Coffeeneuring with Nolan ## 4, 5 & 6

Coffeeneuring with Nolan isn’t really about going to get coffee.  It’s more a combination of errandoneuring and coffeeneuring, or just trying to work cycling into our day.

Coffeneuring # 4

On Saturday October 22 we did our usual ride to Clemyjontri playground, followed by lunch at McLean Family Restaurant, or MFR for short. We had already used MFR for a coffeeneuring trip, so this wouldn’t count for that, but we were hungry and looking for sustenance.  After that, we rode to Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean, near the CIA. This is a reconstructed 18th century farm.  Nolan enjoyed the animals, especially Helen the blind chicken who alone among the chickens is allowed into the farmhouse.  We fed Rosie the cow.

Then we rode to Greenberry’s Coffee & Tea in McLean. Nolan had chocolate milk, I had a cappucino, and we both had croissants.  It was very good. I also ran into an old high school friend of my son Brian and we had a nice chat.  Greenberry’s is bike-friendly enough (see my posts re biking in McLean).


Total mileage: 14.

Coffeeneuring #5

The next weekend, Nolan was invited to the French Embassy for a special event, a Euro Festival for disabled kids and adults. (I studied French for years, including in France, where I also worked as an illegal immigrant laborer, but do they invite me? Non!) It was called Keen Day for Special Needs Children.  We were going to drive, because my wife was going to go, but she backed out. When I checked and saw that the embassy is in Georgetown, I realized we could bike it, so we did. It was a beautiful day for biking, and we had a blast at the festival.  We saw Greek dancing, which we joined in on, Irish dancing (which Nolan declined to do), and did a zumba class. If you haven’t zumbaed with disabled kids you missed something. They are totally unself-conscious. It was great to see everyone having such fun.  The event was organized by Keen, which stands for Kids Enjoy Exercise Now. They have sports and other events for disabled kids.greek-dancing

We rode to the embassy up Foxhall Road, but returned via 35th Street in order to ride down the steep cobble-stoned hill.  Nolan enjoyed that.  I wouldn’t do it again on the tandem as it is very steep and the tandem’s brakes not the best.

We returned by the Custis and W&OD trails, stopping at Mike’s Deli at Lazy Sundae for lunch and coffee.  I had a regular coffee and a burger; Nolan had a chocolate milk and hot dog.mikes-deliThe coffee was good by deli standards. Mike’s Deli is bike-friendly in that it is right off of the W&OD.  (I have been told that it will be moving to the corner of Broad Street and Shreve Road, at the site of the old Arthur Treacher’s.)

Total mileage: 24, one of Nolan’s longer rides.  He held up well, never complaining.

Coffeeneuring #6

On Sunday, we road to Vienna to get haircuts.haircutAfter the haircuts, we went to Jammin’ Java in Vienna. JJ is primarily a music venue, but it also has a coffee shop.  I had a cappuccino; Nolan had a smoothie, the “Natural” I think it was called.  They were both good, though they only offered one size cappucino, and served it in a paper cup.jammin-java

Bike-friendliness: it is near the W&OD.  You can ride up Maple Avenue from where the W&OD crosses it, but there is a better way by side streets from a side trail off the W&OD.  We ride roads to get there (Gallows to Electric etc.), and they are wide and bike-friendly too.  There’s a bike rack on Elden Street or you can lock up right in front.

I can’t say I love JJ as a coffee shop, but it is one of my favorite music venues.  I have seen Bill Kirchen here (think Hot Rod Lincoln), as well as That One Guy, among others.  When my son Brian was in high school, he formed an Irishy folk-rock band that played a Sunday afternoon gig here as part of a show of high school rock bands that also included his friend Michelle’s punk band. (Michelle later became our “adopted” daughter. Long story for another time.)

Distance: 6 miles.

