So, I’m taking up the Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge! Coffeeneuring is a mash-up of “coffee” (duh!) and “randonneuring”, which is an American name (in French) for what the Brits call “audax” (a Latin word for “audacious”). The French use “randonneuring” for the cycling activity governed by the rules of the Audax Club Parisien. No more language lessons! The whole thing is too confusing!
Coffeeneuring is simpler: ride at least two miles back and forth for a cup of coffee, and then tell everyone about it. The whole thing is organised by Chasing Mailboxes, a great cycling blog (https://chasingmailboxes.com/2016/09/17/6th-annual-coffeeneuring-challenge-the-spirit-of-coffeeneuring/).
To get to it then, I finished teaching about half three on Friday and cycled to Kenilworth for a double espresso and an almond croissant. Good coffee in an independent café, Arden’s (http://www.ardens.co.uk/). It’s one of my regular stops for its excellent coffee and quiet good service. Nice croissant, too. Talisman Square, where Arden’s is, is moderately bike-friendly, with about a half dozen bike loops, and Kenilworth, I’d say, is moderately bike-friendly.
What’s moderately bike-friendly? On the road, it’s cars making space for you, and relatively few jerks beeping. (Of course, you never know where the honking driver comes from; maybe he learned from Donald Trump.) Cycling in the Midlands in towns and villages like Kenilworth is always a negotiation. The roads weren’t designed for bicycles, much less autos, but courtesy—on the part of drivers and cyclists—should be the expectation. The A429—the Kenilworth Road—is a better measure of bike-friendly, and it’s pretty good. It’s got a long stretch of excellent bike path, though I usually choose to go faster on the road. I’d also look for other cyclists; I like the companionship, and drivers who see lots of cyclists drive more carefully.
When you stop, moderately bike-friendly is dedicated and sufficient bike parking, so you’re not attaching your bike to street furniture or lamp posts.
Friday, 7 October, from work to coffee and then home, 11.34 miles; cycling, good; the espresso and croissant, excellent; Arden’s, highly recommended.