My lovely spouse MG has again invited the world to participate in the 4th Annual Coffeeneuring Challenge, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
I love bicycles, I love espresso drinks. This challenge is perfect for me. Thanks MG!
This weekend I completed stops 1 and 2 during a bike trip up to Harpers Ferry, W.V. to support MG at the Freedom’s Run Marathon. She rode her bike up the C&O Canal Trail on Friday morning. I followed after work Friday on my Rivendell Atlantis, timing that just happened to coincide with a heavy rain front moving across the region.
I rode the W&OD Trail to Leesburg as night fell and the rain moved in. The downpour was pretty heavy at times; at least there was no lightning. After leaving Leesburg onto local roads, twice drivers asked me if I wanted a ride, but I declined.
The rain let up as I pedaled over to Waterford, Va. and then Lovettsville. I got there around 11:45 and saw a group of riders saddling up with lights blazing. They took off into the steady drizzle on a different road and I wondered who they were.
I crossed the Potomac River in Brunswick, then went up the C&O the six miles or so to Harpers Ferry, riding through some good sized puddles, but it wasn’t flooded. That was a relief. After re-crossing the river and climbing up a deserted High Street in Harpers Ferry, the hotel came into view about 12:45 a.m. Being a randonneur, this felt rather early to be indoors from a night ride.
Coffeeneur Stop 1: Lost Dog Coffee, Shepherdstown, W.V.
Distance: 36 miles
On Saturday MG was out the hotel door early. I got up a little later and chased out on the marathon course up towards quaint Shepherdstown, W.V., about 11 miles away. After finding her on the C&O Canal and taking a few photos, I pointed the bike into Shepherdstown to Lost Dog. Two more river crossings!
The shop is pretty hippie but owner Garth makes a superior espresso and I got a quad with a pumpkin muffin. It was nearly 11 and this was my first caffeine of the day. I felt like I had been plugged into a soothing wall outlet. This is the kind of espresso I aspire to make at home.
Rating: Five Stars!
Re-animated, I saw MG finish her marathon — way to go! After visiting with our pals Kirstin (who also ran) and her husband Tom after the finish, MG took the shuttle bus back to Harpers Ferry.
I had lunch and another espresso and cookie at Lost Dog before riding to the hotel on the back roads on the West Virginia side of the river. The day was perfect, cool and sunny, and I even made a friend along the way.
Coffeeneur Stop 2: Baked and Wired, Washington, D.C.
More sun and cool temperatures greeted us on Sunday for the ride back to D.C., on the C&O Canal Trail. MG and I stopped at Beans in the Belfry in Brunswick. Their espresso isn’t that good but the latte’s are a good alternative. We had a second breakfast there, then made our way in dribs and drabs down the canal trail.
Not much to report. It was a gorgeous day. Until Great Falls we rode as we wished, with just scattered walkers, runners and other riders out on the trail — along with a few puddles, but not much. The usual pedestrian crowds slowed us near Great Falls, but otherwise it was a pleasant ride.
We like Baked and Wired when we come into Georgetown, though we’re getting increasingly tired with K Street, which is a mess on Sundays with drivers trying to park and bike riders using the Capital Crescent and C&O trails. After yelling at a cabbie making the obligatory blind U-turn right in front of us, B&W shone lit a beacon.
A long line waited for cupcake service but the coffee bar wait was much shorter. Our friend Ryan S. was coming out after his own coffeeneuring stop, but we were desperate for caffeine and calories and said just a quick hello.
B&W is one of those popular places that still lives up to the promise. The espresso is heavenly and we had our favorite treat, the pumpkin ginger cake. Both were just right. Go if you are in the area.
Rating: 5 Stars!
Epilogue: MG described our trip as a concept weekend that actually worked. She had a very strong combined trip and I got in some awesome coffeeneuring with her in spectacular early autumn weather. This was a memorable weekend.
5 thoughts on “Coffeeneuring 2014: On the C&O Canal”
Let the coffee games begin!
Sounds like a great weekend. I like Lost Dog, and also heartily recommend Mellow Moods in Shepherdstown.
Your wife IS totally awesome. And so are you. Great writeup and photos. I’m behind in my coffeeneuring but still have plenty of time. It’s like a good book — I don’t want it to be over to soon!
Thanks Dale and Kirstin — I will look at Mellow Moods next time. And Yes, you are right, Kirstin. Coffeeneuring is perfect for fall, which itself is over too soon as well.