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I'm Joining the Coffeeneuring Challenge of 2021

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Mike Harley wrote about something odd a few months ago: in his blog on languishing and trying to see the positives, he describes his feeling of stagnation and emptiness that Adam Grant of NY Times calls languishing. I could relate and e-mailed Mike to thank him for writing it. But that’s not the odd part. The odd part is the action plan to combat languishing: by joining a coffeneuring challenge.

A what? was my first thought. But the Chasing Mailboxes 2021 blog post on the challenge explains it loud and clear1. Get your ass on a bike, cycle to coffee shops over the course of some six-ish weeks, have a delighting drink, and collect some proof while you’re at it. “Ride your bike to 7 different places, at least 2 miles (3.22 km) round trip each time”, the challenge states. Three kilometers, round trip? That’s hardly a challenge… My cycling trip to my work is a round trip of 14 km.

The purpose is of course not to grow a lot of leg muscle—although I guess it’s allowed—but to get out of your couch, breathe in fresh air, and have fun, by yourself or by a group of friends. I know I’ll probably not make it this 2021 as this year is only two and a half weeks left. It’s been on my mind since I’ve asked Mike about it. Yesterday, I finally took some time off to get my first coff-wait, tea. I’m not into coffee. Is that against the rules? Looks like the challenge mentions tea, hot chocolate (now there’s an idea), and even cider. Great, we’re on!

First stop: Espressobar Kaffee Cyclette, about 12.1 km from my doorstep. I figured the first coffeeneuring stop should be more than thirty minutes away. It’s a relatively new bike bar that does specialize in coffee, although the black peachy tea I consumed was also more than adequate. Monday also happened to be market day, so I scored a pot of locally harvested honey at a reasonable price. Dragging the thing back home was a bit of a fiddle as I forgot to attach my cycling bag.

That's.... not my bike? Oh well. At least I managed to capture the atmosphere of the day: grayest of gray.

I tried convincing my wife for a few times to join me on weekends but she wouldn’t bulge. I guess It’ll be just me and me. Not that it matters that much. I love straying from the beaten paths with my bike and I did end up discovering another knooppunt (see accidental discovery by bike) that led me to a meadow full of frolicking horses.

That alone proved to be worth the soaked T-shirt.


  1. The site states to submit your challenge by December 10th. Whoops. Oh well, I don’t care that much for the “rules”—like posting a picture of every single trip: that’ll become boring pretty quickly! ↩︎

I'm Wouter Groeneveld, a level 36 Brain Baker, and I love the smell of freshly baked thoughts (and bread) in the morning. I sometimes convince others to bake their brain (and bread) too.

If you found this article amusing and/or helpful, you can buy me a coffee - although I'm more of a tea fan myself. I also like to hear your feedback via Mastodon or e-mail. Thanks!