05 October 2014

Café aan de Müehle (Coffeeneuring Waypoint No. 1)

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So, coffeeneuring. If you’re a regular bike blog reader, you’ll know what I’m talking about (you almost can’t avoid it this time of year). If you’re unfamiliar, I can sum it up as a very loosely structured “event” where participants ride their bikes to get coffee in seven different locations before the event ends. If it sounds rather silly, it is by design—it’s a playful nod towards the seriousness of dozens of other bicycling challenges. [For further reading, visit the originator’s website, Chasing Mailboxes.]

For my first ride, I picked a relatively nearby cafe in Selfkant, Germany—the Café aan de Müehle. Now, if you associate windmills with Holland, you’d be partially correct. This portion of Germany is on the Dutch border and shares similarly flat terrain, so it makes sense. But also, Selfkant itself has only belonged to Germany since 1963 so it was a Dutch windmill at one point (or still is, I suppose). The cafe is situated directly next to the windmill, offering a nice view while you sip your hot beverage. So naturally, I could not pass this up as a coffeeneuring waypoint for this weekend.


My vehicle of choice for this trip was the Avon-- an upright, leisurely ride for a pleasant, leisurely morning. Also, even though it’s not a Dutch bike, it’s most similar to one, so I thought it would be fitting to visit a windmill cafe on it. Having not ridden it in a while, I was reminded of how comfortable it is to sit upright on a bicycle (and how one speed is sometimes all you need).

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The sun was warm and the leaves were drifting down in a picturesque fashion as I rode through the first village on my way to Selfkant. I really hope we get snow this winter, I thought to myself, because this place will look like one of those ceramic Christmas villages.

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After leaving the village, it was a bike path for the rest of the way there. Part of the coffeeneuring challenge is assessing the bike-friendliness of the particular place you are visiting, and although I’m sure the windmill predates the cycle path, it’s very convenient to be able to take it all the way there. This particular cafe also had a charging station for e-bikes, something that is becoming more common as e-bikes gain popularity here in Germany amongst the older riders.

Arriving at the cafe, I took a seat outside and ordered a large coffee with a roll and jam. I am still not very good at speaking German, but I felt I did a decent job of ordering this time. After a few moments, I was pleasantly surprised with a nice “large” coffee (by European standards), a basket with my roll and jam, and a shot glass of something yellow, topped with whipped cream, and definitely alcoholic. I still am not sure what it was, but I liked it.

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I found it interesting that, depending on where you sit, you either are looking at the old windmill (which is in fantastic condition, and still operational) or the horizon full of new wind turbines. Either way, you get a picture of how the wind has been harnessed over the years in support of industry here.

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When the Mrs. returns from the States, I will definitely suggest returning here with her. Until then, it’s off to the next coffeeneuring waypoint and another cup of coffee.

- Bicyclist Abroad


Coffeeneur Quick Stats:


Café aan de Müehle Waldfeuchter Straße
Gangelt-Breberen 52538[website]

Date: Saturday, October 4th
Drink: Coffee (+ mystery beverage)
Distance: 11.2 km / 6.9 miles

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