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.
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?
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.
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.
Volo Coffeehouse has a sense of humor, too
Two, two, two excellent coffee drinks
Our group unites for the ride into Philly
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.
The one, the only, Peter White and Linda
Brian Chapman of Chapman Cycles
Randonneurs made a pit stop during a permanent ride
Mary and CJ
Dave and Ryan of BikeDC
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?
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.