Mary asks each year if entrants in the Coffeeneuring Challenge have a theme. As one of the riders who completed it the first year, I’ve stuck to the original rules as my yearly theme, known now as Classic Coffeeneuring. In short, I complete my rides only on the weekends.
This year I added a secondary theme-within-a-theme, which I’ll call the bonus level. Coffeeneuring is the best season of they year, and I decided each ride should combine with some other sublime excitement, in addition to all the energy that fall brings to the Mid-Atlantic region.
In this post I’ll cover my first four rides, with the final three and any C+1 bonus rides in the next post.
Ride 1: Oct. 8, Post-brevet cappuccino at Grace Street Coffee, Washington. 7.9 miles
After a randonneur brevet, I like a nice cappuccino, even if the day has long since tipped into the afternoon. The rules allow for a coffeeneuring ride before or after an organized event, so this came in very handy after I rode the DC Randonneurs Mountain Church 200K brevet from the Palisades neighborhood. A stop at Grace Street on the ride home gave me a chance to savor the day. Fall brevets always have a nice relaxed vibe and coffeenering fits right in. I added a frosting-laden cinnamon roll from nearby Dog Tag Bakery to replenish my glucose reserves, for maybe a week.
Ride 2: Oct. 15, pre-bike sale latte at M.E. Swings Roastery, Alexandria, Va. 20.4 miles
Another solo ride! This time I combined coffeeneruing with a fall parking lot sale at Velocity Co-op. Swings is a regular before-work destination but today it felt extra fun to go there on a Saturday without having to rush back home. I didn’t find any bikes to buy at the sale but it was a cool scene! Two tandems caught my eye, which warmed my heart.
Ride 3: Oct. 16, New-ish bike day latte at Vigilante Coffee, Hyattsville, Md. 25.3 miles
Vigilante is another regular spot that Mary and I frequent for easy weekend rides on the Anacostia River Trail. Today we took our new Co-Motion Kalapuya tandem for its maiden ride (after a few weeks at home awaiting fenders and other accessories) and it was all we hoped for (light and well-mannered). We also caught up to our pal Chris Roell who leads a weekend urban trails and hills ride, as his group was stopped on the trail as we rode home.
Ride 4: Oct. 22, Mary-cheering espresso at Lost Dog Coffee, Shepherdstown, W.Va. 92.1 miles
For the first time since 2017 Mary ran the Freedom’s Run marathon in Shepherdstown. She goes there on Friday with her bike and I ride out on the W&OD trail and C&O Canal Towpath early Saturday to cheer her into the finish.
Of course, I always stop at quirky Lost Dog to get a coffee drink from owner Garth and soak in the Shepherdstown small college vibe. The fall atmostphere made for a great weekend, with the ride home Sunday on the C&O.
Stay tuned for the part 2 of my coffeeneuring season, the 12th so far. This coming weekend is my last chance to complete the challenge and we’ll make the most of it in Pittsburgh as we wrap up our fall travels.