I think I came across this concept, invented by Chasing Mailboxes, in the Bicycle CULTURE group, a friendly and open group dedicated to all aspects of pedal power, not just a single niche of the world. I resolved to complete the challenge myself, and also attempt to encourage others to do so.
Ride 1 – With the help of Cycle Luxembourg we organised a led ride as a curtain opener for the Coffeeneuring season. These rides are fun, there is no charge and CL just advertise a rough distance along with a starting time and place. On this occasion around 15 people on bikes arrived and set off on a surprisingly lovely day. The plan was to ride to Esch, the second city, and then return following the railway line allowing anyone to hop on a train if they tired. The route proved quite bothersome, lots of closed and removed cycle paths, and a considerable amount of confusion, but I think everyone enjoyed the ride and one member got to tell us about something she ‘found’ on a different CL ride four years previously. Coffee was great and in a lovely little hidden gem of a café.
Ride 2 – In the village where I live there are three cemeteries: The village cemetery; The American War Cemetery; and the German War Cemetery. These latter two are from the second war and sit very close to one another. I believe most here died during the ‘Battle of The Bulge’, Hitler’s last futile attempt to turn the war. I took along a flask and had a lovely little ride through the woods, and a cup of coffee at each. Drunk slowly, giving time for reflections.
View route here – 9.3km – Coffee Without Walls – War Cemeteries – flask of coffee americano
Ride 3 – I had a couple of meetings in Kirchberg this morning and managed to dodge the rainstorms going up (and coming back, somehow). I had arranged to meet a friend at the Coffee Fellows there, but my second meeting was cancelled late, so we couldn’t meet up. But, you’re never alone if you remember to bring your book (even if I didn’t like it that much in the end).
Ride 4 – I had to include Ouni in this challenge. It is a shop (collective) that is fully packaging free. It’s so important that we stop using plastic, but can be very very hard to avoid it. I had a few things to do in the City after work, then back there to meet an old friend; which was fabulous to see him. So this quick ‘popping’ to Ouni (for an excellent coffee) turned into quite a long ride. I couldn’t resist a delicious loaf of bread to take home. It’s also worth noting that this espresso was the cheapest of the whole challenge.
Ride 5 – Once again I was popped into the city specifically for this challenge. No surprises:- superb espresso here; possibly the best in the country.
Ride 6 – I really wanted to get this one in, and then I had to have someone take a look at my bike, so it worked out well. A trip down to the next village and greeted in the shop by Andy himself. Didn’t pluck up the courage to ask for a photo, or to tell him about Coffeeneuring. Wish I had.
Ride 7 – The third Sunday of every November is the World Day of Remembrance for Victims of Road Traffic Accidents and this year also the last day of Coffeeneuring. Cycle Luxembourg organised another ride to mark these two events. It was a short ride around the city looking at and discussing infrastructure: what’s good; what’s bad; what’s new; what’s coming. In front of the Grand Palace is a famous café where you grab a ‘Chocolate Spoon’ (from a myriad of flavours) and then they bring you a big mug of hot milk, to melt it in. We finished off here, and I made it a longer ride by coming from home and back by bike.
I enjoyed this challenge greatly, and it was intriguing to think about which stops I was going to hit and when. It definitely got me on my bike a couple of times when I may otherwise have not, and it also provided a great opportunity to meet new people on the organised rides. It was really interesting and exciting to see all the other posts; seeing glimpses into other people’s lives, their favourite rides and coffee-shops, their different neighbourhoods. Places so familiar to them, but so new and different to me. There were, of course, a few places I failed to get to, but there’s always next year. And I will definitely be participating again.