Does anyone know what time it is? I’ll tell you. It’s time for the 2022 Coffeeneuring Challenge, now in its 12th year. On October 7, the Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge is back and this time we have an Intern to help run the challenge! If you ride a bike and drink coffee or tea (or even hot chocolate, coffee stouts, or cider) please consider this fall challenge.
The Coffeeneuring Challenge is a time to mellow out, slow down the pedal strokes, and make the most of a delicious time of year by lingering over a cup of your favorite fall beverage. This challenge offers an opportunity to connect virtually or in-person with others, and can also be a time to carve out space for solitary contemplation over a beverage. Let’s coffeeneur our way through the changing seasons.
The Coffeeneuring Challenge is not a race. Rides can be as short as two miles and there is no time limit.
The challenge is essentially as follows:
- between October 7 through November 20, 2022,
- ride your bike to 7 different places,
- at least 2 miles round trip each time,
- drink 7 cups of coffee (or another fall-type beverage), and
- document your coffeeneuring (either photos, Strava tracks, journal entries, control card, etc.).
The 12 official Coffeeneuring Challenge rules are described below. As those who have previously completed the challenge will attest, the rules are totally manageable, maybe even sometimes breakable, and everyone who completes the challenge must follow them within reason. You may even be left with extra days for bonus rounds (c+1!).
We’ve made it through some tough times, and will continue to adapt the rules a bit this year to account for a variety of comfort levels and to not add unnecessary stress.
How to Complete the Coffeeneuring Challenge
If you’re new here, it may look like a lot, but I think you will see that it’s really an expansion on the basic instructions above. Here we go with the full guidelines for 2022:
- Ride your bike to 7 different locations from Friday October 7 through Sunday November 20, 2022, and drink a coffeeneuring-approved beverage. Any place where you can drink a coffeeneuring-approved beverage counts as a location. This could be a coffee shop, café, gas station, or even a coffee shop without walls (see #2!). Reusable cups or mugs are highly encouraged! Please, whenever you can, bring your own mug or ask for a real drinking cup that can be washed. That may not be feasible as much yet, but let’s do our part where we can.
- Coffee Shop Without Walls. You may coffeeneur to a coffee shop without walls. In fact, you are encouraged to do so. A little fresh air is a tonic for body and mind. A coffee shop without walls is a place like a park, campsite, gazebo, picnic table, field, a bridge (either under or over it), or even a parking lot like those people in Des Moines like to use. Essentially, a coffee shop without walls is anywhere you pause during your ride to prepare and/or drink a beverage.
- Two Rides Maximum Per Week. You can coffeeneur any day of the week. A maximum of two rides per week qualify, and only one coffee location per day counts toward completion. There is latitude with how one defines their week. As long as you define it as seven consecutive days, you can start your week on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. You make the call, and don’t switch it around. If you reach your 7 ride total, go for some c+1 rides, you’ll thank yourself!
- Eligible beverages. Hot chocolate qualifies, as does tea. Apple cider is also a coffeeneuring-approved beverage. Hard cider counts! Coffee porters or stouts qualify as well. That hideous Pabst Blue Ribbon coffee beer counts, I’m sad to report. Coffee ice cream can count, but don’t go crazy with the ice cream, it’s a beverage-focused challenge after all. Note: Drinks do not have to be hot! They just have to be coffeeneuring-ish type drinks. Again, reusable cups when possible, por favor!
- Controversial beverage rule. Occasionally, participants will introduce a questionable drink into the challenge. This will be arbitrated in the court of coffeeneur public opinion and ruled on by the Coffeneuring Challenge Committee and the Intern.
- Minimum Distance. Your ride must be at least two miles total for each trip you take, but there is no maximum distance so yes, you could ride 100 miles (or more!) for a cup of coffee. You do you! Short or long, whatever you want to ride that day, at least two miles.
