Coffeeneuring Challenge 2018

Ironically, I didn’t finish my Challenge last year — despite being on a bike tour! — because of inadvertent non-wheeled traffic for most of the Challenge time. I did muster on with the caffeination during my ride.

Coffeeneuring 2018 rules — over 7 weeks, to 7 different locales on rides of at least 2 miles round trip to consume a coffee or coffee-like beverage, and only counting 2 rides per week. So, here we go!

Ride #1, Week #1 (Wednesday Oct 17th)

I rode from my home, down to the Tongzilin 桐梓林 neighbourhood for a stop at Origins Coffee. While there I consumed a delicious espresso ristretto and a mega-fluffy biscuit. I’ve often spent time at Origins — it’s a comfy US-style coffee shop, with great lighting, comfy chairs & electrical outlets everywhere and even a fake fireplace (with a video screen of dancing flames)! They cater to people using the shop as an “office” and keep their music turned down to mellow level. On the way, home, I stopped for snacks to bring to the evening’s Quiz Night.

  • Location: Chengdu, China.
  • Bike: my recycled Forever, assembled by Natooke Chengdu
  • Distance: 10.19km

Ride #2, Week #2 (Sunday Oct 21st)

This ride was part of a bonafide commute, which merits some typograpgical excitement because I never work these days! I rode from home up to the TCM University to teach two classses. Afterwards, I went west to the Economics University area and to one of the most delightful cafes I’ve ever seen, the Tong Hua Guan. This little place is at the end of the “food street” — an alley lined with small restaurants catering to the nearby students’ nutritional needs. The cafe offers well-crafted coffees, delicious fruit teas and fancy desserts to its clientele. I consumed an espresso macchiato, festooned with an artful foam cat. The rest of my ride was first to get acupuncture in the Hongpailou area, and then to share a vegetarian dinner with my friend at a Malaysian restaurant, The Diner, before turning home.

  • Location: Chengdu, China.
  • Bike: my Forever
  • Distance: 22.5km

Ride #3, Week #2 (Thursday Oct 25th)

In Chengdu, I’ve had a 2-room apartment and have been able to host WarmShowers guests. My guests at this time were 2 lovely Germans, traveling from West to East and while they were with me, I took Hanna up to Chengdu’s wholesale tea market in the north of town. In China, when you go to a tea shop, you usually sit down and drink some tea. We stopped at one place, drank some tieguanyin, then went on to my favorite shop, 勐库古树茶, which specializes in pu’er and other teas from Yunnan. We had some pu’er with the owner (who is so patient with my terrible Chinese!), I bought some dianhong tea (black tea from Yunnan), and biked back, with a stop at another store. My app didn’t accurately record the mileage on the way back, but that’s ok.

  • Location: Chengdu, China.
  • Bike: my Forever
  • Distance: 16.5km

Ride #4, Week #3 (Monday Oct 29th)

This was a simple commuting ride, exciting because I was “commuting” in a new city. I started my day with a delicious fruit salad, and an instant coffee at the Somphet market inside the Old City of Chiang Mai, then biked on down to the Old Medicine School of Thai massage for my first day of class, and then back to my guesthouse. The coffee wasn’t really great, but the new scenery of a temporary “home” and the Adventure Lies Ahead vibe of a new class was worthwhile!

Ride #5, Week #4 (Saturday Nov 3rd)

This was a day to cruise around town, and stop at shops at so many markets. I started with breakfast at the amazing Hideout, which did include a rich chocolate mocha, and then to various markets and the Cube Cafe for iced Thai tea & coconut milk, where I purchased a reuseable stainless steel straw, more shops around and in the Old City, a late lunch and an americano at one of my all-time favorite cafe, the always delightful Mountain Coffee!, and back to my guesthouse.

  • Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • Bike: rental
  • Distance: 17.7km

Ride #6, Week #4 (Sunday Nov 4th)

Rode out of the city towards Doi Suthep for a little hike. I started the day with a marvelous fruit salad at Somphet market, then stopped at My Secret Cafe across town for a doppio espresso. I rode on to the Wat Phalat temple trailhead, climbed up to the temple where I ate some cashews and climbed back down. Rode back to town and to the mellow Khun Kae Juice bar drank a juice, met a classmate and back to the guesthouse.

  • Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • Bike: rental
  • Distance: 19.06km

Ride #7, Week #6 (Sunday Nov 18th)

Back in Chengdu, although I’m re-united with my own wheels, the worsening air pollution readings are keeping me off the bike. This Sunday was a sunny day in overcast wintry Chengdu — the kind of day when people rush to hang their laundry out, because this is weather that we largely don’t see here. I rode across town, stopped to eat a delicious lunch at a Buddhist veggie noodle shop near the last bit of the old East City Wall, then rode west and stopped at MORE THAN COFFEE near Huaxi hospital for a caramel machiato. This is a nice, quiet cafe on a relatively quiet and tree-lined street.

  • Location: Chengdu, China.
  • Bike: my Forever
  • Distance: 15.35km
  • 7 rides
  • Chengdu & Chiang Mai.
  • Mostly to Cafes + the tea market and a juice bar.
  • Beverages: mostly coffee, some tea and juice smoothies
  • Total Distance: 114.57km

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