what you drank;
- a detail or two about your coffeeneuring ride; and
- total mileage. (If you find any “must visit” coffee shops or tea places please share that as well.)
- Spirit of Coffeeneuring Rule. Regardless of when you choose to coffeeneur, you must always adhere to the Spirit of Coffeeneuring. What is the Spirit of Coffeeneuring, you ask? You know. The answer is inside of you. Basically, you ask yourself, should this ride qualify and why. What does the Spirit of Coffeeneuring dictate? Listen to the whispers on the wind, and 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. Basically you cannot combine it with any pay to play events, and if you have questions on whether your ride should qualify, let me know. 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 doing 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.
- Theme Within a Theme Option! A theme within a theme is any additional theme you use to go coffeeneuring (see an example in this guest post with John and his Chesapeake Bay rides theme). This is an optional rule, so have fun with it as you see fit.
- Earth Rule. As always, there are no geographic limitations to the Coffeeneuring Challenge, except that you must coffeeneur on planet Earth.
- 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.
Submitting Coffeeneuring Challenge Rides
- Submissions. Send all qualifying rides when you’ve finished the Coffeeneuring Challenge to me at gersemalina “at” gmail.com by December 1 or so. Please put “coffeeneuring” somewhere in the email subject. 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, Instagram account, 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.
- Prizes! You are eligible for a small prize for finishing the challenge. Our artist-in-residence Doug of umbrella works has partnered with the Coffeeneuring Challenge once again to design something special for this year’s challenge. Thank you, Doug! Like last year, the finishers badge 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. We are also planning additional items for this year, so stay tuned for those announcements!
Fill us in on your coffeeneuring via any of the following methods. Post as you like, but don’t feel obligated. This is a no pressure situation.
Blog it: Let me know if you blog your coffeeneuring, as I’ll do periodic roundups along the way.
Facebook: There is a Coffeeneurs Facebook group where you can post and share your coffeeneuring.
Flickr: Share your photos in the Coffeeneuring group on flickr.
Strava: Track your rides here and/or join the Always Be Coffeeneuring group. Make sure to include a pic!
Twitter: Guys, I had to ditch Twitter, as it just wasn’t working for me. So if you are on Twitter, the hashtag for it is #coffeeneuring. Just note that I am unlikely to see your Tweet.
I think that covers everything. 12 rules for the 7-ride Coffeeneuring Challenge, that’s two down from last year! Many thanks to all who have participated and brought this challenge to life in the past, and a welcome to those who will take on the challenge for the first time. Eight is great, and this could be your year!
It all starts October 12. Seven shops in six-ish weeks. Are you ready?
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to put them in the comments section or send me a note.