Having taken a job where I work from home, I now have no reason to commute by bike. Such a dilema!
Instead I have taken to commuting to Coffee. Usually 2 times a week I get up increasingly before the sun rises, and meet up with my friends from Bike Arlington for some chatting and Coffee.
It’s a much more interesting way to get to know the people you ride with, plus it gives me a nice reason to get up early and get some training in before I start my day. Plus Becky likes me to do all my training in the morning, before Charlotte’s day starts, so that in the evening, I can spend time with the two of them (Giving Becky a break from having taken care of Charlotte all day).
Last week, my friend Chris and I completed the #bikedc Friday Coffee Club Trifecta. It was really his idea, with the end of the government shutdown arriving, to hit all three of the coffee clubs in one day. This is no easy feat. The three coffee clubs are located at:
FMCC (The Original): M.E. Swings – Washington DC
FMCCII (Arlington): The Java Shack – Arlington
FMCCIII (The Hinterlands): Green Lizard Cycling in Herndon.
I got up early and made it out to West & W&OD by 5:50am, with the aid of my really freaking bright light, and waited in the dark and cold for Chris to arrive, since he was starting out a little bit further east than I.
I did my best to keep on his wheel; my early morning skills are not as well honed as his bike-commuting abilites.
We rolled into Green Lizard at about 6:55am, just a few minutes before the shop opened. We took a couple minutes to catch our breaths, as the lights were turned on inside the shop. We parked our bikes, sauntered in, and got our first doppio of the morning.
Someone was there to meet us (I didn’t catch his name while we were drooling over discount Scott and Cannondale bikes), and we
I took a moment to be amazed at the really cool reading material provided, but because this was a timed event (i.e. I had to be home by 10am), we quickly quaffed our caffiene and perkolated out and back onto the road. Lucky21 (from the forums) rolled up just as we were rolling out.
We had a long haul to go, from Herndon to Arlington was 19 miles. We lost a little time coming back into town, as the serendipitous lights that worked in our favour made us give back that time. Lynn: almost a minute. Van Buren: over a minute. The traffic in Reston as building, so we gingerly dodged cars on Whiele, Farraday, Sunrise Valley, and into Vienna it still took time from us. Gallows was especially painful, because in the dark we had caught the crossing at speed, this time we just missed it.
Eventually we wound our way to the Custis trail, and then to Key, and to the Java Shack. The normal FMCCII regulars were there, RCannon, SteveO, ShaunDred, Eminva… I waited inside for my doppio, and after receiving it, walked out and sat down for a few minutes.
RCannon had brought a puggle that was up for adoption, though he was unsuccessful at convincing any of us in attendance, I believe he might have convinced Steve to come visit tomorrow to see the other puggles.
Time being the taskmaster she is, we headed towards M.E. Swings. Chris showed me a really nice back way to get back onto the Custis Trail instead of bombing down through Arlington to the Intersection of Doom ™. We crossed the Teddy Roosevelt bridge, and lost more time to the lights getting over to the White House. About 7 minutes late, we finally got to FMCC, just as everyone was about to roll out. We said our Hellos, and went and got in a reallllly long line for our last coffee.
By this time I knew I was doomed. There was no way, metro or by bike, I was getting back to Falls Church by 10am. I am a bad husband.
I ended up getting home 20 minutes late, but I did have the sense to stop by the Safeway and pick up a dozen roses to help make up for my tardiness.
When I go on vacation, or work remote, I try to at least keep the Friday Coffee Club tradition alive. When I stay in Rehoboth, we like to visit The Coffee Mill in the Rehoboth Mews, or Arena’s for some decent coffee. There’s a lot more places to stop during the season, but we rarely come over then, instead wanting to deal with the beach when there aren’t parking meters.
When I go visit the corporate office in Ottawa, it’s almost sacrelige to get coffee from anywhere other than the office, since we have our own set of high-end espresso makers, plus a real coffee house espresso maker; one that rivals any that I’ve seen in any coffee shop (for example, it’s as good if not better than the one at M.E. Swings, definitely better than the one at the Java Shack and at Green Lizard.) Though I have been known to get something from Tim Hortons or Second Cup just to be Canadian.
Coffee is a nice fun reason to get out and on a bike, and my friends think I need to get a Coffee Cup Holder for my bike.