Sunday, February 17, 2013

Errandonnee or Cycling as Usual?

There's been a lot of hubbub on the blog front. Chasing Mailboxes is currently operating an Errandonnee or in other words, errands by bike.  In true fashion, it requires one to complete and record certain checkpoints—in this case, categories with a minimum 30 miles total. The difficulty lies in finishing 12 errands in 12 days. By far, the biggest hurdle—at least for me—is the event's timing: February 9-20.

Errand hopping in springtime is easy-peasy; the mileage, no sweat. However, I'm a weenie when it comes to temperatures less then 25F, so my window of opportunity would comprise of, literally, a handful of days. Still, I printed the scorecard on the off chance Vermont's weather would cooperate. 

I have Friday to myself, so after getting the kids off to school I hoofed it over to a favorite coffee shop. I sipped my drink and kept an eye out the window. The forecast was for unseasonable warmth, also involving snow showers, which had yet to materialize so I headed home and saddled up to do errands.

A new love. Uncommon Latte:
 espresso, cinnamon, cardamom,
 with sweetened condensed milk.

I tacked on extra mileage, and with temperatures a blessedly warm 40F, I deviated and tried a bit of the waterfront trail. As expected, there were some snow and ice covered areas, but I longed for the sound of the waves. I was not disappointed. It was also nice to see the reconstruction finished; the washed out embankment was rebuilt with hay-infused netting in place until springtime grass takes hold.

I peered along the shoreline, delighted to discover a permanent fire ring. Only a crane could've built the block seating.

By this time I was turning my errands over in my mind, wondering how they would fit specific criteria for the errandonnee. But this proved detrimental to my enjoyment so I decided to not worry about it anymore and went about my tasks, which were things I'd wanted to do anyway. I'd also figured the main point of the exercise was to motivate folks. On this day I certainly didn't need a push.

I planned to visit Hal Mayforth's showing at Flynn Space, however it's only open on Saturday afternoon's. I made my own private viewing through the glass front, though, chuckling at some of my favorites. I smiled at his byline "subversive in his own little way" which is a fitting portrayal of his art.

A favorite: Reading Makes You Less Stupid.

Along the same vein I went to visit another illustrator at his office, something I don't get to do because my workplace is miles away from the city. I have a special affinity for Kevin Ruelle who I've known for many years. He's very outdoorsy and we often swap adventure plans. We'd chatted just a couple days ago so I thought I'd surprise him with a visit. Unfortunately, he wasn't there, but little did I know that his hallway is like an art gallery, filled with at least 50 of his works.

I felt privy to, yet again, an artist's talent.

A close up of his bicycle poster.

Then I swam laps at the YMCA then zipped over  to PETCO to research guinea pig cages. Of course I couldn't leave before making rounds of all the animals for sale.

This is the boy who came up with an ingenious solution 
for offenders blasting through crosswalks.
Does escorting children home from school count as errand #4? I walked some, rode some, depending upon whether I had to dodge a snow ball. Boys love snow, especially when it's prime for ammunition.

I'm not sure what to make of this errandonneuring venture or whether I will fit in enough days or errands. Or if it's something I need to document. But I have now ridden my bike in January and February, the two coldest months of the year. That's not something I do every winter.

For what it's worth I completed 4 errands in 10 miles.

1. Community Meeting - art gallery
2. Personal Care & Health - swim at YMCA
3. Any store that is not a grocery store - research at Petco
4. Wild Card - escort my son home from school


  1. That coffee sounds wonderful!

    1. Yes, it's spectacular. I love chai. I love espresso. This drink is a perfect blend of both.


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