Coffeeneuring 2016: Sipping The Fall Away

Well! This fall has been a busy one here in the TDR household. Mary and I are always on the run (in her case, with marathons, literally) nonstop from Labor Day through Thanksgiving. Coffeeneuring comes naturally as part of all that. I can hardly imagine the leaves changing color without stopping in our favorite coffee haunts as we ride around town and out into the Mid-Atlantic countryside.

This year I accomplished my sixth completion of the Coffeeneuring Challenge, but my first with a theme-within-a-theme: Classic Coffeeneuring.

Why is this, you might ask? It all got started because Mary shook the coffeeneuring world this year by amending the rules to allow weekday coffeeneuring rides.

This was all fine and good, but as an original coffeeneur, I’m happy to keep associating coffeeneuring with carefree weekends spent on the bike and not at work.

Stuck in the coffee mud, so to speak, I followed the old rules and kept my rides to Saturday, Sunday, and the one Monday holiday, Columbus Day. For that day I relied on the 2014-era Tara Rule that allows two qualifying rides on that particular three-day weekend.

Riding to Philadelphia with Mary and Carolyn

Riding to Philadelphia with Mary and Carolyn

 

This year I also went to familiar coffee shops in and around Washington and in Philadelphia, with just one new to my personal lineup. These places have become woven into my coffeeneuring fabric and I didn’t feel like much experimentation.

The sole addition, Gravel & Grind in Frederick, Md. is a seriously cool and unique bike shop and stellar coffee cafe that I’ve visited by car, but had yet to stop there more than once by bike. I recommend any lover of bikes, and coffee, stop there.

Maybe it was all the uncertainty surrounding the elections this year that led me to stick to tried-and-loved shops. Really, these locales are among my favorites on weekends and play a regular role in outings long and short. Life’s too short for bad coffee, OK? These places care and are all welcoming respites for the two-wheel adventurer.

Stepping down from the soapbox, I want to commend Mary. She gets the wave, a standing ovation and a gold star for running the Coffeeneuring Challenge again this year, which takes up a fair bit of her time.

There has been growing participation in the challenge around the world, which is always fun and inspiring to see up close. She and her homespun contest even got written about in Bicycle Times magazine (sorry, article is not online), and the Facebook Coffeeneuring group is full of tales that will warm your heart as the cold weather sets in.

So with utmost respect, I hereby detail my rides for certification by Mary. Caveat: I don’t rate coffee places on whether they are bike friendly – all the ones I visited were safe enough for locking up outside, even if they did not have bike racks.

Ride No. 1

Sunny Fall Baseball Sunday

Sunny Fall Baseball Sunday

 

  • Date and Location: Oct. 9, Peregrine Espresso, Eastern Market, Washington.
  • Distance: 4.3 miles
  • Drink: Espresso
  • Companions: Mary
  • Observations: We coffeeneured to Peregrine at Eastern Market, one of my solid weekend stops, before going to the Nationals baseball playoff game. It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. A nice little ride and a great way to start the coffeeneuring season. Plus, the Nats won!
  • Rating: ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️

 

Ride No. 2

I hope Chinatown Coffee never changes. Always an oasis in the city.

I hope Chinatown Coffee never changes. Always an oasis in the city.

 

  • Date and Location: Oct. 10, Chinatown Coffee, Washington.
  • Distance: 11.6 miles
  • Drink: Soy Cappuccino
  • Companions: Mary
  • Observations: A welcome Columbus Day holiday, invoking the Tara Rule here. Chinatown Coffee has both great espresso drinks and a welcome vibe. We got a few more miles around Hains Point to round out the lazy day off.
  • Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️

 

Ride No. 3

Not quite artisan, but good flavor

Not quite artisan, but good flavor

 

  • Date and Location: Oct. 15, Caffe Amouri, Vienna, Va.
  • Distance: 88.6 miles
  • Drink: Soy Cappuccino
  • Companions: Ted, Jerry and Carolyn
  • Observations: Mary was out of town and I accompanied Ted on the “Leesburg Loop” ride with Jerry and Carolyn along for part of the way. No ride out on the W&OD Trail is complete without a stop at Caffe Amouri, another solid coffee & espresso cafe tucked among a sea of chain coffee places, with good pastries and light lunch options.
  • Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️

 

Ride No. 4

A Baked Joint. Warm outside. I took my Always Be Coffeeneuring Patch.

A Baked Joint. Warm outside. I took my Always Be Coffeeneuring Patch.

 

  • Date and Location: Oct. 16, A Baked Joint, Washington
  • Distance: 7.6 miles
  • Drink: Soy Cappuccino
  • Companions: Just Me
  • Observations: Mary still out of town. I finished Saturday’s ride with a noise in my front hub, so I took the wheel over to BicycleSpace at Franklin Square for service. Jerry, their wheel expert, was at the shop and said he could fix it then, so I went next door to ABJ for an impromptu soy cappucino. This place has really grown on me since I started working less than a mile away and we relocated Friday Coffee Club there while Swings Coffee Roasters renovates. The coffee drinks are always good and the staff are pretty groovy. Going five coffees on this stop, though without Mary it was a rather low-key outing.
  • Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️

 

Ride No. 5

Out in the wilds of the Catoctins before finishing at Gravel & Grind

Out in the wilds of the Catoctins before finishing at Gravel & Grind

 

So Much Treasure

So Much Treasure

 

  • Date and Location: Oct. 22, Gravel & Grind, Frederick, Md.
  • Distance: 100 miles
  • Drink: Almond Cappuccino and Espresso
  • Companions: Jerry and Mary
  • Observations: We got out for a hilly century in the first serious cold snap of the fall. The rain held off, yay!, and we got around to our final rest stop at G&G in Frederick before riding on to the start/finish a few blocks away. James and Mel have built an incredible place in downtown Frederick, a place not known much for its cycling culture. It’s worth a stop to meet them and see the eclectic bikes, touring and bike camping gear, and enjoy the very good coffee and tasty cafe fare. The soup was a delight!
  • Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️

 

