2015 marks my third year of completing MG’s fall Coffeeneuring challenge, in which one rides a bike to places that serve hot beverages. (I suppose technically it might also be considered a challenge in which one drinks hot beverages while out on a bike ride, but let’s be honest: that’s not the kind of riding I do.
A Baked Joint, Washington, D.C.
Comestibles: Chaider (a combination of hot cider and a hot chai tea latte) and sourdough toast with Nutella and sea salt. Both were delicious and warm and exactly what was needed to help dry me out.
Distance: 6.1 miles
The Ride: This was a stormy Saturday, and we thought that the weather had abated when we headed out, leaving without rain gear and without a concrete understanding of what cross street we needed. After meandering through several neighborhoods in a drizzle, trying to find a way down to K Street, eventually we got there. The cafe, sister to crowd (literally these days) favorite Baked & Wired, has an open kitchen, an urban design, and outdoor seating for days when it’s not damp. We rode home via three grocery stores in hopes of finding a key ingredient for a recipe.
Bike Friendliness: How do a cafe and an adjacent bike shop not have bike racks of some kind nearby? The only place to lock your bike would be to the ankle-high tree boxes. Fail!
October 14 (vacation rule)
The Block Island Ferry, Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rhode Island
Comestibles: Hot cocoa and peanut M&Ms. Unexciting, but satisfyingly warm and clutchable.
Distance: 8 miles
The Ride: While on vacation in New England, we decided to spend a day on Block Island. There was a headwind for most of the day, which made me very slow, thus accounting for such a low number of miles for a full day spent riding around. We did encounter an alpaca farm/yarn shop, a lighthouse that had been saved from falling into the ocean in the 1990s, beaches, and a precipitous drop to the rocks below, along bluffs where a group of marauding Mohegans were once chased to their death by the local tribe. Most of the businesses and restaurants were closed, it being after Columbus Day, though, so we ended up snacking on the ferry ride back to the mainland.
Bike Friendliness: Block Island is very bike friendly, with lots bike racks at every stop. The ferry is equally bike friendly, with a large cargo area alongside the ramp for bike parking.
October 16 (vacation rule)
The Coupe, Washington, D.C.
Comestibles: Lavender hot chocolate with a mountain of whipped cream and sprinkles, soup, a PB&J sundae. The cocoa was some of the prettiest I’ve had in a while. The sundae was also pretty: grape ice cream with a peanut butter sauce. The soup was warm and made me feel balanced about the rest of my meal.
Distance: 7.6 miles
The Ride: After riding here, we headed up to Petworth so Rudi could check out Upshur Books. We tried to go home via The Coffee Bar, but arrived just after they’d closed. We ended up at the Bakehouse instead (because one hot beverage is not enough).
Bike Friendliness: The Coupe is located along the 13th St. bike lane and has a bike rack outside.
Pâtisserie Poupon, Washington, D.C.
Comestibles: Darjeeling tea and a mini pumpkin pie. PP adds a ring of pastry cream to their pie, which mutes the pumpkinness of the dessert. Particularly recommended if you aren’t a huge fan of normal pumpkin pie.
Distance: 4.4 miles
The Ride: I headed to Georgetown for the Book Hill Fall Market on what was really a nice fall day. I wandered up and down Wisconsin Avenue checking out the local businesses and artists, bought a shawl at the sari shop, and settled at a streetside table outside Pâtisserie Poupon. There was a second art event in Georgetown I wanted to attend, but I timed it wrong, so I went into TJ Maxx instead before heading home.
Bike Friendliness: I knew a sidewalk festival wasn’t likely to appreciate a bike taking up valuable real estate locked to a street sign, so I locked up on Q Street instead. It was the right decision.
Teaism (Dupont Circle), Washington, D.C.
Comestibles:Chai and Flatbread with Chutney
Distance: 2.1 miles
The Ride: A trip to the garden was supposed to be followed by a longer ride, but a friend called, wanting to get together, so we headed back to Dupont with only a slight detour.
Bike Friendliness: Located along a bike lane. There are a couple racks, but they were full, so I ended up locked to a sign.
The Pretzel Bakery, Washington, D.C.
Comestibles: Hot Nutella and a pretzel trio (salt, sweet, and everything). So, so good. Highly recommended.
Distance: 14.41 miles
The Ride: My longest ride of the challenge. I rode to Georgetown library, down to the river, across the maple-lined Mall, and to the far side of Capitol Hill to try out this walk-up joint. They’ve got a limited menu and just a couple benches outdoors, but don’t let that deter you. There’s a ballpark across the street where you could sit if it’s packed in the yard, or take these giant, soft pretzels home to share (or hoard). I rode home via the Met Branch Trail, just as the sun was setting, which made me ride especially quickly as I passed anyone else on the path.
Bike Friendliness: There’s a rack down the street in front of a daycare, so I parked there.
Malmaison, Washington, D.C.
Comestibles: Gingerbread coffee cake and chai
Distance: 3.88 miles
The Ride: Via the library. Ended up down at the Georgetown waterfront in order to sneak a final few rays.
Bike Friendliness: Awful. I locked my wheel to the frame and then ate outside to make sure folks could get by.
Dog Tag Bakery, Washington, D.C.
Comestibles: Tea and a Samoa whoopie pie. The whoopie pie was fine, but I
Distance: 3.41 miles
The Ride: Basic ride to Georgetown, stopping at my favorite veteran-employing bakery to pick up drinks and snacks to eat down at the waterfront park.
Bike Friendliness: The side street on which the cafe is located has no bike parking.
Bakehouse, Washington, D.C.
Comestibles: Pumpkin space chai tea latte and a slice of maple blueberry cake. The cake was very rich and twice as big as necessary. That said, it tasted like the best pancakes ever. Bakehouse makes their own chai, and it’s one of the best in the city. Their pumpkin-spice variety is also very nice (and helped cut the sweet of the cake).
Distance: 5.02 miles
The Ride: I tried to go to Big Bear, but as I pulled up a woman was coming out and said that they’d run out of baked goods, so I backtracked to the Bakehouse, where I got lucky, since the people sitting on the bench outside left while I was in ordering.
Bike Friendliness: Staple-style racks were available.
Pie Sisters, Washington, D.C.
Comestibles: Rudi and I split a variety of tasty mini pies, including key lime, pumpkin, and cherry. I had a tea to go with it.
Distance: 4.02 miles
The Ride: We stopped into Revolution Cycles while we were waiting for the happy hour special pricing to kick in. Then we took our tartelettes, which were packed into a box that didn’t fit neatly into my pannier, and bumped our way across the pedestrian bridge and down the road. You can see that the desserts did not take kindly to this treatment. We may have accidentally combined some flavors. We stayed until the sun set over Rosslyn, before pedaling home.
Bike Friendliness: There are multi-bike racks (that I can never use right) outside the two bike shops further back on the block.
Thanks to MG for the opportunity to participate once again!