In my first post about this year’s Coffeeneuring Challenge I talked about my theme-within-a-theme, the bonus level, on top of my annual Classic Coffeeneuring theme, meaning only weekend rides. It has to do with enjoying coffeeneuring rides in addition to some other fall activity, and we all know what a fun time fall can be.
The first four of seven required rides were, respectively, in conjunction with a randonneuring brevet, a visit to a bike co-op fall used bike sale, a new bike day tandem ride, and Mary’s return to the Freedom’s Run marathon in Harper’s Ferry/Shepherdstown, W.Va.
I’ll pick up the thread with my final three official rides, along with one castoff ride and one C+1 bonus-bonus ride.
Ride 5: Oct. 23, latte at Battle Grounds Coffee and Bakery, Harper’s Ferry, W.Va. 72.9 miles
I have not normally associated Harper’s Ferry with decent coffee, being a tourist destination and all. As we prepared to ride back to Washington on the C&O Canal towpath after her Freedom’s Run marathon, Mary found Battle Grounds on her phone and we decided to check it out.
Battle Grounds turned out to be a very deserving coffeeneuring destination! The mix of locals, tourists and C&O/Appalachian Trail riders and hikers made for a pleasant atmosphere on a fall Sunday morning. The latte was great along with a breakfast sandwich. It was well worth the stop.
Ride 6: Oct. 30, latte at Volo Coffeehouse, Manayunk/Philadelphia, Pa. 28.5 miles
October came to a close with our annual trip to the Philly Bike Expo. We rode in Friday on the Schuylkill River Trail after leaving the car in Phoenixville for two days of bikes, bike people and bike chat. The expo returned to its pre-pandemic size and we loved it.
As we exited Philadelpha on Sunday, our traditional stop at Volo Coffeehouse beckoned for a pick-me-up after lots and lots of socializing. It’s not the only game for coffee in Manayunk but the drinks are always good.
Ride 7: Nov. 20, latte at Commonplace Coffee, Point Breeze/Pittsburgh, Pa. 4 miles
Commonplace on Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh has been a regular for us on our visits to Pittsburgh to see my daughter, but she moved and we started going to the smaller location in Point Breeze. It’s a quaint little spot in what looks like an old house. Sadly they are moving to a new place close by.
The temperatures were seriously frigid this weekend in Pittsburgh, with highs in the 20s and the wind whipping on Saturday. We bundled up and rode over from the hotel on our folding bikes. For the Coffeeneuring Challenge, it was well worth it!
Here’s a little video of us riding to stay warm! It was heavy coat day in Pittsburgh.
C+1 Magic Day ride: Nov. 24, Peregrine Espresso, Eastern Market/Washington, D.C. 4.2 miles
Mary declared an extra week’s extension of this year’s challenge (read about it here) through Nov. 27, and we made the most of it with a Thanksgiving morning ride to Peregrine Espresso, one of our home coffee shops that always makes excellent drinks. This was outside the Classic Coffeeneuring theme, but as a C+1 ride I decided it was eligible in the bonus level category.
Castoff ride: Nov. 13, Tryst, Adams Morgan/Washington, D.C., 22.3 miles
We went to Tryst after toodling through Rock Creek Park and then riding up to Adams Morgan. I did not include it in my official rides because the Commonplace Coffee ride happened as planned — this was a safety ride in case something came up. Tryst was busy and the latte drinks came out a little rushed. Still, it was a nice fall ride!
I’m sad to see the coffeeneuring season end but it’s now cold on the East Coast and the sun is setting early. The yay-it’s-fall atmosphere has transitioned to the holiday season and I suppose the Coffeeneuring Challenge is best enjoyed before December. That said, I enjoyed coffeeneuring this year as part of our fall outings. There is the Always Be Coffeeneuring club (known as ABC rides) to keep the fun going until next fall.