5 December 2020 (Saturday)
Reston, VA USA
Posted by: Dan
The Grand Opening. There are a lot of things that aren’t great about 2020 as COVID-19 has significantly changed certain things for the worse; but, there is plenty that is going well…
- First and foremost, my family and I are all doing well and I still have my job. I am extremely grateful for my health and a regular paycheck, especially as others have not been as lucky in these areas this year.
- I have gotten to spend a lot of quality time with my girls and had a lot of really good conversations.
- Even though her senior year at college was cut short, my oldest daughter graduated and got a great job as a nurse not too far away from home.
- This fall, my other two daughters are lucky to be able to resume school in a somewhat normal way.
- We also got a lot of projects taken care of around the house.
- And, I have already ridden more miles on my bike than in quite a few years–over 2400 so far. My goal is to hit 2500 before the end of the year.
It was also good to discover that Coffeeneuring is a go for 2020. If you aren’t familiar with “Coffeeneuring,” the big idea is to ride your bike to seven different coffee shops, enjoy a coffee-like beverage at each location (ideally with others) and to document each visit over the course of about 7-8 weeks in the fall. This will be our fourth year. If you would like to learn more about it, check out this post by the person who created the challenge, MG. –> https://chasingmailboxes.com/2020/09/27/coffeeneuring-challenge-2020-one-good-thing/
What follows is our “documentation” for the challenge. Hope you enjoy the story.
Ride 1. The first ride this year was on October 30th to the Starbucks inside of Safeway in Reston’s Hunters Woods Shopping Center with my youngest daughter Rebecca. The ride itself was normal, but it was harder to find a civilized place to enjoy our treats this year. Because of C19, the tables inside had been removed. But, we found an okay place outside–a bench where we sat, talked and drink/eat. The total round trip riding distance was about 5 miles. (Pics are at the end of the post.)
Ride 2. The second ride this year was on Halloween with Rebecca to the McDonalds in Reston. Again, we weren’t allowed to eat inside because of C19. But we took advantage of the McApp, ordered curbside pick-up and enjoyed our order outside. Luckily, we had good weather. The total round trip riding mileage was about 7.8 miles.
Ride 3. The third ride was an overnighter to Cherry Hill Park in Maryland on 7-8 November with daughter number 2 (Sarah) and number 3 (Rebecca aka Becca). I had been wanting to take the girls camping this year and during the planning process, I had the idea to combine biking with camping and coffeeneuring because why not? With sunny skies, low humidity and a high temp of 75 degrees, it was absolutely beautiful riding weather. I don’t think the conditions could have been any better. On this 38-mile one way ride from Reston, VA, through DC and into Maryland, we had several enjoyable stops.
- After about 10 miles, we stopped for snack in Falls Church along the WO&D trail.
- At about mile 18 or 19, we had planned to get a cupcake at the famed Georgetown Cupcake Shop, but it was closed to walk-ins because of C19. (uggh!) So, we ate some snacks that we had brought along with us as we rested our butts on top of a waist high brick wall outside the shop.
- At about mile 28-29, we stopped a 7-Eleven in Fort Totten for Slurpees, but ended up getting Gatorades because the Slurpee machines were out of order. I was lucky to find my favorite flavor–Fierce Green Apple. 🙂
- We also had plenty to eat and good times at the campground. We had grilled hot dogs and chips for dinner followed by smores for desert and a quick game that involved seeing who could guess the color of the next Peanut Butter M&M blindly chosen out of the shareable bag. I think I won! But Sarah claims she did. She is certain. I am not so sure. For breakfast, we cooked canned cinnamon rolls over the campfire and combined that with Starbucks VIA instant coffee made with hot water from my Trangia alcohol stove which is not too bad in a pinch. The Cherry Hill Campground was really nice for the most part. It was clean. The campside we had was beautiful and not too crowded. The biggest downside was that it was located right next to the busy 495/95 intersection, which meant that there was a lot car noise all night long.
- My lovely wife came to pick us up and drive us, our bikes and camping gear home after breakfast and a competitive, socially-distanced round of mini golf at the campground.
- As a footnote, I should also confess that we did not carry our camping gear on our bikes. My wife drove it to the campground for us, which admittedly made the “difficulty of the dive” a lot easier and the experience more luxurious than if we had to live with just what we could carry on our bikes.
Ride 4. The fourth ride was on 9 November to Reston’s Kung Fu Tea and back. The total round trip distance was 3.8 miles. It was just Becca and me. She got Strawberry Lemon Green Iced Tea with mango “bubbles” and I got the drink that started it all–Kung Fu Milk Tea with tapioca “bubbles.” The Kung Fu website says bubble tea is a Taiwanese invention that came about in the 1980’s. It generally is tea mixed with milk or fruits with small chewy tapioca pearls or “bubbles” mixed-in. I will say that the “bubbles” in Becca’s tea weren’t tapioca. They were sweet pops of mango juice and not chewy at all. It was good–just different from tapioca in a good way. Hopefully, you get what I am saying… By the way, I also learned from their website that Kung Fu in its purest essence, is the desire for self-improvement–to expand one’s capabilities beyond all limitations. However, at over $10 for the order, the price was a little high for what we got. If I were to go again, I would order something different, but Becca really enjoyed her drink. I thought the best part was the company and the outdoor civilized seating on a nice November afternoon just before the sun went down for the day.
Ride 5. On the afternoon before 2020’s Veteran’s Day, it was 75 degrees and I was off of work for the day. So, we decided to go biking for Slurpees at 7-Eleven. The franchise we visited was located in South Reston only 1.4 miles away from home. Because Slurpees were involved, daughter number 1 (Anna) decided to come along with me and Becca for her first coffeeneuring ride of the season, which was nice. I bought Slurpees for the girls and a donut for each of us. I brought along homemade iced coffee and enjoyed that while the girls enjoyed their Slurpees. Unfortunately my chocolate iced donut was stale–I didn’t even finish it. It wasn’t worth the calories. But the girls said their glazed donuts were good. Becca even shared a bite of hers with me! 🙂
Ride 6. We recorded our sixth ride on Saturday November 14th. This time it was just me and Becca who coffeeneur’d to Dunkin Donuts in Reston. I got black coffee and she chose chocolate milk to drink, which always makes her happy. She told me so. We each got a Boston Creme Donut to go with our drinks. I will just say that the donuts were on point at the double D! It was good that we were able to enjoy time together relaxing at the outdoor table and chairs. The total mileage was 4.3 miles.
Ride 7. The seventh and final ride of the 2020 Coffeenuering Season was to Starbucks in Reston’s South Lakes Shopping Center on Sunday 22 November. The good news is that Anna joined me and Rebecca again. We chose this spot because they had outdoor seating and we could get there by using just biking trails and neighborhood streets. Becca and I each got a Hot Chai Tea while Anna ordered a slice of Lemon Pound Cake that she washed down with water from her bike water bottle. We rode a total of 5.85 miles there and back according to my handy dandy Planet Bike Protégé 9.0 bike computer.
The Big Finish. All in all, it was a great season and it made 2020 better. Becca and I completed the full challenge and it was great that Anna or Sarah joined us for a few of the rides. All in all, I rode about 70 miles and spent an estimated $70 bucks. I am grateful that I got to share it with my girls. I am claiming success. High fives all around!