With all the traveling that I’ve had to do in the last couple months, I was pleased to be able to complete the 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge. Now, Mary’s rules require that each coffeeneur ride be
You have to go to 7 different locales, although you may ride to multiple locations of a chain, if necessary.
For an extra challenge, and forcing me to learn new places of caffeine purveyance, I added my own addendum to this rule:
You have to go to 7 different locales That you have never coffeeneured to before, although you may ride to multiple locations of a chain, that chain must not be traded on a stock market.
As much as I visit Starbucks (i.e. Best Buns in Shirlington, or inside the Target in Merrifield), I was forcing myself to make it a bigger challenge.
Ride 1: Urban Pantry and Wine
Now, I didn’t say I couldn’t have been there before, just that the location couldn’t have been part of last years coffeeneuring challenge.
Cafe: Urban Pantry and Wine. Just outside the Falls Church city line, so it doesn’t qualify for Falls Church’s best coffee place.
What I ate: I went out way before their shop opened (which is funny for a bakery), so I had some time to kill, so I rode around the hills of eastern Falls Church. I was customer #1, and had a decent chocolate croissant, and a nice cup of Illy.
Bikefriendliness: Just a mere 200 feet from Tri360, it’s doesn’t have much to entice a cyclist – if you were going to lock up, you’d be doing so to a tree.
Total Mileage: 10.7, including a side trip to say hi to the Bikenetic Gravel Ride.
Ride 2: St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub
Cafe: St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub
What I had: Chocolate Croissant and a Latte. Wasn’t too jazzed about the coffee. From a machine rather than a real espresso maker. Quality of the coffee wasn’t anything to write about either. And the croissant tasted like it was from yesterday’s leftovers.
Bikefriendliness: Multiple places to lock up outside; on a warmer day there’s nice seating outside. Free Wifi too.
Total Mileage: 29.1 miles. I took a direct route for coffee, then I took the time to leisurely (as if the hills of Alexandria could be called leisurely) route back to the W&OD to get home. I spent my high school years in Alexandria, and rode those hills until I got my drivers license. I don’t remember them being that tough. I finally was able to ride my bike up the Braddock Road hill from Russell Road, something I’ve wanted to do now since I got a road bike.
Ride 3: Green Lizard Bike Shop
Cafe: Green Lizard Cycling. How awesome is it that a bike shop has real coffee?
What I had: A skim latte. It was really humid and warm, and the shop was all sold out of the bakery goods they normally carry. Yes, I could have gone around the corner to the bakery, but I had a bit of a time constraint.
Bikefriendliness: I don’t think you could find a more bike friendly place.
Total Mileage: 29.8 Miles. Simple out and back on the W&OD.
Ride 4: Toby’s Ice Cream
What I had: Skim Latte. The pastries they had were of a size that they would blow up the diet. And I wasn’t in the mood for their very good ice cream. Also, the Westover Farmer’s Market was in full swing, so I really could have taken my coffee down to the market and grabbed a fresh-made donut.
Bikefriendliness: Not very accessible, I had to move their outdoor furniture just to find a spot to lean my bike. Though the Westover Market was right by and I could have parked there and walked up.
Mileage: 9 miles. The shortest of coffeeneuring rides for me this year. Given that just 2 days prior, I rode 214 miles up and down Skyline Drive, this was plenty for a recovery ride.
Ride 5: Notting Hill Coffee
Cafe: Notting Hill Coffee Roasters, in Lewes Delaware.
What I had: Chocolate Fudge Croissant and a Skim Latte. The baked goods here were of a great quality and quantity, but I kept with the old standard of the Chocolate Croissant. The coffees on the back wall were just a sampling of the different roasted coffee that could be brought home. I brought home 12oz of the Peruvian French Roast (which was tasty).
Bikefriendliness: There are parking racks across the street, plus a few parking meters to tie up to. Easy to reach from Rehoboth, and not having to deal with downtown Rehoboth traffic.
Mileage: 17.4 miles. After an epic ride up/down Skyline Drive, my week was spent in Rehoboth Beach for the Sea Witch festival. I rode thru downtown, but the throngs of people (at 7am for a 11:15 am parade) were already too thick to think of coffeeneuring there, so I quick timed it up to Lewes for some good coffee and pastries. The next day I rode 100 miles in a figure 8 around my aunt’s neighborhood. I like doing stupid things on bikes.
Ride 6: Java Shack
Cafe: Java Shack. Now, the week before I rode with the Bikenetic Coffee Ride for a coffee at Baked and Wired, but I failed to take a picture of my plunder, so I was behind the 8 ball, and decided that the only way I could get out on the day was to take my daughter on a Kidical ride to get coffee and hot chocolate. This was before she had ever seen the Polar Express.
Bikefriendliness: Bike Parking outside. They used to sponsor a bike team. I’d say pretty darn bike friendly.
Mileage: 16.9 miles. I rode this on my hybrid, called the Towinator, hauling my daughter in her Burley trailer. Messed up my knee, still recovering from.
Ride 7: Cameron’s Chocolates
Cafe: Cameron’s Chocolates and Coffee. I saved the most deserving of places for last. Cameron’s is a non-profit commercial enterprise created to provide permanent employment opportunities for young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. You should definitely read the about pages and make sure you visit often.
What I had: An amazing baked-this-morning nut bar and an also-baked-this-morning apple muffin, and a skim latte. Yes, the espresso drink was out of a machine, but it was much tastier than St. Elmo’s, and the baked goods were awesome.
Bikefriendliness: Just off the Cross County Trail near the intersection of Lee Highway and Rt. 50, it’s a little out of the way from my normal routes. No real parking though.
Mileage: 17.5. I caught the Bikenetic gravel ride as they were completing their loop on the CCT.