Looking for an interesting afternoon meeting new people Andrea joined one of our rides, four years ago. Here is her story... Having been a cycling...
Picture credit – Chasing Mailboxes What is Coffeeneuring? Put simply it is to search for, and partake of, great coffee on two wheels. Whilst...
Looking for an interesting afternoon meeting new people Andrea joined one of our rides, four years ago. Here is her story…
Having been a cycling commuter in the mean streets of London it was natural I would continue to cycle to work once I moved to the more genteel Luxembourg in November 2013. It’s a wonderful way to start the day, as well as being quicker than the bus or car. All the stresses and worries of the day are worked out of your system by the bicycle on the return in the evening, as well.
In addition to being an excellent and swift means of essential transport the bicycle is also a wonderful leisure activity; and a ‘passport’ to friendship. So cycling was always my passion and getting to know a new country, culture and people is always nicer on two wheels. I decided, therefore, to join a cycle group immediately upon my arrival. I soon discovered Cycle Luxembourg and to my delight they had a ride planned the very next weekend.
A nice mixed group of about a dozen people met up by the public bike pump at Rond Point Schumann on that (fateful!) cold November day. Guillaume (now my friend) led us on a lovely ride to the west. The names of these places so unfamiliar to me then: Strassen, Garnich, Bertrange. We finished at Les Thermes, looking to warm ourselves up with a sauna and some hot chocolate.
“See that man, he’s all alone / I ring my bell and smile at him” Hopkins/Burgess – My White Bicycle
By now I was warm and happy, and reflecting on how the bicycle had helped me discover some great new people and allowed me to see a good slice of this beautiful country I had arrived in. And I had only been here a couple of weeks!
One member of the group asked me for my number as he hoped to meet up again some time. I laughed and politely declined; I’d only just moved to Luxembourg, I had a brand new challenging job to settle into. I had no time or inclination for meeting someone right now!
“Thinking of a girl I met / A phone call I haven’t made yet” Mark Ronson – The Bike Song
A couple of weeks later I was enjoying a warming cup of mulled wine at my first Christmas market in Luxembourg when a familiar voice said “Hello”. It was the handsome cyclist from the CL ride! We had a lovely evening at the market and this time I did give him my number. He called, we went to many concerts at the Rockhal, we got on very well and cut forward to the spring of 2016 and it’s our wedding day.
“…no leave take I; for I will ride, as far as land will let me, by your side” Richard II Act I, Scene 3
It has been four years now since we met on that first ride and I continue to enjoy exploring new places and meeting my old friends and making new ones. We still cycle a lot, and still join Cycle Luxembourg for their rides, why don’t you join us on the next one? I can’t guarantee that you’ll find a spouse along the way; but you will find a great time and some new friends.
Group Coffeeneuring Ride to Esch-sur-Alzette
A beautiful sunny October day greeted us for our ‘coffeeneuring’ ride to Esch on Sunday. Also greeting us was lovely varied group, with many nationalities and many ages, from 12 to, er, shall we say “not-so-young”? A mixture, too, of friends and soon-to-be-friends, of old faces and new. We also had some examples of that most modern of phenomena; ‘friends’ only on social-media finally meeting for the first time! Thanks so much to everyone who came along and supported this ride!
Riding south-west to Esch is often missed off itineraries and many of our number mentioned that they had never done it before. So this ride at least filled that omission. Snaking out of the city, with barely a wrong turn or a split in the group we were soon off the PC1 and onto the PC9. This lovely route does have some challenging ups and downs but even our youngest member tackled them all with a smile on her face.
From Ehlange-sur-Mess we left the cycling path to nip across to Mondercange so we could hop on the new cycling path into Esch, alongside the road. A little confusion upon entering Esch, but we were all soon reunited and enjoyed a well-earned ‘eligible beverage’ at the delightful and friendly Escher Kafe.
Here Stefan and daughter left us to jump on the train home, and we tackled the horrendous mess that was once known as the ‘Piste Cyclable 6’. Much of this appeared to be dug up and Guillaume and Tristan guided us through each new blockage expertly.
Overall it was a delightful ride: the woods and forests just beginning to turn to their autumn colours; the company was fantastic; the sunshine glorious. Nearing the city various riders dropped off to head home and the final group returned to the Gëlle Fra – 60km after leaving her – to see the beginnings of a lovely sunset. Thus we bid our farewells, flushed and triumphant and looking forward to the next one. – watch the ride here.
So that was the first Coffeeneuing ride. You have 5 and a half weeks to add six more. No more than two per week, and each one to a different location. We at Cycle Luxembourg will organise a shorter “coffee without walls” on the last weekend of the challenge for those brave enough for an outdoors coffee in November!
See you then!
This weekend the 2017 Coffeeneuring season opens, and to kick it off we are organising a free group social ride on Sunday 15th October.
What is Coffeenuering?
It is a seven week challenge to ride to a different location every week to enjoy a coffee. It is a simple as that. Invented by the excellent Chasing Mailboxes it has only a few simple rules. This ride will hopefully get the ball rolling on Luxembourg’s participation, and in the weeks ahead you’ll be making good use of the #CoffeeneuringLux hashtag, yourself.
Where will we ride?
To Esch-sur-Alzette, using combinations of national cycle routes. We will take a coffee-break at the Escher Kafé, and then return to Luxembourg City via a different route.
How far is the ride?
As long as you want! It will be between 25km and 60km, depending on how far you wish to ride. The second half of the ride will pass by train stations where you can easily head back to the city once you have ridden enough for the day. They are: Esch (25km), Schifflange (30 km), Noertzange (35km), Bettembourg (40km) and finally Berchem (45km). So if you don’t fancy the whole trip, you chose where to jump off the bike and on to the train!
Who’s it for?
Everybody! It is a social event, a chance to ride, a chance to maybe see some new routes (you might be surprised how easily linked the two cities are), and a chance to meet new, and old, friends. It is not a race; we keep up with our slowest rider, not our fastest.
Where and when?
We’ll meet at Place de la Constitution, at the foot of Gëlle Fra (Golden Lady), to be ready to head off at 1pm
Do I need to register or pay?
Picture credit – Chasing Mailboxes
What is Coffeeneuring? Put simply it is to search for, and partake of, great coffee on two wheels.
Whilst this can take place, of course, all day and every day, Chasing Mailboxes have created a specific challenge to help encourage the uptake of autumnal Coffeeneuring. This year it all starts on Friday 13th October and the seven weeks run until Sunday 19th November 2017.
The rules are simple and can be read in full here , but in essence they boil down to these key points:
◾ over the course of 7 weeks;
◾ ride your bike 7 different places (one, or two, rides per week)
◾ at least 3 kilometres round-trip each time,
◾ drink 7 cups of coffee (or similar, e.g. tea, hot chocolate etc), and
◾ take 7 pictures as proof of your coffeeneuring, for submission.
Whilst the organisers ask you to submit all 7 photographs once the challenge is complete, we ask that you tweet us or post to facebook after each ride. We can build up a picture of the best Coffeeneuring spots throughout the Grand Duchy.
To get things going Cycle Luxembourg will organise a Coffeeneuring ride for Sunday 15th October. Watch this space for further details.