Ride No. 6

Baked & Wired in Georgetown. Known for cupcakes, but we go for the espresso

Baked & Wired in Georgetown. Known for cupcakes, but we go for the espresso

 

  • Date and Location: Oct. 29, Baked & Wired, Washington
  • Distance: 101 miles
  • Drink: Espresso
  • Companions: Mary and Ted
  • Observations: A regular century ride of ours, the Sugarloaf Loop out into Maryland northwest of Washington, exits and re-enters the city through Georgetown. We rarely fail to stop at Baked & Wired, the companion location to the newer A Baked Joint (see above). Aside from the cupcakes, B&W has a high-end coffee bar, where a fine espresso is served. Mary, Ted and I stopped on the way out of town to wake up a bit more and get caught up, and it was worth it as always.
  • Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️

 

Ride No. 7

Carolyn and Jerry know how to have fun on the bike

Carolyn and Jerry know how to have fun on the bike

Volo Coffeehouse, an annual coffeeneuring tradition

Volo Coffeehouse, an annual coffeeneuring tradition

 

  • Date and Location: Nov. 5, Volo Coffeehouse, Manayunk/Philadelphia
  • Distance: 29 miles
  • Drink: Soy Cappuccino
  • Companions: Mary, Jerry and Carolyn
  • Observations: Volo is our annual stop on the way into Philadelphia for the Philly Bike Expo on the Schuylkill River Trail. This year Jerry and Carolyn joined us for the drive to Phoenixville, where we left the car overnight and rode into the city. Volo was hopping as usual and the coffee was the same – fantastic. We also get lunch here so that once we get to the expo we aren’t looking for food. The day was one of the funnest of the year, and made a fitting end to a another satisfying and fulfilling Coffeeneur season!
  • Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️

Conclusion: 342 miles.

I’m so glad Mary conducts this challenge, even if I am biased because she married me. In an increasingly complex and challenging world, coffeeneuring offers a way for us all to enjoy two of life’s simple pleasures. It also gets us out into that world, hopefully where we make our friendships stronger and start some new ones.

Coffeeneuring 2015: Philly Finale!

The 2015 Coffeeneuring season, as usual, came and went way too fast — just like the best days of fall itself.

As I write this, the leaves are long past their peak color, if they are still on the trees at all. Washington has overcast skies and temperatures in the 40s. Winter is coming after all.

I fired up turkey and bean chili in the crock pot cooker on Sunday, in a nod to the Thanksgiving week and the loss of the warmer weather we enjoyed in October.

That said, it’s been a great fall and one to remember.

As most of this blog’s readers know, I have the great honor (and unbelievable good fortune) of being the spouse of Mary, @Coffeeneur on the Internet, the chieftain of The Coffeeneuring Challenge.

MG SRT

The peaceful Schuylkill River Trail

Coffeeneuring is more than just a bunch of fun coffee rides in this house. Global coffeeneuring becomes a thriving topic before, during and after the official season.

Mary tracks posts, fields all kinds of creative rules requests, and logs in the submissions. “The first entry from Canada!” and “did you see Paul Rozelle’s kids rode a metric century with him?” are typical of the conversation banter in our home these days.

This is all very much fun, and your reports are a source of motivation to go, see and do.

Looking back on our coffeeneuring rides this year, the theme is clearly  “friends and family.” All my coffeeneuring outings this year were with Mary, and most of them were with riding pals.

I’ve gone for a solo outing at times to get to seven official rides — not this year. For Mary, for loyal friends and for all you amiable fellow travelers, I’m thankful.

It’s who we ride with, more than where we go, isn’t it?

Manayunk

Caffeinated and ready for expo-ing

My final official ride involves another theme for 2015 — familiarity. We  chose places this year that we’ve visited previously, mostly because they make such good espresso and stand above most others.

I’ll seek out some new coffee stops next year, but it felt good to go back to shops that make the stop worthwhile.

That was truly the case for my final official ride — another one both familiar and with Mary — from Phoenixville, Pa. to the annual Philly Bike Expo.

This was our third attendance to this quirky and welcoming two-day show in downtown Philadelphia, organized by Bilenky Cycle Works.

As in past years, we drove up and parked the car in Phoenixville on Saturday morning. From there we rode the 28 miles to downtown Philadelphia on the quiet Schuylkill River Trail, with a coffeeneuring stop at Volo Coffeehouse in Manayunk.

MG Phoenixville

Leaving the car in Phoenixville

Cyclists of all stripes stop here for coffee and food; the beans are from Colombe Coffee Roasters and the staff knows what they are doing.

There we met up with expo first-timers Carolyn C. and Jerry S., who also drove and rode. They parked closer to Manayunk, about eight miles from downtown, so we had a nice meetup. Much merriment ensued! It was cool and cloudy but we sat outside anyway.

From there we rode into downtown and dove into the expo after handing our bikes off to the bike valet volunteers. We had a nice time seeing a number of our friends from the Bike DC scene and from the greater northeast.

Oh, and we looked at a lot of cool bike stuff and talked to a number of nice vendors, like Peter White and Ethan from Co-Motion. We like the show, and we plant to continue going.

Maybe we can get a bike train going next year. Care to join us?

Mary Philadelphia

So long, Philly. See you next year!

Here are the details:

Coffeeneuring No. 7

Destination: Volo Coffeehouse, Philadelphia, Pa., Nov.  Oct 18.

Beverage: Espresso and Soy Cappuccino.

Distance: 29.2 mi. See my route here.

Company: Mary, Carolyn, Jerry.

Bike Friendly? No actual bike racks, but plenty of lockable poles and fencing. We locked the bikes together and kept an eye on them. This is a cyclist hangout so someone has to be pretty brazen to lift a bike from outside.

Observation: Volo Coffeehouse does a great job with coffee drinks. It’s something of a high volume place that nonetheless takes pride in quality. They also make excellent  sandwiches. I had a sandwich both going to and coming back from Philly the next day and they were delicious.

That’s a wrap for this year, folks. All the thanks in the world to Mary and all of you riders who make coffeeneuring special this year.

