Sunday, November 17, 2013

Coffeeneuring failure

First, I must thank Mary from for running this challenge.  It was a lot of fun, even if I didn't make it to the finals - but I was close.  We all need extra encouragement to ride at this time of the year and I need extra encouragement to get on my bike to do the errands that I can do without a car.  Second, I appreciate Mary's trust in me to get the digital version of the Coffeeneuring map online and run the regional office.  We have never met or talked on the phone but managed to get a map that I set up, am hosting on my blog, but having data that is maintained by Mary.  This is one of the ways that the net makes things happen that otherwise couldn't happen and it is fun to be a part of it.


This could be a story of woe but it is not.  Instead, it is a story of triumph, and fun.  The goal was simple - 7 trips for coffee by bicycle  with what some would consider arcane rules put in there to remind us that this challenge was rooted in the world of randonneuring, which is chock full of arcane rules, if you ask me.  But you aren't asking me so I'll be quiet now.

The failure culminated in one day, the last day of the challenge.  I had one last trip to do and I couldn't do it.  The day started out with a challenge of a different sort - raking the yard yet again.  I packed a full 20 bags of leaves last week yet the yard was looking like I had neglected it all fall.  I raked while my wife planted a hundred bulbs for us to enjoy in the spring.  The boys kept her busy except for a brief time when the older boy jumped in the huge pile of leaves I was making.  Next came the gutters, my least favorite task ever.  But they really needed cleaning before the winter.

Doesn't this look appealing?

After cleaning the gutters, I had a very quick snack before taking my oldest son for an impromptu play date with one his buddies from preschool who he doesn't get to see often now that they are in different schools.  I like the friend's parents and, in particular his dad, Art.  It was entertaining and I did get to use the Coffeeneuring completion map as an example of how the Art might show the reach of his business.

Later I thought of an evening ride but I really needed a shower and it was pretty foggy out there and the roads were wet and more rain was coming so I thought about a beer instead.  That might be covered in the rules but, again, I'm not going out on my bike so it doesn't count.

But enough of this story of woe, here are the successes.  Previous blog posts are used when I wrote one up, tweets otherwise, except for the most recent trip.

Coffeeneuring #6

This was yesterday, the second to last day of the challenge.  I had to drop off the extraordinary recycling, something that happens a couple of times a year.  We had electronic junk and styrofoam to discard and I used my bike to haul it.  Just the electronic junk remains here, the styrofoam filled the back seat to the brim before I dropped it off.


I decided that I should head over to Kickstand Cafe, the new coffee shop that replaced Jammin' Java, that replaced Carrberrys.  This was the second day of their existence and they were busy - I was halfway through the line at this point:

I ordered a single expresso shot and the delivery was quick so I actually had a few minutes to enjoy it.  And I could see my bike from the window:

Coffeeneuring #5

This made it as a blog post.  It was my only trip that I managed to do with someone.  That's the state of my life right now.


I really intended for this to be a coffeeneuring trip but I let my son convince me to try to meet my wife in Concord and check out the farm that we order some meat from.  We did meet my wife, made it to the farm, and saw a four point buck (the first deer my son has seen) so it was a success even if I didn't get a cup of coffee out of it.

Coffeeneuring #4

An errand combined with a stop for coffee.  Can't beat this.


Sometimes things are harder than you can imagine.  We managed to get out of the house on bicycles, the four of us, on a pretty cold day to meet friends to watch the Head of the Charles Regatta.  That is fun in itself, as was seeing our friends.  We talked about stopping for coffee but getting two boys on and off of the bike more than twice (we also stopped at an open studios) is daunting.  Maybe I should have looked for coffee at the open studios. They did have great food, including a veggie chili from Flora that was yummy if nearly too spicy for me.

Coffeeneuring #3

This ride almost didn't happen.  The fog didn't hit until I was 3 miles into the ride and it didn't lift until I was off the bike path, which was around the time the sun rose, although it didn't show its sleepy face then.  I did make it to Ride Studio Cafe, which is always a worthwhile destination.

Coffeeneuring #2

This trip is part of my too early rides.  I missed Ride Studio Cafe on the way out of town (in the dark - no surprise there) and even on the way back into town.  But I found coffee.  This post was written in the form of a guest post on, accelerating a trend.

Coffeeneuring #1

This was covered in three tweets:

And a post with a rant on how bicyclists are perceived.

Coffeeneuring training

Yes, you can train for coffeeneuring.  This was my longest coffeeneuring ride and also the hardest. But it was fun going off road and riding in the dark.

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