14 November, 2012

Coffeeneuring in Maryland

By Scott

This past weekend was lining up to be one of the best weather wise here in the mid Atlantic for a while. My riding buddy, Charlie Thomas, was at the end of his coffeeneuring challenge- hit 7 different coffee shops over 6 weekends.

Mary G, DC randonneur and VO customer, came up with this challenge last year after PBP.

Basically, coffeeneuring is an excuse to ride your bike to a coffee shop. For the challenge, you need to ride at least 1 mile from the start to the coffee shop, but there is no maximum distance to a shop. The rides have to be done on a weekend to count towards the challenge and have to be done between October 1 and November 11th. You have to hit 7 different coffee shops, so variety is key. For randonneurs looking for an off season challenge, this gives us some leeway in terms of places to ride.

Charlie and I went coffeeneuring two weekends ago out of Arlington VA and this past weekend we hit my side of the river for a ride from South Germantown Recreation Park to Brunswick MD. Western Montgomery county and Fredrick county still had some remaining leaves on the trees and with temperatures to be in the 60's by mid day, it was too good to give up.

Our goal for the day was Beans in the Belfry, a coffee shop in Brunswick Md located in an old church and our route was a mix of small lane ways and minor roads going northwest to Brunswick through Point of Rocks. The quiet roads were hilly with the orange and red remains of leaves scattered to the side of the road.

Upon reaching Point of Rocks, we decided to try taking the C & O canal path from there north to Brunswick. The canal path was in pretty good shape so my 25mm wide tires and Charlies 28mm wide tires had no problems. The biggest issue was the carpet of leaves made telling where the berm in the middle of the path lay difficult. Surprising, considering the beautiful weather, we didn't see a lot of folks out riding, either on the canal path or on the lane ways.

The shop was busy with the lunch crowd when we arrived and I ordered a coke and 7 layer bar for me (I wasn't coffeeneuring, so a cool coke was well deserved) and Charlie ordered his coffee and slice of pecan pie. We took the obligatory shot of the coffee cup, nicely lit up by the midday fall light coming through the stained glass windows.

Heading back to our start point, we opted for the roller coaster Point of Rocks road to head over
the southern Catoctin mountains back to the more gentle pasture land of western Montgomery county. Charlie enjoyed the full range of his triple gearing on this section, while I used my weight to muscle myself and my compact double gearing over the hills.

Back in Montgomery county, we stopped at the store in Dickerson to fill up our water bottles as they had mysteriously been depleted on the way south. Here we met one of only a few other road riders on the day.

The rest of the ride back to our cars was beautifully uneventful, arriving back to a parking lot that had been empty when we started, to find it filled with people enjoying the afternoon.

While having a challenge is nice, spending time having a coffee with friends after, before or during a ride is always a worthy goal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, a funny series of shorts by Jerry Sienfeld. http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/