 

 

 

 

Coffeeneuring No. 5 and No. 6: Weekends in Motion

We were busy on all of the weekends last month, taking advantage of October’s waning daylight and warm afternoons. That’s my introduction for this flashback post to rides a couple of weeks ago as I try to get caught up on my coffeeneuring reports.

For most of us, the last day to complete the challenge was Sunday Nov. 15. The completed submission reports are coming in fast to Mary from all over the world, so I better get cracking.

On the road to Poolesville under a bright October sun.

On the road to Poolesville under a bright October sun.

 

Coffeeneuring heralds both the start of October and gives us excellent reasons to get out on the bike as the night comes earlier each day (before the hammer drops and we turn the clocks back) and cold weather sets in.

On Sunday, Oct. 18 we combined coffeeneuring with a delightful impromptu ride that came together late in the week via word of mouth at Friday Coffee Club and on the interwebs.

I mentioned that we should undertake the latest irregular French Toast Ride. A number of folks thought this was a good idea, and by Sunday it was a real thing.

This is a simple out-and-back jaunt from D.C. to Poolesville, Md., a staple destination for local riders via River Road in Montgomery County. Then we put a theme on it by going to Bassett’s Restaurant in Poolesville and ordering french toast (or pancakes). Voila — concept ride!

The French Toast Riders. Courtesy Mary Gersemalina.

The French Toast Riders. Courtesy Mary Gersemalina.

 

The air was crisp with our first dose of fall cool, but no matter, the sun was out and our group of nine had a fun ride. We also had the pleasure of hosting Pittsburgh duo Noah and Sarah, who came to D.C. to ride the C&O Canal Towpath and GAP Trail back home.

Cool enough for layers and gloves.

Cool enough for layers and gloves.

 

Also along were mileage eaters Ted, Rachel, Eric and Rod, and our regular compadre Jerry S. In sum, a mix of friends new and old — that’s my kind of bike ride, folks. Some of us ended the ride at Room 11 in Northwest D.C. (see below) for some very good espresso drinks.

Back in Rock Creek Park. Courtesy Mary Gersemalina.

Back in Rock Creek Park. Courtesy Mary Gersemalina.

 

The weekend of Oct. 24 Mary saved her legs for the Marine Corps Marathon and was not up for a ride, so I coffeeneured on Saturday when I met up with Jerry, and other randonneur pals Eric (The Wise), Eric (The Younger), and the debonair Roger H. for a long permanent ride from D.C. to the Antietem battlefield.

Our randonneur group, at Gapland.

Our randonneur group, at Gapland.

 

We began and ended at an outlet of the Mermaid-logo coffee chain, about six miles from home, and I had  soy “latte” before we started — quotes because their version is a big sugary concoction with a dose of harsh burnt espresso thrown in. Anyway, I could claim it as a “not part of an event” coffeeneuring ride.

However, I’m not counting it because there are much better locally-owned spots in D.C. to publicize.

I’m going to count Sunday the 25th instead — sorry guys! Mary successfully completed her fifth MCM (way to go, whoo!) and we went coffeeneuring together. As we have arranged in past years, I rode the Co-Motion tandem to the finish line with her Sidi shoes and helmet.

On the 14th Street Bridge, Mary stops for a picture.

On the 14th Street Bridge, Mary stops for a picture.

 

After crossing the finish line and getting her medal, we pedaled up to Eastern Market for lunch and coffee. I find it romantic that Mary comes back from her big triumph with me.

Medal earned, Mary is ready to do some coffeeneuring.

Medal earned, Mary is ready to do some coffeeneuring.

 

I still have to comply with the coffeeneuring bookeeping rules, so here are the details.

Coffeeneuring No. 5

Destination: Room 11, Washington, D.C. Oct 18.

Beverage: Soy Cappuccino.

Distance: 76.4 mi. See my route here.

Company: Mary, Jerry, Noah and Sarah from Pittsburgh.

Bike Friendly? There is a rack outside on the sidewalk, and a window view of the bikes from the small room by the espresso bar. Thumbs up.

Observation: Room 11 is another repeat visit from past coffeeneuring. It’s a small place but they make some seriously good coffee drinks (from beans by D.C.-based Madcap and San Francisco-based Four Barrel roasters) and sell awesome bakery items, with a dinner menu in the evenings.

The cappuccino was terrific. I like an espresso or espresso drink after a long bike ride as a little reward. The cappuccino here and the company really made for a lovely end to the day. I just wish Room 11 was closer to our house.

 

Mocha. Cappuccino. Cookie. The good life.

Mocha. Cappuccino. Cookie. The good life.

 

Noah and Sarah, tourers and coffeeneurs.

Noah and Sarah, tourers and coffeeneurs.

 

Coffeeneuring No. 6

Destination: Peregrine Espresso, Eastern Market, Washington, D.C. Oct 25.

Beverage: Espresso.

Distance: 12 mi. See my route here.

Company: Just me and Mary.

Bike Friendly? Good. Sidewalk racks nearby and lots of poles and fencing. If you sit outside, your bike is within arm’s reach.

Observation: Peregrine is one of the premier espresso shops in D.C. and is a regular stop for us at Eastern Market. They serve strong, super-short shots and I normally get a triple (or, “triplo” if you are Italian). I like going there, but I’m glad they are a bit out of my normal orbit as I’d end up hanging out too much.

It was great to coffeeneur there with Mary, who was enjoying the glow of finishing her marathon (her third this fall).

Next Time: Coffeeneuring Finale in Philly!

 

 

Coffeeneuring 3 and 4: Mary and I Go Running in Harpers Ferry

Coffeeneuring No. 3

Destination: Lost Dog Coffee, Shepherdstown, W.V. Oct 10.

Beverage: Espresso.

Distance: 11.6 miles. See my route from Harpers Ferry here.

Company: Just me.

Bike Friendly? No dedicated bike parking outside, but there are racks along German St., or just lean your bike somewhere, it’s a mellow scene.

Observation: Lost Dog is a funky small college town place that makes really good espresso. There’s not much pretense. I’m a fan.

