Sunday, November 4, 2012


Thanks Mary, for organizing this. I had fun scoping out coffee shops that I wanted to go visit by bike, and missed out two that I wanted to go to, but didn't.

Well known fact: Randonneurs (and randonneuses) ride long distances.
Little known fact:  Said randonneurs ride with the bling to be had in mind.

I present to you, the Coffeeneuring challenge: Go here for all the details..

Mary G of chasing mailboxes fame came up with this challenge along with SIRs Joe Platzner. The idea is to ride at least 2 miles to drink coffee (or hot chocolate or cider) 7 days over 6 weekends. I started this challenge on the 7th of October and completed it on the 3rd of November, 2012.

The beauty of the whole thing is, my wife and I already have a weekend coffee ritual. We have our favourite coffee shops and every Saturday morning we head out to our usual haunts, book, laptop or tablet in hand and spend a few hours waking ourselves up. This challenge presented the perfect opportunity for me to do this by bike. 6 out of the 7 days I had coffee with my wife, and the last one was the only instance I had coffee alone.

I did get receipts for all the weeks, but lost the receipt for Le Rendez-vous. Album is here.

Ride 1 (week 1)

With bemused spouse!
Date: 10/07/2012
Destination: Urban Coffee Lounge, 9744, NE 119th Way, Kirkland WA 98034
Ride 1 distance: 3.5 miles.

The day started off rainy and we had some errands to run in the morning to do with our upcoming vacation to Spain, so we decided to start this challenge right by heading to our beloved coffee place in Kirkland. I live atop a hill, so the first 2 miles are almost all downhill with a bike lane most of the way. My wife drove there, and I got myself a nice Americano and settled down with a nice book.

Ride 2 (week 2)

Who said it had to rain ?
Date: 10/13/2012
Destination: Starbucks, 9721, NE 119th Way, Kirkland WA 98034
Ride 2 distance: 3.5 miles.

The drizzly, misty rain made it one of those "Just get it done" days. Rode to the same location as last time, but went to Starbucks instead. We normally avoid Starbucks, but the convenient location won out. Late evenings usual call for a non-caffeinated drink: a decaf Soy Mocha that my wife turned her nose up at.

Ride 3 (Week 2)

Empty cafe on a perfect day!
Date: 10/14/2012
Destination: Caffe Rococo, 136, Park Lane, Kirkland WA 98033
Ride 3 distance: 5.8 miles

Perfect day for an early morning (10a for me) ride to the coffee shop. The ducks were swimming in the lake, and runners had that "Oh my goodness, this hurts" look on their faces as they climbed the hill leading up to Downtown Kirkland. 6 miles is about the distance that I start to accumulate some sweat but all too soon it was over.


Ride 4 (Week 3)

Perfect lighting!
Latte and demi-baguette

Date: 10/21/2012
Destination: Le Rendez-Vous Organic Cafe, 8918 161st Avenue Northeast, Redmond WA 98052
Ride 4 distance: 6.5 miles

Cloudy day dawned but no rain. This has been one magical October. We headed out to a French bakery nearby that makes Paris-Brest pastries. I helped a lost cyclist on the Sammamish River Trail. The light was just about perfect for a photograph. Had a nice latte with a demi-baguette, butter and jam. Fantastic day to go out for a bike ride.

Ride 5 (Week 4)

The crap we do for bling!
Date: 10/27/2012
Destination: Victor's Celtic Coffee, 7933 Gilman St, Redmond WA 98052
Ride 5 distance: 6.4 miles

Well, our run of spectacular weather had to come to an end. I got rained on all the way there, and I wore shorts and paid for it. My jacket kept me dry. The Blueberry danish and Americano more than made up for the lousy weather. Raji was with me again, shaking her head at the trouble I was putting myself through.

Ride 6 (Week 5)

Back to normalcy!
Date: 10/27/2012 
Destination: Peet's Coffee, 17887 Redmond Way, Redmond WA 98052
Ride 6 distance: 8.0 miles

Another incredible day. Nice and warm and meant for shorts, even if it was late October. Raji seems to like Peet's too. The place was crowded. Peak coffee shop season is almost here!

Ride 7 (Week 6)

Drinking alone sucks. Coffee or anything else!
Date: 11/03/2012 
Destination: Starbucks,
14015 Northeast 175th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
Ride 7 distance: 3.7 miles

The wonderful thing about living in the Seattle area is the absolute abundance of coffee shops within a 5 mile radius. For the last ride, I should have chosen Sandy's in Carnation, but I was short of time, so I just headed to the local Woodinville Starbucks. And for the first time in the past few weeks, I had coffee alone. I was feeling under the weather, but the challenge had to be completed!

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