You can now have ice cream, coffee and beer delivered to your house by bike


Jubilee Ice Cream is the latest local food you can have delivered by bike. (Jubilee Ice Cream/Victoria Lai)

D.C. is giving us plenty of reasons to stay indoors this summer: The monsoon-like rains. The ever-higher temperatures. And, as of yesterday, Ice Cream Jubilee’s bike delivery program, which will pedal fresh-packed half-pints of artisanal ice cream directly to your door -- without the unpleasantness of, you know, hoofing it to Glen’s Garden Market.

“Without having to worry about DC traffic or parking, bicycle delivery will quickly get ice cream to intrepid flavor-seekers,” owner and ice cream-maker Victoria Lai explains. (Although the bike couriers, racing the clock with their dry ice-insulated coolers, sound like the intrepid ones.)

The service, first reported by Jessica Sidman over at Washington City Paper, joins several other ice cream bikes in the D.C. area, which you can read about in this week’s Food cover story. But it’s also one of a very small and growing number of foods you can buy by courier bike.

Peregrine Espresso, for instance, has offered bike delivery around 14th Street and Capitol Hill since 2011. The store packs its Counter Culture coffee (either whole bean or ground, regular or decaf) with a “full page coffee biography” and drops it off between 12 and 4 p.m. on Thursdays. And FoBoGro, the infuriatingly capitalized upscale convenience store near George Washington University, bikes beer and wine (among other foods) to customers in the Foggy Bottom area -- although not during the summer, which seems very humane.

Plenty of restaurant chains also deliver by bike, of course: both Jimmy John’s and the new Protein Bar at 19th and K recently posted job listings for bike couriers, which presumably means you’ll be able to order acai smoothies, quinoa chili and tofu burritos for bike delivery within the near future.

And if those options seem a little limited -- we’re no New York, after all -- there is one other solution: Urban Delivery, the smartphone-ordered, bike courier start-up, will also buy and deliver just about any food to customers’ homes or offices, for fees ranging from $12.99 to $16.99, with surcharges at night. Since launching in April, their bikers have picked up beer, cupcakes and lunch meat, among other things, for their lazy convenience-seeking customers.

Urban Delivery is also the company partnering with Ice Cream Jubilee on its bike delivery program, which you can sign up for in one- or two-months blocks. A one-month “subscription” runs $25 and includes four half-pints; July’s flavors are blueberry pie, chocolate five spice, thai iced tea and gin and tonic sorbet. We hear they taste better when they’re biked.

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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Caitlin Dewey · July 3, 2013