Early Saturday morning outside Lost Dog in Shepherdstown

Early Saturday morning outside Lost Dog in Shepherdstown

This weekend, Mary and I repeated a bike & run trip we made last year, again to Harpers Ferry, W.V., so she could participate for the third time in the Freedom’s Run Marathon on Saturday. In an unexpected turn of events, I decided to end a decades-long absence from running and signed up for the 10K option.

I ran quite a lot in high school and some in college, but gradually quit in my 20s and then got into cycling in my 30s. (Ha ha, see that I’m not telling you how long since then?)

As a New Year’s resolution, I set a goal to get my running legs back in shape, and complete a 10K in the fall. I ran two or three times a week, up to 4 miles at a time, and this was the run I targeted. Freedom’s Run is a smaller event with a lot of charm and support, and we like Shepherdstown — where the 5K, 10K and half marathon were staged — and where the point-to-point marathon finished.

Mary rode out Friday afternoon on the C&O Canal Towpath. I rode out the 67 miles after work on the alternate route, via the paved W&OD Trail to Leesburg.

From there I took back roads to Brunswick, Md., and then the C&O the last few miles to Harper’s Ferry, arriving at 11:30 pm.

Early Saturday I rode just before dawn to Shepherdstown, and arrived at Lost Dog as owner Garth was setting up inside. Two other runners were also waiting. He opened at 7:30 and I had a delicious espresso and some banana bread.

Then I went over to the run check-in at Shepherd University. I managed to finish the 10K in 54:27 (track is here) without injuring myself — I think/hope! My left knee has been achy but I got through without any pain.

Gathering for the 10K

Gathering for the 10K

A nice bonus was seeing Kirstin C., also known on Twitter as @ultrarunnergirl, who is a regular at Friday Coffee Club and an experienced ultramarathoner. She and husband/ultramarathoner Tom where there with her parents. Kirstin ran with her mom on the 5K course and we greeted each other as I stumbled past.

This was a big accomplishment for me. Thanks to Mary, of course, for the guidance and encouragement this year, and Kirstin, her parents, and Tom for the congratulations at the end.

Afterwards I went back to Lost Dog for another espresso and another treat, then rode out on the course and caught up to Mary as she hit mile 22.

Mary was smiling and having a good run. The day was perfect for running — dry and slightly cool, with bright sun.

She finished in 4:42, which is what she hoped, and looked great coming into the finish.

Nearing the end, mile 23, running strong.

Nearing the end, mile 23, running strong.

After some celebration and lunch at the Bavarian Inn, Mary took the shuttle bus back to Harpers Ferry and I got a third espresso (!) at Lost Dog to revive me before riding back to our hotel. I was tired, but the day was so nice and I decided I could manage the 11 miles. It was worth the effort.

Coffeeneuring No. 4

Destination: Beans in the Belfry, Brunswick, Md., Oct 11.

Beverage: Soy Latte.

Distance: 68.4 miles from Harpers Ferry to D.C. Our route via the C&O Canal Towpath is here.

Company: Mary, and lots of touring riders and runners and walkers and their dogs and kids.

Bike Friendly? Yes. BITB has space for bikes out front and a hose for spraying off the dirt from the unpaved C&O.

Observation: Beans in the Belfry is about all you get for decent coffee along the C&O south of Shepherdstown, and they have good sandwiches and other lunch fare. We always stop there. You’re better off getting a latte (my choice today) or cappuccino rather than an espresso.

Leaving Harpers Ferry on a cool fall morning.

Leaving Harpers Ferry on a cool fall morning.

Mary and I got up tired on Sunday morning, but it was another cool, dry and clear day, so no complaints. We trundled the bikes across the bridge over the Potomac River and down the C&O to Brunswick for coffee and breakfast sandwiches.

Back at Beans in the Belfry, everybody's favorite stop in Brunswick, Md.

Back at Beans in the Belfry, everybody’s favorite stop in Brunswick, Md.

A bunch of C&O touring riders came in, leaving their hybrid-y mountain bikes with camping gear outside. We gratefully sat for a good while, pulled ourselves together and updated our social feeds.

Mary sports her marathon T-shirt. Well earned!

Mary sports her marathon T-shirt. Well earned!

Back on the trail, we made our way back to D.C. with a stop for snacks at the White’s Ferry store.

Rest stop under gorgeous skies at White's Ferry

Rest stop under gorgeous skies at White’s Ferry

The C&O Canal Towpath was busy with camping riders.

The C&O Canal Towpath was busy with camping riders.

The trail was pretty active with walkers around Great Falls, but otherwise we had smooth sailing.

Mary manages to keep smiling on the C&O, despite tired legs.

Mary manages to keep smiling on the C&O, despite tired legs.

My bike started making a weird ticking noise just as we rode into Georgetown for a celebratory stop at Baked & Wired, our regular haunt when we come in from C&O. With both of us having Columbus Day Monday off from work, we enjoyed the prospect of a full day to recover from the big weekend on and off the bikes.

There is definitely something satisfying about riding out to our weekend adventure — especially in the fall with the great weather we had.

Until next week!

Coffeeneuring 2015 No. 1: Mary, Jerry and I Go to DC’s The Coffee Bar

Destination: The Coffee Bar, Washington DC

Distance: 7.2 miles. See our route here.

Company: Mary, Jerry, Carolyn, John A., a big piece of cake, and friends.

Bike Friendly? Thumbs up. Racks outside, a front outdoor sitting area to keep an eye on the bikes.

Observation: Low-key neighborhood hangout spot. Great for a casual weekend outing. The coffee is spectacular.

Coffeeneuring season has returned, and in honor of this auspicous event, I’ve oiled the chain and pumped up the tires here on TDR. I’ve been on a long hiatus from blogging, waiting for inspiration and motivation. There’s nothing better than Coffeeneuring to get back in the saddle, so to speak.

Mary (the very inventor of The Coffeeneuring Challenge) and I were signed up to ride the Seagull Century on the Co-Motion tandem, but the organizers canceled the big annual event because of the dire weather forecast.

