Coffeeneuring 2017 No. 3: Philly Bike Expo!

Last weekend (Nov. 3-5) I completed my third coffeeneuring ride of the season in conjunction with our now-annual weekend at the Philly Bike Expo. The actual coffeeneuring ride took place on Sunday, when we stopped at Volo Coffeehouse in Manayunk. It’s become one of my traditional coffeeneuring stops since we started attending PBE in 2013, and it’s always good.

Mary riding in on the SRT. Coming in on Friday meant easy cruising.


Heading into Manayunk


Volo is about eight miles outside Philly on the way to Phoenixville (see the route here), where we leave the car and ride in on the Schuylkill River Trail, or the SRT as it is known locally. The total distance is about 29 miles to the convention center. This year we rode in to Philly on Friday, Nov. 3, so that we could go to see Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile at the Tower Theater (great show, nice crowd too!).

We had a lovely coffee at Volo on Friday but it did not count for coffeeneuring because I’m on the classic approach, so only weekend stops for me.


Volo Coffeehouse. Almond milk cappuccino for me and a hot chocolate for Mary.


The Expo was its usual over-the-top amazing collection of poeple, bikes and gear. Here are the highlights:

  • A great talk with Dwan Shepherd of Co-Motion Cycles about our next tandem.
  • Quality time with the guys from Velo Orange. Congratulations to Igor and Adrian on their new baby boy!
  • Hanging out with Deb Banks, head saddler of Rivet Saddles, and Ely Rodriguez of RuthWorks Bags, who shared a booth. Both fun people and great products. I ended up buying my first Rivet saddle, an Independence, as I restock my bikes after giving up on Brooks B17, which no longer works for me.
  • Meeting up with friends wandering the show, and talking with the exhibitors. We had some great conversations! This year we also ran into Mary’s relatives from Richmond, who were there helping out a business friend who had a booth.
  • Checking out all the cool gear. I took advantage of the opportunity to test the Elite Direto smart trainer – I want to add some structured workouts to my cycling.

Here are some photos:

Mary conquers Philly, again


Dwan of Co-Motion and me.


Barb, Ron and Joe. Great to see you guys!


Velo Orange goodness.


University of Iowa bike design professor and amazing rider Steve McGuire was there again.


Deb Banks and Mary. Yay Deb!


We met the BiKyle guys, and they were a lot of fun.


Thanks Philly and Bina Bilenky for an awesome PBE2017. See you next year!



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.


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.

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.