MG has a knack for creative, gently competitive contests. Her latest is the Coffeeneuring Challenge: seven trips by bike to coffee shops over six weekends, all outside of formal events such as a brevet. Read all about it here.
Being married to MG means I had no reason not to know about this challenge, and the timing was fantastic. She proposed the event during our break from big weekend rides after a fun spring and summer undertaking brevets and a grand randonnee in Paris.
I managed to meet the challenge, though we had to make a special trip on the very last day, Oct. 30, to get in my final coffeeneuring stop. Whew!
Here are my results.
No. 1 Saturday Sept. 24 Illy Caffe, Dupont Circle, Washington, DC
Observations: MG, Lane G and I went here before joining the Washington Area Bicyclist Association annual 50 States and 13 Colonies Ride from the Dupont Circle. It was technically coffeeneuring, as it came before an organized event.
Illy is really just a coffee bar connected to the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel with its own door to the street. The espresso is, as you’d expect by the Illy name, divine.
Rating: Five stars.
No 2 Sept. 25: Peregrine Espresso, Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.
This was an local Sunday afternoon ride with MG to get my new SimpleOne singlespeed bike out and about. Peregrine is a little stingy with the espresso but they take things seriously and you have to just savor that little cup, and then go back and get another one.
Rating: Four stars.
No. 3 Oct 8: Boccato Espresso, Old Town Alexandria, Va.
Drink: Espresso _ and _ Cappucino.
MG and I went to the farmers market in Old Town to start and then went to Bocatto, which is a gelato joint but is trying to get people to also buy coffee drinks. Little did we know they were nearing the end of a morning coffee special of $1 for espresso and $2 for espresso beverages. They make wonderful espresso. We stayed awhile!
Rating: Five stars.
No 4 Oct. 9: Starbucks, Palisades, Washington, DC
Country tandem ride to Poolesville, Md.
MG and I met up with Lane G. and Eric P. to ride out to Potomac, Md. and Poolesville. We stopped at Starbucks to meet Eric and have a nice cup before continuing on with our ride. This is a pretty tony area and the drinks were better than your usual Starbucks.
Rating: Three stars.
No. 5 Oct. 15: Pound Coffee, Capitol Hill, Washington DC
Another town ride with MG. We had a spirited discussion about where to go and decided to try Pound on Capitol Hill. The espresso was very bitter and I put it down after the first sip. I was not in the mood to ask for another and we went on to Peregine and had a proper espresso, and I got another later at Boccato’s Arlington, Va. location. (I posted a note to Twitter about Pound and they offered me a free one next time I go there).
Rating: One star. I suppose it still counts, even if I didn’t finish it.
#6 Oct. 16 Sheetz, Thurmont, Md.
MG and I took the tandem up to Frederick, Md. to ride the Frederick-Fairfield-Frederick century route on a sunny warm fall day. The afternoon rest stop at Sheetz was very welcome. Sheetz’ coffee drinks land somewhere between 7-11 and Starbucks in taste, though they are a very good value. When there is no Starbucks or better in the vicinity, Sheetz does the job.
Rating: Two stars.
#7 Oct. 30. Tryst, Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.
We trucked out on our bikes on the very last evening of the last day of the Coffeeneuring Season after riding a century with our pals in southern Maryland. Tryst makes a very good espresso. The place is something of an arty 20s singles joint, with couches and candles and tables you share with other Macbook users. Oh, and grinding alt-rock. Being older than 30, nobody looked at me. Except MG. Thank you my love.
Rating: Four stars.
Thanks for the challenge, MG, and congratulations to all the official coffeeneurs, as compiled by MG at her blog, Chasing Mailboxes.