There we were yesterday, hanging around the house, when Jerry S. emailed about getting together to inaugurate the Coffeeneur season together. The big rains didn’t materialize, though the day was grey, cool and misty, making it perfect for a little ride in DC and some hot beverages.

Jerry and Mary and the streets of DC.

Jerry and Mary and the streets of DC.

 

I paused in my push to complete the building of my new Velo Orange Campeur touring bike. This bike is going to be my daily commuter and grocery-getter, with the occasional foray into the country. It replaces my 1992 Cannonade T-700, whose frameset has been hung up. It had some problems I got tired of dealing with.

We do most of our country riding on the tandem these days. I’ll probably take the VO to Harpers Ferry this coming weekend to the Freedom’s Run event, where Mary is running the marathon and I’ve entered the 10K.

Back to yesterday: Jerry came by our place and we talked bikes and Nitto front racks for a few minutes in The Dining Room Bike Shop. Off we went with Mary through mostly-deserted streets of DC. I rode my Rivendell SimpleOne singlespeed bike, which doesn’t get much use but is always a pleasure to ride.

The Coffee Bar on a Saturday afternoon.

The Coffee Bar on a Saturday afternoon.

 

The Coffee Bar is billed as an “eco-chic coffeehouse offering seasonal specialty drinks alongside bagels & pastries in a cozy space,” housed in an old hardware store. I’ve coffeeneured here before.  The vibe is hipster&laptop, but the staff are all really nice and the espresso is top notch.

It’s a good landing spot for apartment-dwellers in the Logan Circle area who wear nice clothes and appreciate good coffee and tea.

A Portrait of the Coffeeneur.

A Portrait of the Coffeeneur.

 

We saw two other riders we know there, and John A. came out to sit with us. He had already claimed credit for his coffeeneuring trip of the day at another place, so this was a bonus-level stop for him.

Mary, Jerry and John (and your photographer in the window).

Mary, Jerry and John (and your photographer in the window).

 

We spent a pleasant hour outside in the fall air discussing the nature of the states that are in the Midwest (Dakotas? Kansas?) until Carolyn and friends rode up after brunch, and that led to some nice conversation about bikes and city riding.

We complimented Carolyn on the fine chocolate and raspberry cake that she made, which Jerry had brought along for us to sample.

All together now. Coffeeneuring!

All together now. Coffeeneuring!

Oh, the coffee: I had an espresso (which was excellent) and a soy cappuccino (which was also excellent). Highly recommended.

Afterwards Mary and I got pizza dough and other stuff at the grocery store and went home, under more mist. Twitter was buzzing with people posting their Coffeeneur outings yesterday, and I was glad we got out on Day One to join them.

Coffeeneuring 2014: The best of Washington & Philly

Let me get something off my chest: I love coffeeneuring! And, not just because it is the creation of my lovely and strong spouse, Ms. Coffeeneur herself, though that certainly helps.

MG created The Coffeeneuring Challenge, but sometimes wonders if she should keep it going. Heck yes, I say!

I’m glad to be a part of it. I am one of the original coffeeneurs who have completed all four editions, and I don’t want my streak to end.

One of life’s simple pleasures is to ride to a coffee shop — in any season, but especially in the fall after all the year’s big events are done and the temperatures cool down. Good coffee shops are a real oasis among the urban jungle and offer a welcoming respite from the road when we tour.

What made this year special was that the coffeeneuring season coincided with a mostly-warm East Coast autumn, and included our 2nd annual jaunt to the Philadelphia Bike Expo, where we stopped at two of our favorite places in that fine city.

I’ll dispense with the further pleasantries and get down to recapping my final four rides. My great plans to blog each ride were waylaid by my job and my need for sleep, and of course, coffeeneuring outings. My earlier rides are here and here.

Adding the love at Nagadi Roasters.

Adding the love at Nagadi Roasters.

 

Coffeeneur Stop 4: Nagadi Coffee Roasters, 9325 Fraser Ave., Silver Spring, Md.
Oct. 25
Distance: 53 miles
Bike Friendly? Enough. Located in a warehouse complex, there’s no bike racks but plenty of places to lean the bike.

Our touring friends Steve and Lynn invited us up to their neck of the woods to Nagadi, a small roastery that opens its doors in the mornings. The owner has a couple of chairs and a table in the front of their workspace, but not much else.

Steve and Lynn. It was great to see them.

Steve and Lynn. It was great to see them.

 

I rode up from our place in Southwest D.C. solo (MG sat this one out) via the Metropolitan Branch trail and then zig-zagged at the direction of  my GPS computer. It was hard to find, set off in a group of warehouse spaces near Linden Road with no obvious signage. Steve came out to the road and waved me in after I stopped to call him.

After some warm greetings, I ordered espresso, the true test of a high-end coffee roaster. The espresso beans were were carefully ground on a custom machine and weighed before a shot was pulled.

It was about perfect. Strong yet smooth. Tons of flavor and a heart-quickening kick.

 

Seriously good espresso.

Seriously good espresso.

 

I bought a bag of whole beans to take home. It wasn’t cheap, but was worth the trip. I rode back via the Sligo Creek Trail, which was new to me, and treated myself to a bonus stop the The Coffee Bar in Northwest D.C., which was awesome as always.

Rating: Five stars.

 

My Rivendell Atlantis on the Sligo Creek Trail

My Rivendell Atlantis on the Sligo Creek Trail

 

Coffeeneur Stop 5: Compass Coffee, 1535 7th St N.W., Washington, D.C.
Oct. 25
Distance: 8.5 miles
Bike Friendly? Not so much. Typical D.C. urban setup, no dedicated bike parking. I locked to a fence guarding the adjacent property.

Compass Coffee, sparse bike parking.

Compass Coffee, sparse bike parking.

MG got up early to run the Marine Corps Marathon and I was on my own until she came around the course and I had a chance to cheer for her. I rode up 7th Street Northwest in warm weather to check out Compass, a new shop that opened this fall just north of the Washington Convention Center.

Compass Coffee, modern interior.

Compass Coffee, modern interior.

