My 2014 Errandonnee

Hey folks,

being married to MG means I always know about the  fun challenges she runs through her sparkling blog, Chasing Mailboxes.

A side benefit is that I get a front row seat as riders submit their results to MG and she tells me about all the neat stuff you guys are doing out there on your bikes.

That’s more then enough motivation for me to get going and complete them myself. So without further ado, here is my submission to The Great 2014 Errandonnee Challenge.

This year I didn’t get out of the gate very quicky, and had to rally later in the 12-day window to get caught up. It reminded me that I tend to use my bike for just about all my comings and goings in D.C., but I don’t really do that many specific errand runs.

Consequently, I had to stop and plan out a few multi-errand stops. I also had to take into account our weird weather during the Errandonnee Days, which swung from cold and snow to warm and windy. It all came together in the end.

The Big Pink Errandonnee Card

The Big Pink Errandonnee Card

Here goes!

No. 1
Date: Mar. 7
Place: BicycleSpace DC
Category: Bike Shop
Miles: 7.1
Observation: A good bike shop is like another home. I really didn’t want to leave.

BicycleSpace DC. My bike likes it here.

BicycleSpace DC. My bike likes it here.

No. 2
Date: Mar. 9
Place: Bank
Category: Personal Care
Miles: 23
Observation: I feel so much better about taking out money when it’s not going toward gas or parking.

Let's go spend this money!

Let’s go spend this money!

No. 3
Date: Mar. 9
Place: Caphe Bahn Mi, Alexandria, Va.
Category: Breakfast or lunch
Miles: combination trip with No. 2
Observation: MG, our friend Lane, and a place we had not gone before. Terrific.

Caphe Bahn Mi. Very good.

Caphe Bahn Mi. Very good.

No. 4
Date: Mar. 12
Place: U.S. Capitol
Category: Work
Miles: 3.3
Observation: Going up to the Hill to cover Congress is always more enjoyable by bike. An unseasonably warm day makes it even better.

Warm day work clothes.

Warm day work clothes.

No. 5
Date: Mar. 13
Place: U.S. Capitol
Category: Work
Miles: 3.3
Observation: Another day on the Hill. A lot colder today. I’d still rather go by bike. But it was really cold. Whoa!

So cold I've got a steady snot stream going.

So cold I’ve got a steady snot stream going.

No. 6
Date: Mar. 14
Place: Swing’s Coffee, Washington.
Category: Community Meeting: Friday Coffee Club!
Miles: 5.5
Observation: The most unofficial regularly occurring bike meetup in America. I never get tired of going. Is it a community meeting? Actually, we had a mayoral candidate show up — City Council member Tommy Wells — to talk about bike lanes and city development, giving this one a civic engagement element. So, yeah.

Friday Coffee Club, the candidate drop-in edition.

Friday Coffee Club, the candidate drop-in edition.

No. 7
Date: Mar. 14
Place: Apple Store, Arlington, Va.
Category: Store other than grocery store
Miles: 12
Observation: I had the afternoon off. The Apple store is way less crowded on a weekday afternoon. They need better any bike parking; I had to lock to a parking meter.

Diagnosing my faulty trackpad.

Diagnosing my faulty trackpad.

Nice bike parking, Apple.

Nice bike parking, Apple.

No. 8
Date: Mar. 14
Place: Whole Foods, Arlington, Va.
Category: Grocery Store.
Miles: see No. 7
Observation: A combined trip with the stop at the Apple store. Whole Foods being right across the street made this one easy. Groceries brought home by bike always taste better. Another place in Clarendon without bike parking, except for a lonely rack stuffed in a corner of the parking lot used by the staff. WF, you can do better.

Oh Whole Foods, can you spare some bike parking?

Oh Whole Foods, can you spare some bike parking?

No. 9
Date: Mar. 15
Place: The Coffeebar DC, Washington.
Category: Coffee
Miles: 23
Observation: The first stop of a quad-fer today. MG ran the DC rock music marathon today and I stopped here to await her to come around on the course nearby. I also saw TCB’s own Olympic medalist working behind the counter, so that made it extra-sporty.

The Coffee Bar DC. Good stuff.

The Coffee Bar DC. Good stuff.

No. 10
Date: Mar. 15
Place: RFK Stadium, Washington.
Category: Wild Card!
Miles: 8.8
Observation: I took the tandem to meet MG at the end of her marathon, and we rode to lunch together and then home. Lots of power left in those legs, no surprise there. She’s badass!

She got the medal! I got another randonnee done!

She got the medal! I got another errandonnee done!

Tandem awaiting MG at RFK.

Tandem awaiting MG at RFK.

No. 11
Date: Mar. 15
Place: Tunicliff’s Tavern, Eastern Market, Washington.
Category: Breakfast or lunch.
Miles: see above
Observation: After zooming around on my single bike to cheer MG, then riding the tandem solo to RFK to pick her up, the ride together to lunch and home let us get caught up on her big day.

Document this errandonnee, please!

Document this errandonnee, please!

No. 12
Date: Mar. 15
Place: Apple Store, Arlington, Va.
Category: Store other than grocery store
Miles: 12
Observation: Picked up my repaired laptop. You’d think an Apple store would be crowded on a Saturday, but with the St. Patrick’s Day weekend pub crawl underway around Clarendon and Courthouse by the post-college frat crowd, pickup was a breeze. And, no drunks staggered out in front of me on the way home.

It's working great now.

It’s working great now.

No. 13 BONUS
Date: Mar. 16
Place: Peregrine Espresso, Eastern Market, Washington.
Category: Coffee or dessert
Miles: 56
Observation: Solo ride today so MG could recover from her marathon. I swung by Peregrine after riding out to Potomac, Md. area and then back. I sometimes try to ride past Peregrine without stopping, but I usually go in. The champagne of espresso, if you will.

Peregrine Espresso. The official espresso of the Errandonnee?

Peregrine Espresso. The official espresso of the Errandonnee?

Total rides: 13
Total mileage: 146
Categories filled: 9 of 11

What did I learn from the errandonee? I had none of the frustrations of driving, and all the joys of cycling. There was no sitting in traffic and no looking for parking. I got in a bunch of miles and enjoyed the ride.

In sum — errands aren’t work on a bike. They are just another way to have fun on the bike. And who doesn’t want to have fun on their bike?

Thanks again, MG, for this low-key and rewarding contest. Congratulations to all the finishers and participants. I can’t wait to get my patch!

Advertisements

One thought on “My 2014 Errandonnee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s