Yesterday, I had my first coffeeneuring experience. It is really just an excuse to ride bikes and drink coffee in different places throughout the area. This is not such a bad thing. We all need excuses to rationalize things that don’t really matter but we still enjoy doing. There is also a tendency to feed your pie hole with sugary treats during coffeeneuring which is why we ride bikes to each location. No guilt here.
The rules are fairly simple. On the weekend, a valid coffeeneuring ride only requires you to ride your bike at least 1 mile, have coffee or tea, and photograph it. You can only visit each coffee location one time. The rest is up to you.
I met my friends Ted, Jean, Brook, and Paul in Columbia Heights. We rolled out headed east, then south, then east again. Eventually, we crossed The Mall on 7th Street NW chatting and laughing the whole way as we easily avoided cars and other common DC hazards. We stopped at the Titanic Memorial so Ted could check on Foursquare (i.e. addiction).
We weaved our way down P Street SW past the National’s baseball studium and into Yards Park. Thankfully, the Anacostia River Walk Trail has reopened since the horrible shootings that occurred there a month or so ago. Getting close to our coffeeneuring location, we turned the pedals through Barracks Row and Eastern Market with our sights set on Pound the Hill, a coffee shop/cafe in the Capital Hill neighborhood on Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Brook was kind enough to order me a Nuttula latte and a Nuttula scone. Both were amazing and the perfect treat before 10 AM. The scone probably took a few days off my life but I will have died a happy man.
Brook concurred with the glory of the Nuttula based legal addictive stimulants with the enjoyment of the moment evident on his face. Smile!!!
After finishing our coffee, Jean had to take off early, leaving the men to their own devices. Normally, this is a mistake especially if hitting bike shops is planned. However, we managed to keep ourselves in check.
After discussing a plan and preferred mileage, we left Pound the Hill (thanks for the great coffee) via Barracks Row again. I always find it fun riding down main street style streetscapes with a group. Cars seem to treat cyclists decently because everyone can roll with the speed of traffic. Plus, riding with a group of cyclists always draws attention and interesting people watching.
We proceeded east down M Street SW toward the Anacostia River Trail. Due to construction, the entry point to the trail was blocked. Thanks to some creative routing and a bit of scofflaw cycling through an idle construction zone we reached the trail.
Brook lead us past RFK stadium and onto Kingman Island. Amazingly, this was my first trip onto the island. I wasn’t expecting a cyclocross style entry onto the island but it was really fun to have my bike hit the dirt for a bit. I will have to further explorer Kingman Island on a future ride.
We crossed the Anacostia River at Benning Road and headed back down the trail along the other side of the river. We stopped on the new bridge over the CSX railroad tracks to take some photos.
Crossing back over the Anacostia River on the newly opened 11th Street Bridge, we stopped at one of the overlooks. The views of the Navy Yard and Anacostia River were clear and beautful. We hung out here for a while discussing the merits of different bikes especially Brook’s single speed Fyxation Quiver. Ted, Paul, and myself are all interested in getting a super simple single speed urban bike in the future. Just pedal and go!!!!!. Meanwhile, Ted created his own Foursquare check in since one didn’t not previously exist (again, i.e. addiction).
On the way home, we tried to return via the Navy Yard but the gates had been closed sometime after we had past through that morning. Instead, we rode down I Street SW and crossed The Mall at 4th Street NW. Brook took us down streets I had never been on and suddenly connected us to streets I was familiar with. I love exploring the city and the feeling of not knowing where I am. Then, suddenly figuring out how the previously unknown streets connect Point A to Point B of known routes.
We stopped in at briefly at Bicycle Space so Brook could get some chain lube. Upon reaching Sherman Circle, I broke away from the group to pedal towards home. Along the way, I diverted my route to stop in at Meridian Hill Park to check out the 19th Amendment alleycat race that was getting ready to start.
Coffeeneuring and bikes. What a great way to spend a Saturday.
Coffeeneuring Location: Pound the Hill
Length: 24.5 miles
Date: October 19th, 2013