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, http://www.cafekindred.com/ . I had a Dutch Apple Pie latte, which was excellent. Nolan had chocolate milk and a cookie.
This is a great place for coffee. With the latte, they serve a tiny cookie and a shot of sparkling water. They 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:
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:
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.