Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coffee Crawl Bike Ride Round-Up

A few days ago I heard rumors of a coffee-themed bike ride...I thought this would be an excellent idea for a pre-Mother's Day warm-up. Plus, it gave me the perfect excuse to try out all the coffee shops that I kept meaning to try....but never got around to. Plus I got to do it by bike! Weeee!

I'm not a huge coffee girl. I have my personal reasons for avoiding the stuff (if you know me, you know why), but I don't dislike it. I actually love a good cup of coffee now and then*. Unfortunately, the majority of my experience with coffee has been with chains--Dunkin', Starbucks, etc. One of my New Year's resolutions was supposed to be to support local, small businesses and avoid corporate chains. Coffee shops have definitely been on my list to start with.

Let me tell you, my eyes have been opened. Since my first Americano at Qualia, I don't think I can ever view coffee the same way again. OMG.

Anyway, I read the details on the Prince of Petworth blog and decided to give it a go.

I woke up Sunday morning and almost didn't go. Helloooooo Social Anxiety.....I always get weirdly nervous before showing up to a group event. I am not the most socially adept person out there, and I tend to come off as a bit stand-offish. I really don't mean to. Those of you that have tried to arrange a meet-up with me via twitter can probably attest to this ;-)

Anyway, I swallowed the anxiety down and went anyway. And I'm so glad I did!

First, I want to say that the ladies that organized this ride, Liz & Laura, were completely awesome! This was the very first Coffee Crawl bike ride they had ever organized and you would never be able to tell. I thought it went incredibly smoothly and that everyone had a good time.

We started off at Qualia Coffee & The Bike House where I snagged an Americano. Heaven in a cup. Although I've heard about The Bike House before, I never knew what it actually was. Now I know :-) If I didn't have to work on Saturdays, I would *totally* be at one of their bike clinics from 12pm-3pm (3917 Georgia Avenue NW in the REAR). Totally love what those guys do.

(Did I mention WABA was there representin'? Woot!)

We then rode to Filter (Iced Coffee) and chilled out there while we waited for a cyclist that suffered a flat to catch up.

(Another reason why this ride was awesome? When someone got a flat, a bunch of people stopped to make sure she was okay and good to go!)

Then we went to Yola. (I took a break from coffee here. My heart was racing).

After Yola, we set off to Big Bear--this a place I had always heard of, but never actually visited. I foresee more visits in my near future. It was here that I met a group of cyclists that had decided to do participate in this ride as a way to "tour DC". They were from VA and figured that cycling was the best way to see DC. I couldn't agree more! Again, I decided against partaking of any more caffeine. Actually, I didn't realize until we were about to leave that they also serve BEER! I probably would have grabbed one instead ;-/

From Big Bear we headed to Sova in the H St. NE Corridor. Another area of DC that I've always meant to check out, but never actually get to. I think this was my favorite shop so far. They have a super-sweet patio area in the back complete with stage. I hear they do some bluegrass there on Thursdays. Definitely need to check that out. I enjoyed a nice iced chai latte while enjoying the gorgeous weather on the patio.

Our final stop was to Pound on Capitol Hill. As I was thoroughly caffeinated out, I opted to stay outside at this shop. Since I used to work across the street, I was already fairly familiar with the area (although its changed a bit in the last 6 years!).

I had a really good time on this ride and look forward to future Coffee Crawls. Plus, I now have plenty of options for a really good cup of quality coffee!

Again, thank you Liz & Laura!

*Yes, I know I go to Dunkin' Donuts almost everyday. But I don't actually order coffee everyday! Sometimes I go just to sit & chill.

Here are some pics from the ride:

Filter Coffee House 1726 20th St. NW

Yola 1323 Connecticut Ave. NW (rear)

Big Bear Cafe 1700 1st St. NW

SOVA 1359 H St. NE

Heavenly Americano from Qualia (with the Bike House in the back)
3917 Georgia Ave. NW

And here's a short video I took along the ride. I didn't edit anything, so its a bit rough:


  1. Thats such a great idea for a ride! I somehow never hear about these things until they've already happened.

  2. I know--I should have posted something about it BEFORE it happened, heh. I am going to try to be better at posting about local rides!

  3. I heard about this last Thursday, unfortunately, I was already planning a group ride for the same time. I hope they do this again in the future. There are plenty more great independent shops in DC that this ride didn't hit.

  4. it was a great ride, can't wait for the next one.

    just stumbled across your blog from the car story, not good! glad you were ok.