Coffeeneuring Journal 2015

IMG_0321Just a pre-event practice to make sure my fitness was peaking

The Coffeenuering Challenge for this year includes a theme option. I chose something simple, but something that has meaning for me. It was several years ago when I first heard about Brad’s “Association of Caffeinated Wheelmen”. That was the first time I ever heard of someone combining bicycles and coffee as a “thing” in the way I thought of it. I was an early adopter of his pins, and have been supporting the Association ever since. So as a sort of tribute to Brad’s creativity, I decided to use my most recent Association of Caffeinated Wheelmen mug for each coffeeneuring control this year. Its the “same mug each time” theme.

Control No. 1

IMG_3220 Bicycle parking on decorative iron fence, not ideal but adequate

IMG_3233 Fortunate to kick-off this season’s challenge with my new GRANDSON!

Date: Sunday, October 4

Location: Zed’s Cafe, Silver Spring, MD

Bike: A. Homer Hilsen

Weather: Cloudy, 57F

Beverage: Double Espresso

Mileage: 5+ miles

Description: I was joined by Mrs. Pondero, my daughter, son-in-law, and new GRANDSON at Zed’s Cafe in Silver Spring, MD.  This was two days before the start of the C&O Canal Towpath Tour.  There was (apparently) one guy working and the place was packed.  We had a couple of mix-ups of orders and payment.  Maybe it was a tough, under-staffed day, but a little frustrating for our group that day.  My espresso was delicious.  Bike friendliness was not ideal without bike racks, but the decorative fencing allowed a lock up, and there were tables and chairs outside, so it all worked out in the end.

IMG_3236Theme: Same Mug Each Time


Control No. 2

IMG_3347Quickbeam gate lean

Date: Sunday, October 11

Location: Sullivan Road, Denton County, TX

Bike: Quickbeam

Weather: Sunny, Windy, 92F

Beverage: Bialetti Moka Pot Americano

Mileage: 14.5 miles

Description: I was sitting and sweating in the shade on a gravel roadside, waiting for my coffee to cool a bit.  It was quiet because not a single person came by.  Restoring order from my recent trip to Maryland, I didn’t have a lot of time.  I brought a thermos of coffee brewed beforehand at home.  There was a steel ranch gate located conveniently in the bend of the road to lean my bike against.  So I’m calling this quite bicycle friendly.  I sipped my wonderful coffee, and pondered how different things were this week as compared to last.

IMG_3351Mug shot


Control No. 3

IMG_3360Primitive campsite

Date: Saturday, October 17

Location: Primitive campsite

Bike: A. Homer Hilsen

Weather: Let me just say “perfect”

Beverage: Pour over

Mileage: Approximately 40 miles

Description: Even though I just returned from a four-day tour, Mrs. Pondero recognized that this is THE time of year for me to get out. So she released me to the woods for a coffeeneuring overnighter. Pushing a bike through the brush isn’t what must folks might call bike friendly, but I certainly had no worries about it disappearing. Overall, let’s call it bike friendly.

This event was split into two parts. My first cup was with breakfast at the campsite. After packing up to head back home, I stopped again on the lakeshore for another round. Double round coffeenering brings double the joy.

IMG_3363 Round 1, with breakfast

IMG_3369Round 2, with sun sparkles on the water


Control No. 4

blanket

Quickbeam and lollygagging mat

Date: Saturday, October 25

Location: Waide Road

Bike: Quickbeam

Weather: Breezy, mostly cloudy, 64F

Beverage: Homebrew (Aeropress) in a thermos

Mileage: 3+

Description: If it weren’t for the Challenge, I might not have gone. But I was challenged to carve out some time to say, “No, I must go ride my bike and drink coffee”. I found a roadside spot for a brew-up and no vehicles went by. So it was quiet except for the leaving moving and falling. With roads this empty, it seemed like it was intended only for bicycles.  Bike friendly indeed. Fortunately the challenge gave me a special gift today.

pour sharpPouring carefully


Control No. 5

IMG_0651

New bike day!

Date: Saturday, October 31

Location: Forester Road

Bike: Ocean Air Cycles Rambler

Weather: Breezy, mostly cloudy, 62F

Beverage: Pour-over, OAC Hobo Rouleur

Mileage: 10.6

Description: It was “new bike day” for me, and extra fun to celebrate with a coffeeneuring micro-adventure. The air was again damp and cool and so refreshing. My load was carried exclusively on the front rack on this “low trail” geometry ride. The OAC Hobo Rouleur coffee is a little lighter roast than I usually buy, but I quite enjoyed the difference. New season, new bike, and new coffee. No traffic, and a handy barbed wire fence, means bike friendliness.

IMG_0662On task

IMG_3398In the weeds


Control No. 6

IMG_0720Grey sky, grey water, and a sunflower yellow Rambler

Date: Saturday, November 7

Location: Lake Ray Roberts, Isle du Bois State Park

Bike: Ocean Air Cycles Rambler

Weather: Windy, cloudy, 56F

Beverage: Pour-over

Mileage: 43

IMG_3410My kind of place setting

Description: This outing was the first time of the season that I was able to enjoy the full effect of good fresh coffee.  I always enjoy the flavor and aroma, but today it was cool enough outside for the hot coffee to warm me from the inside and mitigate the windy, wet outdoor chill.  Waves slapped the shoreline and textured, multi-shades of grey clouds floated by on the wind, just distinguishable against the multi-shades of grey churning water.  It was delightful.  Where was everyone?  With picnic tables in convenient places, it was an absolutely bike friendly spot.


Control No. 7

22Coffeeneurs and fascinated spectators 

Date: Saturday, November 14

Location: Cogburn Cemetery

Bike: Ocean Air Cycles Rambler

Weather: Partly cloudy, SE wind, high 50sF

Beverage: Pour-over

Mileage: 50

IMG_3427Satisfying aroma

Description: Like last year, I finished of the Coffeeneuring Challenge with several friends Rambling in rural north central Texas. Some guys joined in the coffee brew-up activities, and some watched in fascination.  We shared homemade scones, crackers, and chocolate.  We swapped stories, and beamed in our good fortune.  We set-up our blankets behind a natural tree grove wind block.  We had a ridgetop vista of rolling ranch land, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.  Plenty of space to keep our bikes in sight, but it certainly wasn’t necessary.  Bike friendly?  Absolutely.


And so concludes the 2015 Coffeeneuring Challenge for me. I lollygagged my way to a successful finish on the last weekend. I visited one actual coffee shop with walls in Silver Spring, Maryland, two separate State Parks on Lake Ray Roberts, three rural roadsides, and one cemetery. To incorporate a theme this year, I used the same Association of Caffeinated Wheelmen mug at each outing because…well…bicycles and coffee…

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8 thoughts on “Coffeeneuring Journal 2015

  1. Pondero just taught me a trick. Instead of pouring directly into the mug, you pour into a thermos to keep things fresh and allows for more volume. Good to learn from one’s elders.

  2. You got a frying pan! Finally. 😉

    Also I like the dichotomy between the regular clothed coffee drinkers vs the road kit and neon non coffee drinkers, waiting for “something to happen.”

    • Good point about the bystanders. I didn’t realize the contrast until you pointed it out. They enjoyed the break as much as anyone, and seemed fascinated by our coffee nerd ways.

  3. Pingback: Coffeeneuring Challenge 2015: Finishers and Honorable Mentions | chasing mailboxes

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