The 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge

The Coffeeneuring Challenge was created by local cyclist, Mary (aka The Queen of Caffeine) 4 years ago. Since then, interest in the challenge has grown considerably because…..welll…. coffee. And because bikes. People who ride bikes will ride for any tasty arbitrary treat, you just have to create a reason. Don’t believe me, read this. This challenge has many rules (probably too many but I like rules). However, the basics consist of riding your bike for at least 2 miles over the course of 7 weekends for a cup of coffee at 7 different places. In the end, it is about having fun riding bikes at whatever pace you desire with your friends for a cup of coffee.

This year’s Coffeeneuring Challenge kicked off with incredible weather but ended with the coldest temperatures of the season. After failing to complete the challenge in previous years, this year I finally succeeded in achieving glory in the face of cold temperatures.

Next year, I want to coffeeneur based on a theme. For example, maybe I will try to coffeeneur only at Dunkin’ Donuts or only coffee shops named after pets. Who knows? Thankfully, I have another year to figure out.

Below are my entires for this years challenge:

Coffeeneuring #1

Location: Baked & Wired, Washington, DC

Website: http://bakedandwired.com

Distance Pedaled: 10.1 miles

Date: October 5th, 2014

What I had: Hot chocolate and a Bigass cookie

Bike Friendliness: Baked & Wired is located in Georgetown which has a well-known problem with narrow sidewalks and a lack of bike parking. Like most of Georgetown, this location also suffers from a lack of bike parking. Most people just pile their bikes against the wall and hope for the best. Bike friendliness could definitely be improved but there isn’t much Baked & Wired can do about it. It really needs a more holistic approach to address the problem.

Summary: My wife and I wanted to meet somewhere for a tasty treat. We decided to exercise separately and meet up in the middle. She went for a run towards Georgetown while I chose to turn some laps at Hain’s Point. After making a couple of laps I heading to Georgetown for the chocolatey goodness that awaited me. My wife, a chocolate drink with cookie, and a bike ride on a nice day. These are the days that are tough to beat.

Coffeeneuring #1: Hot Coffee and a Badass Brownie

Coffeeneuring #1: Hot Chocolate and a Badass Brownie

Coffeeneuring #2

Location: The Coffee Bar, Washington, DC

Website: http://www.thecoffeebardc.com

Distance Pedaled: 3.6 miles

Date: October 12th, 2014

What I had: Hot chocolate and a Badass Brownie

Bike Friendliness: The Coffee Bar is located on a corner lot in a residential neighborhood. There are ample racks next to the coffee shop and plenty of wall space to park your bike to sit outside while drinking your beverage. The Coffee Bar gets an A++ for bike friendliness.

Summary: This was my chip shot of coffeeneuring. I live fairly close to this location but The Coffee Bar never fails to produce a great beverage. Add in some good friends and you have a recipe for a great time.

Coffeeneuring #2: A mocha and a chocolate chip scone

Coffeeneuring #2: A mocha and a chocolate chip scone

Coffeeneuring #3

Location: Kaldi’s Coffee Bar, Silver Spring, Maryland

Website: http://www.kaldiscoffeebar.com

Distance Pedaled: 13.7 miles

Date: October 19th, 2014

What I had: Large mocha and a chocolate croissant 

Bike Friendliness: While there aren’t any bike racks near this coffee shop, you can usually get a table near the window to keep an eye on your bike. Otherwise, it is fairly easy to lock up to a parking meter. However, their bike friendlessness could really be improved. I have requested bike racks from Montgomery County but so far, they have failed to take care of this simple task.

Summary: Kaldi’s is the location of my Downtown Silver Spring Coffee Club made up of bike commuters who either live in the area or commuters who work in Silver Spring. Ted and Jean had never been to this coffee shop before so I was excited to escort my friends to has become my coffeeneuring home base. Along the way, we stopped to take pictures of the fall colors in full force. I enjoyed the weekend vibe of Kaldi’s which I usually miss out on during the weekday. The ride home took us down Beach Driver and through Rock Creek Park which is always worthwhile this time of year.

All the good stuff comes together for The DCyclist

All the good stuff comes together for The DCyclist in Coffeeneuring #3 with a mocha and a chocolate croissant

Gave me coffee NOW!!!!

Gave me coffee NOW!!!!

