The Coffeeneuring challenge is now an annual event for Team Brevet Bird. Since Digby joined the team in 2019, it is an even bigger must-do as good coffee and excellent cake are seriously important to him. Coffeeneuring can and does take place all year round. It is very much a part of our bike riding as you can’t beat sitting in a fab coffee shop relaxing with a top-class mocha and an excellent piece of gluten-free cake. It has also gone international, so a great way of keeping in touch with friends who might ride a long way or perhaps not so far.
The annual coffeeneuring challenge, where you can earn yourself a patch for your saddlebag via your coffeeneuring exploits, takes place in autumn each year. It’s like a randonneuring brevet where you visit a number of checkpoints but, in this case, drink coffee. For coffeeneuring, there are effectively seven checkpoints you must visit to complete the challenge. Each checkpoint is validated by taking a photo and sharing it on Twitter, Instagram or the Coffeeneuring Facebook page. As in randonneuring, this happens within a set time limit. You can also write up your exploits in your blog and share that via various social media platforms.
This year, we set ourselves the challenge that all seven coffee houses would be independent. Sandwiched between the outer limits of suburban London and the M25, independent coffee houses and good cafes are somewhat thin on the ground. The locals seem to prefer Costa, Café Nero and the rest. Therefore, a steely eye was kept out in the run up to this coffeeneuring to find some unvisited local coffee places. Due to COVID, one turned into a hearing aid shop!
The three highlights of this coffeeneuring were:
The Buntingford Coffee Shop This is usually a bit outside our usual orbit but, as we were riding out to Cambridge for an overnight stay prior to an Audax UK brevet, it was an opportunity too good to miss. As per our last visit excellent coffee, GF cake and friendly helpful staff.
Koho is our top favourite local coffee house. It serves the world’s best mocha and the GF cake is pretty awesome. This turned out to be our last sit-and-enjoy visit as shortly afterwards, KoHo was back to COVID safe takeaway coffee.
Rumsey’s is a chocolatier with a coffee shop. We’d had our eye on this place for a while. I picked the most amazing November day to visit this during a 100km round-trip ride, again prior to the COVID shutdown of eateries. Sitting outside, with the sun beating down on us, Digby was blown away a mug of white coffee came with a chunk of chocolate to turn it into a mocha. To top this out there were a handful of mini chocolate buttons to nibble on. The GF cheesecake was pretty amazing as well.
We also threw in a wild card option with a ’carry your own beverage’. I work for the NHS and currently this is from my home office, as I am classed as ‘high risk’. During this coffeeneuring, I was able to spend 3-4 hours per week on site. To cut down person to person interactions and satisfy the need for tea, I got a thermos flask bidon for the bike. Thus, I could carry my own hot beverage to work and not futz around in the office kitchen.
Top tip for thermos bidon – providing you swill it round with hot water first, make your beverage directly in it and add the milk last, it keeps liquids hot for many hours. .
Coffeeneuring ‘brevet’ card:
|Control 1||16 Oct||Buntingford Coffee Shop|
|Control 2||13 Oct||Oserley House coffee shop|
|Control 3||25 Oct||Daisy’s in the Park, Pinner|
|Control 4||22 Oct||Muddy Boots, Rowan Garden centre|
|Control 5||28 Oct||KoHo, Little Chalfont|
|Control 6||04 Nov||Ramsey’s, Wendover|
|Control 7||10 Nov||Rusty Bike Café, Uxbridge|
For the complete Coffeenuring 2020 photos go to FLICKR