It has a big airy room and modern furniture, and built-in espresso machines at the service bar. A gleaming roasting machine sits in the rear behind glass. There was a lot of thought put into Compass in terms of aesthetics.

I decided to employ the espresso test again and Compass passed handily. The pull was excellent, full of flavor. I didn’t get too much warmth from the staff, but they looked pretty busy trying to get the shop up and running for a busy Sunday morning ahead. Service was fast and efficient.

I wouldn’t hesitate to return, though they do need a bike rack out front. After my stop there I had plenty of get-up-and-go to find MG on the course. She had a great run, as always.

Rating: Four stars.

MG got the finisher's medal!

MG got the finisher’s medal!

 

Coffeeneur Stop 6: Volo Coffeehouse, 4360 Main St., Manayunk, Philadelphia
Nov. 8
Distance: 30 miles
Bike Friendly? Not really. There are some places to lock up on the sidewalk.

For the second year in a row, MG and I took out single bikes by car up to Phoenixville, Pa. and rode the Schuylkill River Trail into the city to attend the Philadelphia Bike Expo.

The trail comes into lively Manayunk just before downtown, and Volo is a regular stop for the recreational and sport riders heading to and fro from the city. The interior is bright and clean, if cramped with lots of tables full of people out and about on a brisk autumn day.

Volo has a line, for a good reason.

Volo has a line, for a good reason.

We got there around the lunch hour and the line was long but their service was very efficient.

Very happy to be here.

Very happy to be here.

I had a soy latte and lo, it was good. They just know what they’re doing there. I like to explore new coffee places by bike, but some, like Volo, will always have a place on our coffeeneuring itinerary if we are passing by.

The show was a lot of fun. We attended both days and stayed overnight at a downtown hotel.

Outside the Philly Bike Expo.

Outside the Philly Bike Expo.

On Sunday we had morning coffee at tony Elixr Coffee with the sweet gang from Velo Orange, who let us tag along to dinner with them the night before. An artist left postcards out that she was to send after you dropped it in a box. I sent one to my daughter, that felt kind of cool.

Rating: Five stars.

 

With the Velo Orange folks at Elixr.

With the Velo Orange folks at Elixr.

 

Coffeeneur Stop 7: The Wydown, 1924 14th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
Nov. 15
Distance: 8.6 miles
Bike Friendly? Sorta. Planter fencing out front suitable for locking.

MG and I decided to take it easy on the final coffeeneuring weekend, and rode out from home for a fun-odyssey to check out The Wydown, which MG had read about, and Slipstream, an ultra-modern combination coffeeshop and cafe, both on 14th Street Northwest.

We stopped first at Slipstream. No bike parking, but we were able to lock the bikes together outside the expansive front glass doors. The setup was confusing; the front area is a cafe with tables and table service, while there is a takeout coffee bar farther back.

A mixup ensued in figuring how to get served. We ordered at the bar in the front area (I unwisely waved off the menus offered to us), then after awhile with no espresso coming, I motioned to the server that we’d order from the back bar — or so I thought. Then he brought our drinks in fancy glasses, just after I put in our order at the back bar.

The guy at the back bar had not pulled our shots, and was cool about my mistake. He gave us our pastries and an extra macaroon cookie for the trouble.

It turns out items ordered from the front bar are pretty expensive — not the $3 espresso posted on a sign when you walk in. That’s for the back bar. The bill for two double espresso shots ($8.50) and two pastries ($4 each) with tax was $17.60. I’m not used to a place with different prices for the same thing.

The espresso was fantastic, I’ll give them that. I mean, it was awesome. But Slipstream got knocked out of my coffeeneuring lineup this year with the funny business.

We did run into a BikeDC acquaintance there, Andrew, who works nearby. He told us the place had grown on him. I’ll give them another try sometime and pay more attention.

Hey it's Andrew at Slipstream.

Hey it’s Andrew at Slipstream.

The Wydown, farther up 14th Street, was a more straightforward high-end coffee experience. Get in line, place your order, pay, wait to hear your name called.

We locked up the bikes to planter fencing outside The Wydown.

We locked up the bikes to planter fencing outside The Wydown.

It’s a small modern place that was filled with folks on their Saturday morning outings. We had more espresso, which came quickly and was just great. It had more of a high-volume feel, space was tight, but you felt kinda cool going in there.

Rating: Four stars.

The Wydown. No surprises. All good.

The Wydown. No surprises. All good.

 

And so ends another fun year of coffeeneuring. Too bad. Can’t wait for 2015.

I’d like to thank my spouse MG, my parents, my teachers, all the gentle people at Friday Coffee Club (Rootchopper! Mr. T in DC! Bilsko!), and everybody else out there who get around by bike and keep these fine coffee establishments in business.

See you on the road and in line for espresso/coffee/tea/and hot chocolate, fellow coffeeneurs!

Coffeeneuring, with Some Tea in the Shenandoah Valley

Coffeneuring this year has been a stop-start affair. My first five stops were on the first, third and fourth weekends of the coffeeneuring season, with the other two taken up with family visits. I enjoy those visits a lot, but I don’t always get on the bike when we’re hosting.

That’s made me appreciate the available coffeeneuring weekends all the more. I really like the coffeeneuring-both-days weekends. It give the weekend some destinations, and of course, the promise of a relaxing cafe visit.

Every year I try to go to new places for all my stops. It’s not always possible, but the goal seems worthy: a new destination, a new experience, a chance to find something great, by bike. This is very definition of coffeeneuring, in my book.

In this, the third of the seven required stops, I even strayed from espresso drinks into the world of gourmet tea, out of necessity.

Bike parking outside Earth and Tea Cafe

Bike parking outside Earth and Tea Cafe

Coffeeneur Stop 3: Earth and Tea Cafe, Harrisonburg, Va.
Oct. 18
Distance: 43 miles
Bike Friendly? Not really. No racks. There was a large sidewalk planter box outside that was big enough to lay the bike down on.
Rating: Three stars.