- Documentation. Updated for 2022, please read!!! Keep track of your rides with some type of evidence that shows you rode your bike for coffee. You can use the 2022 brewvet control card (click here! and please let me know whether it opens) designed by Doug at Umbrella Works, who also does the other coffeeneuring graphics. Others take photos, some post on Instagram of in the Coffeeneurs Facebook Group, others illustrate their rides, some provide links to Strava, and still others have done handwritten journals. Guess what?! The trust level is high in this challenge and I can count on one hand the number of people who falsely claimed to have completed it. Therefore, we will not request proof of all rides. Rather, you will complete a Google form once complete the challenge. I’ll post it soon. In response to comments and in the interest of easing administrative burden, this form is also being simplified. Basically don’t cheat! The Spirit of Coffeeneuring is always with us! Just keep your documentation on hand in case you 1. Want to send it to me just for fun; or 2. In the event the Coffeeneuring Challenge Committee and/or the Intern reaches out to you for a spot check.
- Meetup. New for 2022, more of an idea than a rule. Does anyone remember the “home coffee shop rule?” That was a fun rule! Invite people to ride their bikes over for coffee! This year, I’m introducing the coffeeneur meetup concept. If you want to get together a group of people for a coffeeneuring ride, do it! Just be sure you all ride at least two miles round trip.
- Spirit of Coffeeneuring Rule. Regardless of when or how you choose to coffeeneur, you must always abide by the Spirit of Coffeeneuring. What is the Spirit of Coffeeneuring, some new participants may ask? The answer is inside you. Ask yourself, should this ride qualify? Listen to the Spirit of Coffeeneuring, and let your conscience be your guide. You may not combine your coffeeneuring ride with an organized ride like a paid century event or brevet. Add on another two miles and voila! Coffeeneuring. If you have questions on whether a ride should qualify, let me know. Or call upon the Spirit of Coffeeneuring, it’s always there for you. As always, you may combine your coffeeneuring ride with a casual ride, grocery store trip, an informal ride, or other transportation/utility-oriented ride.
- Theme Within a Theme Option! A theme within a theme is any additional theme you use to go coffeeneuring. I plan to share some of the themes used last year, they were pretty great. As an idea, some people love the coffee outside theme. Others have done a coffeeneuring with friends theme, or supporting independent shops theme. The sky is the limit! This is an optional rule, so apply as you feel.
- Earth Rule. The Earth rule continues for 2022. There are no geographic limitations to the Coffeeneuring Challenge, except that you must coffeeneur on planet Earth. So even if a wealthy tech mogul invites you to go on a bike ride with coffee in space, you will have to decline. If you cannot adhere to this rule, please contact me immediately.
- 7 Different Locations (on Earth!) Rule. You have to go to 7 different locations, 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, bridges, gazebos, parks, parking lots, overhangs, porches, you get the idea.
Submitting Coffeeneuring Challenge Rides
Submissions. There is one way to submit rides this year, and that is with a form you can complete here. Please submit your entries by December 10 or so, please.
Prizes! You are eligible for a small prize for finishing the challenge. I’d like to offer something more this year, but with grad school, work, limited time, and the ambitious-but-still-new Intern, we’re sticking with the traditional patch this year. Next year I hope to be more creative! As mentioned above, Doug of Umbrella Works has partnered with the Coffeeneuring Challenge once again to design something great for year 12. Thank you, Doug! I will get back with you on the cost, but anticipate it to be $10 or less.
Fill us in on your coffeeneuring via any of the following methods. Post as you like, but don’t feel obligated; this a no-pressure affair.
Blog it: If you blog your coffeeneuring, let us know!
Facebook: There is a Coffeeneurs Facebook group where you can post and share about coffeeneuring.
Flickr: Share your photos in the Coffeeneuring group on flickr.
Instagram: The hashtag for the Coffeeneuring Challenge is #coffeeneuring, or #coffeeneuring 2022.
Strava: Track your rides here and/or join the Always Be Coffeeneuring group. Make sure to include a pic! If anyone knows how to make coffeeneuring an event on Strava, reach out please!
Twitter: I’m on Twitter, although I confess I don’t check it regularly. Find me at @coffeeneur. So if you are on Twitter, at me, and use the #coffeeneuring hashtag.
I think that covers everything, although I usually forget a detail or two. A total of 12 rules for the 12th year, I say that’s pretty on point.
Many thanks to all who have participated and brought this challenge to life in the past. A warm welcome to those who will take on the challenge for the first time! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to put them in the comments section or send me a note.
It all starts October 7. Seven locations in six weeks. Get in those practice rides now! Can’t wait to pedal again with you this year.