Bike challenges abound for a reason: There’s something about matching yourself against other riders or the clock or the calendar that gets people rolling. If you’ve been logging your miles in the National Bike Challenge that just wrapped up yesterday and are already missing that extra inspiration, have no fear — coffeeneuring is here just in time!
The brain child of Joe Platzner (@thatsrando on Twitter), a former board member of both Washington Bikes and Cascade Bicycle Club and a Seattle International Randonneurs member, coffeeneuring provides a caffeinated excuse for leisurely bike rides. Seven coffee shops in seven weekends — nothing to it, right? That’s why this is the challenge for everyone.
A randonneuring bike blogger from the other Washington, Mary Gersemalina at Chasing Mailboxes, put together the rules and launched the Coffeeneuring Challenge in 2011. Now in its fourth year, it seems tailormade for the bike-riding coffee lovers (coffee-drinking bike lovers?) of our Washington.
We’ll give you something to get started: Sign up for our e-news below and we’ll send you 7 “I arrived by bike” business cards you can leave at those coffee shops or anywhere else. (Supply limited so sign up now.)
The cards, developed by Cascade Bicycle Club and sporting our logo and theirs, provide a brief message illustrating why bikes mean business and help inspire business owners to be bike-friendly. If you don’t want to wait for the mail and you’re in the Seattle area, stop by our Pioneer Square bike gift shop/offices at 314 1st Ave. South, sign up for our e-news, and we’ll give them to you on the spot.
Mary’s offering a coffeeneuring patch at her cost ($4) to those who successfully complete the challenge; request those directly from her following the instructions below (also on her 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge post).
The rules, repeated here from Chasing Mailboxes for your convenience and with a couple of notes for our Washington twist:
- Ride your bike to 7 different local coffee shops from Saturday October 4 through Sunday, November 16. Any place that sells coffee qualifies as a coffee shop.
- WA Bikes note: We’re serving coffee at our annual gala/auction Nov. 8 at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront. We figure we’re (sort of) selling coffee and you can totally count this if you bike to the event. (We’re confirming that Mary will count this too.)
- You may also coffeeneur to a Coffee Shop Without Walls. A Coffee Shop Without Walls is a place you ride to where you then proceed to make and/or drink coffee. The Coffee Shop Without Walls is geared toward the bike overnight or bike camping participant. It also captures farmers’ markets, festivals, and the like.
- Only Saturday and Sunday rides qualify. Weekday rides are ineligible, unless one of the following applies to you: a. You have a job that does not have a Monday through Friday tour of duty. In that case, your days off are considered your weekend; or b. You are retired, in which case you may choose any two days to complete your coffeeneuring outings. No other exceptions, unless you can make a convincing case for one to Mary.
- Only 1 coffee shop per day counts and a maximum of two rides per weekend. If you visit 7 coffee shops in one day, you may choose only one as a qualifying ride.
- Jot down a summary of your experience that includes: 1. where you went (address and website, if possible), 2. the date you went there, 3. what you drank 4. a detail or two about your coffeeneuring ride, including your assessment of the “bike friendliness” of the locale; and 5. total mileage. Also, if you find any “must visit” coffee shops or tea places please share that as well.
- Take a photo during your outing, and submit it as verification.
- WA Bikes note: Don’t wait until the end to share pictures with us — tag with #WAbikes #coffeeneuring on Instagram.
- Hot chocolate qualifies, as do tea beverages. Apple cider is also a coffeeneuring-approved beverage. Note: Drinks do not have to be hot! They just have to be coffeeneuring-ish type drinks.
- You may not combine your coffeeneuring ride with any other ride such as an organized century, populaire, or brevet. You may, however, combine your coffeeneuring ride with a grocery run, ride to the gym, an informal ride with your friends, or other transportation/utility-oriented ride. (If you do an organized ride, you may do another, separate coffeeneuring ride on the same day, e.g., a pre- or post-event ride to get a latte either before or after your organized ride.)
- WA Bikes note: Note that this rule does not prevent you from organizing a coffeeneuring ride. If you do, add it to our Washington state bike events calendar and drop a note here and on our Facebook page to invite others.
- Your ride must be at least two miles total, but there is no maximum so yes, you could ride 100 miles (or more!) for a cup of coffee.
- There are no geographic limitations to the Coffeeneuring Challenge, except that your coffeeneuring must occur on planet Earth.
- You have to go to 7 different locales, although you may ride to multiple locations of a chain, if necessary. For the Coffee Shop Without Walls, you must prepare and/or drink your coffee in different places. That means seven different campsites/locales.
- Deadline for submitting Coffeeneuring Challenge entries is whenever the clock strikes midnight in your area on November 24, 2014.
- Send submissions to Mary: gersemalina-at-gmail.com. They may be in the form of links to blog writeups, screenshots of or links to your coffeeneuring Tweets, on-line photo galleries with accompanying narrative, Word documents with attached or embedded photos, or e-mail writeups and submissions with photos attached.
- Provide all qualifying rides at the same time. That is, send all 7 together, NOT ride 1, ride 2, etc.
- WA Bikes note: Send it our way to Louise-at-WAbikes.org. Don’t wait until the end to send it to us. Write a post on your first weekend or your halfway point or some other memorable point and we’ll share some posts along the way to inspire others. We’d love to have a map, too, if you’ve put together a nice route someone else might enjoy.
- Prizes! You are eligible for a small prize from Chasing Mailboxes for finishing the challenge. Because of the increased interest in coffeeneuring, the premium will cost $4, which covers Mary’s costs. To purchase your prize, you may PayPal her at the gmail address above, or send your money by snail mail like Grandma used to do. Email Mary for her address.
- WA Bikes note: Everyone who submits a blog post or Instagram picture to us will be entered into our prize drawing to win one of several oh-so-appropriate WA Bikes coffee mugs.
- Tara Rule: During Columbus Day weekend (October 11-13), you have three days to accomplish two qualifying coffeeneuring rides. (This is the Tara Rule.) Update! Residents of Canada may use Canadian Thanksgiving in place of Columbus Day.
- Vacation Rule: This rule has been updated! If you are on vacation during the coffeeneuring challenge, you may coffeeneur any two days of the week for the weeks you are on vacation.
- Veterans Day Rule: You may coffeeneur on November 11, Veterans Day, INSTEAD of the previous Saturday or Sunday (November 8 and 9). Veterans are permitted to coffeeneur on November 11 in ADDITION to November 8 and 9, in recognition of their service.
- Buying Beans Rule: You may use ONE of your seven coffeeneuring trips to purchase beans (or tea) from your local roaster or tea emporium for future consumption.
Coffeeneuring on Social Media
- Twitter hashtag: #coffeeneuring
- Flickr Coffeeneuring group
- Coffeeneurs group on Facebook
- Blogging: Mary will do periodic roundups of blog posts about coffeeneuring at Chasing Mailboxes. We’ll do that for Washington bike blogs here so send us your link via email, Twitter, or a comment here.
- Instagram: Tag your photos #WAbikes #coffeeneuring and they’ll show up on our Instagram page
- YouTube: If you really get into this and make a video of your expeditions, let us know and we’ll favorite it on our YouTube channel
Coffee Shops, Get Involved!
If you own a great destination for the coffeeneuring crowd and want to invite biking customers to your front door, sign up on the form below and tell us why you’re a great bike destination, along with any special offer you want us to highlight. We’ll include you in our social media and e-mails to people who sign up for the challenge so they can go hunt down your two-wheel deal.
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