MG and I went to Harrisonburg last month to check in on some randonneur friends, Matt and Kurt, and get to know more about the bike scene. Harrisonburg is close by a lot of good paved and gravel back roads in the Massanutten Mountain area and toward the West Virginia line, and has an active mountain bike community.

We have always passed through on brevets and tours, so we wanted to go have a closer look around. We ended up taking two very pretty rides, one in the valley on Saturday and another on Sunday up towards the West Virgina line.

A gorgeous Sunday ride.

A gorgeous Sunday ride.

After our arrival on Saturday morning, we intended to have the we-don’t-really-know-much-about-espresso espresso drinks they make at the Artful Dodger, a funky student cafe on the downtown square. We’d been there before, it was OK. There isn’t much else for espresso in Harrisonburg.

It was not happening this time. We were on the tandem, which is always a handful to park. Then we got shoo’d off by one of the smoking-break employees from leaving the bike out front even though there were no customers out there. None.

We decided not to bother and took a chance on Earth and Tea Cafe, just off the town square. The vibe was totally mellow, with none of that nervous energy of coffee shops. There were lots of college town folks in there, all looking and talking groovy.

So, this is how tea works. At least you get a whole pot of the stuff.

So, this is how tea works. At least you get a whole pot of the stuff.

I ordered a slice of cake (I tend to get nauseous if I drink hot tea on an empty stomach) and chose the closest thing they had to espresso: a black tea called Double Chococcino. Their menu description — yes, they had a menu for tea — was simply “with chocolate cappuccino taste.”

What arrived looked like very weak coffee when I poured it out. I could see through it to the bottom of the cup. Warily I took a sip and found it had a sweet chocolatey taste and a bit of bite. With the cake I managed to drink the entire precious little pot.

I should not have underestimated that tea. It had a real caffeine kick. I was buzzing for an hour. The cake was pretty good as well. We ate it all.

Tea. Not Coffee. Hmmm.

Tea. Not Coffee. Hmmm.

Had I not been on the coffeeneuring hunt, I don’t think I would have tried Earth and Tea. But now that we’ve been there, I’ll probably go back. Maybe they will have some bike parking next time.

Riding with Matt H. near Massanutten Mountain

Riding with Matt H. near Massanutten Mountain

Coffeeneuring 2014: On the C&O Canal

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.

Brunswick, almost there. Still raining.

Brunswick, almost there. Still raining.

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.
Oct. 4
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!

MG riding her feet today.

MG riding her feet today.

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.

Lost Dog Coffee. Coffeeneuring has begun!

Lost Dog Coffee. Coffeeneuring has begun!

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.

MG finished, she got the medal.

MG finished, she got the medal.

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.

This little horse was very curious!

This little horse was very curious!

Coffeeneur Stop 2: Baked and Wired, Washington, D.C.
Oct. 5
Distance: 67

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.

On the trail again.

On the trail again.

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.

Espresso. Quiche. Cake. Yum.

Espresso. Quiche. Cake. Yum.

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.

MG at Baked & Wired. Looking not tired.

MG at Baked & Wired. Looking not tired.

Me at Baked & Wired. Looking tired.

Me at Baked & Wired. Looking tired.

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.

This is my last minute 2013 Coffeeneuring Challenge post

I waited too long, as usual, to post the details of my Coffeenering Challenge trips this year. I planned to write each one as a captivating little story.

However, tonight is the deadline to submit my results to MG to qualify as an official coffeeneur. I want keep up my streak as one of the original coffeeneurs who have completed the challenge in all three years.

I blame work and bike riding for having to cover the final five coffeeneur rides in one post. Someday I’ll be a proper blogger and post in those spare moments.

Anyway, the clock is ticking down to midnight. Here we go:

No. 3:
Date: Oct. 19
Shop: Caffe Amouri, Vienna, Va.
Drink: Soy Latte
Mileage: 33

Caffe Amouri. Some construction, great latte.

Caffe Amouri. Some construction, great latte.

I was coming down with a cold but this didn’t stop us from getting out on this sunny day for a little ride to Vienna on the W&OD Trail. Caffe Amouri is a little gem off the trail that just happens to be a couple of blocks from Bikes@Vienna, where owner Tim F. specializes in folders and recumbents.

Latte, coffee cake, cheesy grin, beans.

Latte, coffee cake, cheesy grin, beans.

The soy latte was large and delicious. I bought a pound of espresso beans to take home. We spent an hour hanging around with Tim and test riding bikes, departing with visions of small wheels dancing in our heads.

MG takes out a Moulton.

MG takes out a Moulton.

No. 4:
Date: Oct. 26
Shop: Baked and Wired, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Drink: Espresso
Mileage: 84

Baked & Wired is known for gourmet cupcakes, but we go there for the espresso. They pull a spectacular shot, full of flavor and that smooth oomph that defines the best.

MG was taking the day off the bike to rest for the Marine Corps marathon the next day. This turn of events gave me the opportunity to take my latest project bike out for a good long ride: a black and red 1987 Bianchi racing bike I picked up at my apartment building’s bike auction. I converted it to a smooth and fast randonneur bike (of sorts) with wide 650b tires and new parts.

The Bianchi "Super Bee" 650b bike crosses the Potomac.

The Bianchi “Super Bee” 650b bike crosses the Potomac.

After riding past Vienna to Leesburg on the W&OD Trail, the Gen. Jubal A. Early Ferry deposited me on the Maryland side of the Potomac River for the ride home over familiar roads. MG came to meet me at B&W for a late day treat.

I was thinking about this stop for miles.

I was thinking about this stop for miles.

I crave espresso about this time of day, and it was a good one. One triple shot was enough; a good way to end a ride on a fun “new” bike.

No. 5
Date: Nov. 2
Shop: The Coffee Bar, Washington, D.C.
Drink: Espresso
Distance: 10.3 miles

My daughter DF was again in town and we went out at mid-day for coffee and lunch. The Coffee Bar opened less than a year ago in what looks like an old mansion in the up-and-coming (read: gentrified) Logan Circle area of Northwest D.C.