Coffeeneuring #4

Location: Qualia Coffee

Website: http://qualiacoffee.com

Distance Pedaled: 38.1 miles

Date: October 26, 2014

What I had: Latte with a whole wheat bagel and cream cheese  

Bike Friendliness: Previously unknown to me Qualia has a back patio accessible by the alley. Inside there is a small bike rack where you can drink next to your bike. No lock required.

Summary: Humorously, I got lost (twice) on way to Qualia to meet my friend Ricky. Did I know where Qualia was? Yes. Have I been there before? Yes. Did I still get lost? Yes. These are the things that happen when I don’t get my coffee quickly enough. This stop at Qualia was the first time I had tried their back patio which provided easy bike parking and friendly environs. After guzzling some caffeine and a bagel, Ricky and I cruised through Glover Park towards MacArthur Boulevard. In need to get back home into for our respective domestic duties, we rolled up Seven Locks Road and back towards the city on Tuckerman while Ricky picked up a PR on one of the many hills. In the end, we knocked out 38 miles and were home in time for lunch.

My latte and whole wheat bagel from Qualia

My latte and whole wheat bagel from Qualia

Coffeeneuring #5

Location: Lot 38

Website: http://lot38espressobar.com

Distance Pedaled: 9.6 miles

Date: November 1st, 2014

What I had: Cafe Mocha

Bike Friendliness: Lot 38 (across the street from Canal Park in Washington DC) has ample bike parking. There are multiple bike rack on the sidewalk. From the seats on the second floor, you can easily keep tabs on your bike. Always lock your bike.

Summary: This was a cold and windy day to be out on a bike. My wife was my hero on this trip. She was kind enough to accompany me on this trip for lunch, coffee, and Wal-Mart. We rode to Z-Burger near the Waterfront Metro station. This is one of our favorite lunch spots. We like their burgers, its fun to ride bikes to, and the exercise getting there reduces the guilt of eating the delicious food including the chocolate peanut butter milkshake. Have I mentioned my addiction to chocolate?

After lunch, we rode over to Lot 38 for a warm caffeinated beverage. Again, chocolate based. On the way home, we stopped at Wal-Mart on H Street to pick up a few things. I hung out in the lobby looking after our bikes while my wife shopped. I always enjoy bike rides with my wife.

Coffeeneuring at Lot 38

Coffeeneuring at Lot 38

Coffeeneuring #6

Location: Starbucks at Pentagon Row, Pentagon City, VA

Website: http://www.starbucks.com/store/11062/us/pentagon-row/1101-south-joyce-street-arlington-va-222022064

Distance Pedaled: 15.4 miles

Date: November 9th, 2014

What I had: Grande Mocha

Bike Friendliness: There are numerous well designed bike rack nearby. However, we found a table outside the Starbucks and enjoyed our coffee while seated next to our bikes. So, pretty damn friendly.

Summary: This coffeeneuring outing included using bikes to replace the function of a car. Utilizing bikes as a utility tool rather than a recreation machine has become more and more interesting to me in the last year.  My wife and I stopped for an early afternoon coffee, bought a new mattress, and shopped at Costco for a bunch of stuff. My trusty Salsa Vaya (aka Smokey) lugged it all back (well except for the mattress) to DC in my panniers including a 10 lbs. pork loin.

Starbucks by ice side

Starbucks ice side

I am happier than I look in this picture

I am happier than I look in this picture

Coffeeneuring #7

Location: Buzz Bakery, Alexandria, VA

Website: http://buzzbakery.com

Distance Pedaled: 38.8 miles

Date: November 15th, 2014

What I had: Large mocha and a chocolate croissant

Bike Friendliness: There are bike rack on the sidewalk just outside. The copious amount of outdoor seating allows you to sit next to your bike if desire. All and all, grade A bike parking.

Summary: This was the second coffeeneuring outing with Ted and Jean. After consuming our beverages, Jean headed to the yarn store in Alexandria while Ted and I continued down the Mount Vernon Trail toward Fort Hunt Park for some fast laps around the park. It was a chilly ride but as long as we kept moving it was a great day to ride a bike. Buzz Bakery might just have the best chocolate croissant in the region.

Buzz Bakery in Alexandria, one of the best chocolate croissants I have ever had

Buzz Bakery in Alexandria, one of the best chocolate croissants I have ever had

See you next year Coffeeneuring Challenge!!!!!!

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  1. Pingback: 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge Finishers and Honorable Mentions | chasing mailboxes

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