Shameless Plugs

My son Brian’s current band Kendall Street Company occasionally performs in the D.C. area.  They’ll be performing at Gypsy Sally’s on December 20.  The band played last Friday night at the Bayou on Penn, where they wore Halloween costumes.  Here’s Brian in shark suit playing bass:


Another shameless plug, coffee-related: You can buy a coffee named the “Michelle”, after our Michelle, at Pineapple and Pearls, where she is a barista.


Coffeeneuring with Nolan 2016 – Our First Three Rides

It’s coffeeneuring time again.  September brings centuries, and then October brings coffeeneuring.

I participate in coffeeneuring with my 14-year old son Nolan.  He is intellectually and physically disabled, but can ride a tandem that I have modified only slightly (back rest and special pedals).  He loves riding the tandem.  When he wants to ride, he says “bike clothes.”

Coffeeneuring is the perfect ride for us.  Nolan can’t join me for longer rides, and our rides tend to be shorter rides to some place we need or want to go to.  Pretty much all of our rides involve stopping at a restaurant or coffee shop.  The main challenge of coffeeneuring for us has been to expand our usual route and try new places.

This is our third year doing coffeeneuring together.  We have done three rides so far.

Coffeeneuring #1 (Sat., Oct. 8).

It was raining but Nolan insisted on a bike ride.  First we went to the City of Falls Church Farm Day at Cherry Hill Park, where they had a petting zoo, and Nolan rode a pony and the train.


Then we went to Cafe Kindred, 450 N Washington St. (Route 29), Falls Church, . I had a Dutch Apple Pie latte, which was excellent. Nolan had chocolate milk and a cookie.  nolan-at-cafe

This is a great place for coffee.  With the latte, they serve a tiny cookie and a shot of sparkling water.  apple-pie-latteThey also have great food (and beer on tap!), and they are very friendly. Gary gave Nolan a T-shirt on our previous visit, and on another visit when we arrived late and they were closed Gary opened up for us.  I highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it.

It is bike-friendly, being very close to the W&OD.

Total distance: 7 miles.

Coffeeneuring # 2 (Sat. Oct. 15).

Nolan and I first rode to  Clemyjontri Playground.  We go here often. It is pretty much Nolan’s favorite place on earth.  This is a playground designed for disabled children and able-bodied children alike.  Among other things, it has a carousel. Nolan’s favorite things to do here are ride the swing and the carousel. (He used to call the latter the “horse-around”—a term he coined—but now he says “carouself,” like there’s an f on the end.)


Here he is on the carousel:nolan-at-clemy


After Clemyjontri, we rode to McLean Family Restaurant, our number one stopping point on our rides. They have breakfast until 3, and we usually get breakfast. (side-note: we often wee Newt Gingrich here with Calista, but they were not there this time) Nolan had waffle, turkey sausage and milk.  I had a corned beef and cheese omelette and coffee.  The coffee is pretty good by diner standards.


I forgot to take a pic of our coffee stop, so only photo from this ride is of Nolan on the horse.

Bike-friendliness: fine.  It is in the business part of McLean, and there’s no bike rack, but plenty of room and places to lock your bike, and I have never had problems riding through McLean.


Total distance: 12 miles.


Coffeeneuring #3 (Sun. Oct. 16).


Another day, another trip to Clemyjontri, this time followed by a stop at Star Nut Cafe in McLean.  I had a cappucino and a croissant with spinach and feta. Nolan had a mango smoothie and a plain croissant:nolan-at-star-nut


As always at Star Nut, the coffee, smoothie, and croissants were excellent. They always are.  The ambiance here is great.  Though you order at the counter, they bring your order to your table and you pay when you leave.  They have a nice patio area that overlooks a fountain too.  The place has a sort of old world feel, and in fact there are always conversations going on in foreign languages.


Bike-friendliness: good.  See above re biking in McLean. They have a bike rack in the parking garage at the back of the shop, but we prefer to just park along the side nearer to the entrance.

From there we rode to Nolan’s sports class, so our total distance exceeded yesterday’s by a bit.


Total distance: 13 miles.