DF and I rode the Lead Sled tandem and MG rode her single bike. TCB exudes a high-end connoisseur experience, so in the hopes being deemed worthy to be among their clientele, I asked the friendly barista at the counter about the espresso choices.

Inside TCB. Laptops, coffee, cool.

Inside TCB. Laptops, coffee, cool.

She admitted she didn’t really know how to describe them. With that, I got the house blend.

And it was…fantastic. Wow. My taste buds were singing. Next time I won’t bother asking, I’ll just order.

MG enjoys the cardemom latte.

MG enjoys the cardemom latte.

The weather was warm and we lingered outside with the young crowd. MG had a delicious cardamom latte and Dagny had a hot chocolate. I put The Coffee Bar on my list as a place worth visiting again.

DF and the hot chocolate.

DF and the hot chocolate.

No. 6
Date: Nov. 9
Shop: Volo Coffeehouse, Manayunk, Pa.
Drink: Hot cider, espresso
Distance: 72.7 miles

As they say in Soviet Russia, sometimes the road rides you!

MG and I drove up to the Philadelphia suburbs and left the car at the end of the Schuylkill River Trail, where we were to ride about 30 miles into town for an overnighter with friends and a visit to the Philly Bike Expo.

I had no idea that we were to turn after six miles to stay on the trail and I had us ride an extra 18 miles away from Philadelphia on the Perkiomen Trail before realizing the error. The trail was lovely with fall color everywhere, so it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

We're lost, but it sure is pretty.

We’re lost, but it sure is pretty.

Anyway, by the time we got to Manayunk, outside Philadelphia, it was dark and we were famished. Volo served a mean espresso and a flavorful cider, both of which raised my spirits. Our friends rode out from downtown to guide us back in for dinner.

Cold, tired, and about to feel much better.

Cold, tired, and about to feel much better.

Volo has a high-end feel and the quality to match. We liked it enough that all of us stopped on the way out of Philadelphia the next day.

I have to mention, also, that we really liked Elixr Coffee in downtown Philadelphia, where we met the Velo Orange folks for a pre-show coffee on Sunday morning. This was a backup coffeeneur stop for me in case we didn’t get out the next weekend.

Igor at the Velo Orange booth. Nice bikes, nice folks.

Igor at the Velo Orange booth. Nice bikes, nice folks.

No. 7
Date: Nov. 16
Shop: Beans in the Belfry, Brunswick, Md.
Drink: Soy Latte
Distance: 128 miles

We had all day to ride and picked Brunswick as our destination. Brunswick is a railroad town off the C&O Canal Trail, just south of Harpers Ferry on the Potomac River.

MG and the Big Cat tandem on gravel Old Waterford Road. MG and the Big Cat tandem on gravel Old Waterford Road.

At about 62 miles away, Brunswick is about the farthest we go from home and back in one day. We crossed the Potomac into town famished after taking the long way via Whites Ferry, Leesburg and historic Waterford. Beans is in a big former church and features live music in addition to drinks and sandwiches.

MG does her best Civil War pose outside Beans in the Belfry.

MG does her best Civil War pose outside Beans in the Belfry.

I can’t say I’m a fan of their espresso, but in a big cup of soy milk, it’s fine. The food was good and we were back on the road with smiles on our faces.

And so we concluded my coffeeneuring challenge for 2013.

Lessons learned? Good coffee shops are sprouting up all over; there’s never been a better time to be a coffeeneur!

Portrait of a coffeeneur.

Portrait of a coffeeneur.

Coffeeneuring No. 2: Loco Joe in Purcellville, Va. Oct. 13.

Sometimes the need to get out for a long ride in the country becomes impossible to ignore. After a few weekends tooling around the city, MG and I started feeling cooped up and realized we had to go on a century jaunt away from the D.C. traffic lights and tourists.

The forecast on Sunday Oct. 13 called for a cool day and periods of showers. Whatever. I talked her into going out on the tandem on the Purcellville Prance, a pretty and hilly 100-mile ride by Crista Borras from Warrenton, Va. to Purcellville, where the Washington & Old Dominion Trail ends.

It was raining when we got to the start, about an hour’s drive west of D.C.

Me, the tandem and the rain. (Courtesy MG)

Me, the tandem and the rain. (Courtesy MG)

MG waited in the car while I got the bike ready. Being the tandem captain sometimes is less than glamorous.

On the Road, in the Rain. (Courtesy MG)

On the Road, in the Rain. (Courtesy MG)

The rain kept up for the first segment to Middleburg, Va., where I intended to make my coffeeneur stop. We stopped at Middleburg Common Grounds and had passable soy latte drinks and snacks. I’m not a fan of their drinks here because they like that strong burnt coffee flavor, but the soy covered up most of it.

The rain finally let up at Purcellville, and we had lunch at Subway. Purcellville is a busy place but not exactly wealthy, and I didn’t even think of looking for coffee. McDonald’s is usually the only place to get a decent coffee-type drink.

Loco Joe, in Purcellville. (Courtesy MG)

Loco Joe, in Purcellville. (Courtesy MG)

To my great surprise we rode right past the new Loco Joe Coffee, which MG recognized through the coffeeneur post of Purcellville resident Robert Edwards. He writes the Classic Three Speeds blog. See his post responding to MG’s coffeeneuring Q&A here.

LJ’s sits inside what appears to be a large old country home that has been renovated into commercial space. I got a good vibe as we walked in, when I saw that they sold coffee from our M.E. Swings, our home coffee shop in D.C.

I forgot all about our earlier stop in Middleburg.

Coffeeneur Stop No. 2: Me and MG at Loco Joe.

Coffeeneur Stop No. 2: Me and MG at Loco Joe.

I ordered a double espresso. If they make a good double shot, the rest is probably going to be pretty good. And it was very good. The real thing, as I like to say.

I hope Loco Joe is a longlasting success in Purcellville. I’m a little wary of the town, which has something of a love-hate relationship with the trail and cyclists, but Loco Joe is definitely a plus.

The rest of the ride was more dry than wet. We enjoyed the time away from home on roads made quiet by the dreary skies. Coffeeneuring along the way was an added bonus.

Total miles: 100.