Coffee Shop Without Walls: Francis Scott Key Park

Coffeeneuring, Ride 7

WHERE: Francis Scott Key Park [M & 34th Streets, Washington, DC 20007, (202) 895-6070]

www.nps.gov/olst/planyourvisit/keypark.htm

WHEN: Saturday, 14 November 2015

WHAT I DRANK: Hot apple cider

WHY GO: Historic and scenic stop along the route of a bigger adventure.

HOW FAR: 33.4 miles

My last Coffeeneuring adventure was not to be contained indoors. It was too nice a day after a hard week, Peter and I were both restless for a long ride in the sunshine.  I heated up the last of the cider from Roy’s Orchard (Sperryville, VA) and filled a Thermos, which got snapped into one of Vaya’s bottle cages.

Vaya is a traveling beverage provider.

Vaya is a traveling beverage provider.

We cruised down the Custis trail first, and made our way across Key Bridge in a vicious crosswind. Reaching the serene urban oasis at the Georgetown end of the bridge, we stopped at the benches in Francis Scott Key Park and shared some hot cider.

Cider to go.

Cider to go.

Vaya and Peter in Francis Scott Key Park.

The urban oasis of Francis Scott Key Park.

From there we dropped down to the C&O Canal and stopped again at Fletcher’s Cove. We went through the low-clearance tunnel under the canal, then rode some singletrack down to a spot on the Potomac where we sat on a huge downed tree and watched the water go by.

Black Walnut and Osage Orange trees were dropping fruit everywhere.

Black Walnut and Osage Orange trees were dropping fruit along the Potomac River.

We continued on the Capital Crescent Trail, with a detour to see my old neighborhood off Sangamore Road.  At the end of the trail in Bethesda, we found a cafe called Fresh Baguette and had some baked treats and coffee.  And more cider before heading out again.

Continuing east along the Georgetown Branch Trail and through the streets of Silver Spring, we ultimately made our way to the start of the Sligo Creek trail and started heading south.  So many people out enjoying the beautiful day meant we slowed to pass cautiously around lots of pedestrians, dogs, and strollers.

Reaching the junction of the Anacostia Tributary Trail where we intended to curve north to College Park, we stumbled on another cute little cafe called Shortcake Bakery and couldn’t resist the temptation to stop in. They had just closed, but the staff was still inside doing their end-of-day chores and opened the door to invite us in. We locked our bikes to the rack out front, and sampled their unique and creative treats.

Shortcake Bakery, very friendly to cyclists.

Shortcake Bakery, very friendly to cyclists.

Coconut pineapple cupcake, rum pound cake, and a beef curry patty. Sweet and savory, each was an unexpected delight.

Coconut pineapple cupcake, rum pound cake, and a beef curry patty. Sweet and savory, each was an unexpected delight.

Only a few more miles to College Park, where we stopped by the Metro station to see their new Bike & Ride facility.  It’s a secured indoor storage area for bikes, available for free, and coming soon to other stations in the Metro system.

Bike & Ride, a big step up in bike friendly accommodations for Metro!

Bike & Ride, a big step up in bike friendly accommodations for Metro!

Impressive secured indoor bike storage, coming to a Metro station near you.

Impressive secured indoor bike storage.

Last stop at College Park Bikes, where Peter got to chat about tandem braking systems and test ride a new Co-Motion Cascadia touring bike.  By then it was dark and the temperatures were dropping, so we hopped on Metro with our bikes and took the easy way home.

Arlington to College Park, the roundabout way.

Arlington to College Park, the roundabout way.

Coffee and cycling mix well, and Coffeeneuring is a great motivator to try neighborhood shops and explore new places. The challenge may be over, but I’ve now developed a habit to incorporate hot beverages into cool-weather rides.  My inspiration will be a lasting one.

Have hot beverage, will travel.

Have hot beverage, will travel.

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~ by pasadenagina on November 15, 2015.

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